In many greenhouse operations, the heating system is the heart of the operation. Production quality for many horticulture crops drops quickly if minimum temperatures are not maintained. In some cases, not maintaining the desired minimum temperature can lead to complete crop failure. 


Although heating systems play such an integral role in many operations, they are often not or poorly maintained which can lead to decreased efficiency and performance over time. In some cases, a lack of maintenance can lead to catastrophic failures in heating systems with dire consequences. All that to say, there is a lot of value for growers who choose to maintain their boiler annually. 


Our recommendation for a boiler technician to visit the site is approximately once per year. On that visit, the boiler technician can perform many tests to assess the boiler’s situation. On top of preventative maintenance, the boiler technician can also work with the grower to evaluate how the boiler is being used and optimize the performance of the boiler system. This can lead to a return on investment in both energy savings and longevity of the boiler.


Another part of hot water systems that may require regular servicing is the quality of the water in the heating system. This is particularly important for boilers that utilize a buffer system for heat storage. 

Water Tower Installation

Buffer tanks, first used in Holland in the 1970s have been an effective tool to optimize performance of hot water heating systems and allow for the use of flue gas to be used for supplemental CO2. Buffer tanks increase the volume of water used in heating systems, and therefore can lead to an increase in scale buildup inside the pipes of the boiler. A buildup in scale in heat pipes can cause two major problems. First, scale is an insulator which reduces the ability of heat to transfer from the burner to the heat pipes. This reduces the efficiency of the boiler over time. Two, after a long time of scale buildup the heat pipes themselves can become cracked and damaged. This is due to the same insulation properties of the scale buildup which eventually can cause pipes to overheat because they cannot transfer heat from the burner to the pipe. 


Originally, water treatment products were available for industrial boiler systems to prevent these problems. But, these were found to be unsuitable to the greenhouse industry due to their environmental toxicity. Over time, more environmentally friendly products have been designed specifically for the greenhouse industry. Growers who use hard water (often well water) with high calcium levels in their heating systems are most susceptible to water quality issues and should implement a water treatment plan for their boiler system. 


At Total Energy Group, we have been supplying and servicing hot water heating systems to growers for over 35 years. Reach out today, we can start by processing a water sample to check the quality of the water in your hot water system today. 
Contact us now to get started!