If you live in a climate where snow and ice are part of the typical winter scenario and you want to grow vegetables all year round, your coverings need to be well insulated. Multi-walled polycarbonate is often used for this purpose: the internal air space between the layers (double or triple layer) provides significant insulation value.
Double-walled polyethylene is another good choice, offering soft, diffuse light and excellent insulation, and greater flexibility than rigid polycarbonate. the Solex range of greenhouses uses double-walled polyethylene in a variety of sizes and shapes. Another consideration in cold climates is snow: check the snow load rating of the model you are considering to ensure it will not collapse after a snowstorm.
On the other hand, if your winters are mild, or if you are just looking for a 'season extender' (a place to germinate and nurture seedlings in early spring when outdoor temperatures are still uncertain), then strict insulation is not so important. A simple tempered glass panel or single-walled polycarbonate may be sufficient. Glass will not degrade in years of intense sunlight, but the fragility of glass makes it a poor choice for areas where hail storms or high winds cause branches to fly or freeze.
If you live in a windy area, standard polyethylene film will not be a viable option, but the more robust woven polyethylene can still be used. Stronger materials on rigid frames, such as double-walled polyethylene or polycarbonate, will perform better in the wind. To prepare for potential high winds, take extra care to secure your structure to the ground and always ensure that all doors and windows are closed before a storm hits.
If you are considering building a glass greenhouse in a cold area, consider using glass with an insulating coating, such as 'low-E', especially on the north side of the building (it will reduce solar gain if used on the north side of the building) and on the south side). Will you be heating your conservatory? If so, insulation is essential to avoid wasting money and fuel, and heat flies through the windows almost as fast as the heaters produce it. Double-wall polyethylene has the highest insulation value of any greenhouse window.
Need help with your new greenhouse project? Kunyu supplies and installs high-quality glass products to customers in all regions. From the initial consultation to the final installation, we can facilitate the entire project and propose greenhouse solutions, ensuring that every requirement is met at an affordable price. To find out more about any of our services or to make an appointment, please contact us.