Changing seasons means it's time to reassess your lighting and watering goals for the Fall. As you know, greenhouse energy costs account for a significant share of a grow operation costs. Using available energy sources can affect your ability to harvest the predetermined crop quality and yields you forecast. And as the colder weather approaches, doing some maintenance can also save you some cold cash this winter.
Weather conditions impact many aspects of your greenhouse. An often-overlooked factor is taking into account the weather forecast. For example, if bright sunshine is predicted in the coming hours, you can adjust the lighting, so you're not wasting energy unnecessarily.
An easy way to start saving energy is to be more aware of the amount of natural sunlight your plants are getting on a given day. Once your crops have received the optimal amount of light (that you predetermined), you can turn off your artificial lights and reset them to come on the next day. As always, check to make sure that your equipment is working correctly and that if you turn off your artificial lights, you schedule them to go back on for the next light cycle. Since plants need dark and light cycles, making sure you aren't giving them more light than required is definitely a way to save on energy costs.
Maintain to save
Saving money on your energy bill isn't difficult, it just requires some planning and a bit of maintenance. If you're using a climate-controlled automation system, be sure you're checking and analyzing the data. You may be using too much fertilizer or scheduling vents to open or close at inconvenient times that aren't keeping heat levels even. All of these things can impact your bottom line. Ensure that vents and fans are in proper working order.
Another potentially overlooked aspect of saving money is by doing regular maintenance outside your greenhouse. In prepping for winter, make sure you secure any loose hazards that could be picked up by the wind and cause structural damage. This could result in damage to crops and increase your energy bill when heat escapes from destruction. Check to ensure that bolts and fasteners are secure, so critical heat isn't finding its way outside.
Depending on where you are, and what type of hazardous weather you'll be enduring this winter, having an emergency plan in place will keep you prepared for anything. Making sure you're prepared will give you the upper hand and may even save you some money on your energy bill.