Today, greenhouses are more diverse than ever; they are being made from various different materials, they come in different sizes, they offer various styles and ranges, etc. This could be a bit tricky for someone that isn’t really that well versed in this, so the first thing these people ought to learn should probably be something a bit simpler – like what kind of a material they ought to use for a greenhouse. More and more people are making greenhouses out of plastic panes, while some still stick to glass. Which one of the two materials is better?
The Transparency Issue
Transparency is really important when it comes to greenhouses; they need to be able to pass through as much natural light as possible through the panes. Not so long ago, it was believed that the glass panes are much better, but lately, experts seem to agree that the panes made of rigid plastics like the acrylic or the polycarbonate are much better when it come to the light transmission. However, over time, these plastic panes turn yellow, mostly because of the amount of the UV radiation that gets contained. This is something that does not happen with glass, and that is why, on the long run, the glass is a much better choice here. If you need air conditioning inside a greenhouse, you don’t have any other alternative other than portable air conditioners.
The price is another important issue when you have to choose between the two materials. Immediately, it should be said that the plastic and the polycarbonate is much cheaper than glass, but the problem here lies in the fact that the plastic ages and has to be replaced after a couple of years, while this problem is nonexistent when it comes to glass. Toughened glass seems to be the better choice.
A greenhouse needs to be well insulated in order to grow better plants. It is true that the polycarbonate greenhouses offer better insulation, but using full panes of glass which do not overlap, you get a warmer greenhouse with no drought. Also, more sun will be able to get inside, meaning that the greenhouse is going to be much warmer when you use glass panes. Polycarbonate and acrylic plastic replacement greenhouse glass only let about 83 and 85 percent of sunlight through, respectively, while the glass allows 90% of it to go through!
And finally, you need to use a material that is strong enough; the one that won’t get blown away, or the one that won’t get twisted when the high winds come. Toughened glass seems to be the better choice here, because it is both thicker and heavier than the plastic panes that some people install on their greenhouses. This weight allows you to get your greenhouse grounded, which will allow it to offer a greater resistance to those high winds.
So, as we have seen, if you’re looking for a material for your new greenhouse, go for the toughened glass. It offers more sunlight, it is cheaper in the long run, it offers better insulation, and is much stronger. All in all, you can’t go wrong with this one.