How to cool a greenhouse without electricity

on November 20, 2023

Greenhouses provide a controlled environment for plants to thrive, but managing temperatures can be a challenge, especially without relying on electricity. Fortunately, there are several sustainable and effective methods to cool a greenhouse naturally. In this article, we'll explore eco-friendly strategies that allow you to maintain an ideal climate for your plants without the need for electrical cooling systems.

1. Natural Ventilation: One of the simplest ways to cool a greenhouse is through natural ventilation. Properly placed vents and windows can encourage air circulation, preventing the buildup of heat. Consider strategically installing roof vents and side windows to allow hot air to escape and fresh air to enter. Automatic vent openers, powered by the greenhouse's temperature, can enhance this process, ensuring optimal ventilation without electricity.

2. Shade Cloth: Shade cloth is a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for reducing the intensity of sunlight entering the greenhouse. By providing shade, it helps maintain lower temperatures inside. Choose a shade cloth with an appropriate shading percentage based on your specific needs and the types of plants you're cultivating. Install the cloth on the exterior or interior of the greenhouse, depending on your climate and sunlight conditions.

3. Roof Painting: Reflective roof coatings can significantly impact the internal temperature of a greenhouse. Applying a reflective coating to the greenhouse roof helps bounce sunlight away, preventing excessive heat buildup. White or silver coatings are common choices, as they effectively reflect sunlight. Ensure that the coating is designed for greenhouse use and safe for plants.

4. Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation not only conserves water but also contributes to cooling the greenhouse environment. As water evaporates from the soil surface, it absorbs heat, creating a cooling effect. Drip systems deliver water directly to the base of plants, minimizing water wastage and maximizing the cooling benefits.

5. Thermal Mass: Introducing thermal mass elements, such as water barrels or large rocks, can help stabilize temperature fluctuations in a greenhouse. These materials absorb excess heat during the day and release it slowly at night, creating a more consistent climate. Place water barrels strategically, ensuring they receive direct sunlight to maximize their heat-absorbing capacity.

6. Proper Plant Placement: Carefully consider the layout of your greenhouse by placing taller plants on the north side and shorter plants on the south side. This arrangement ensures that taller plants do not shade smaller ones excessively, allowing for more even sunlight distribution. Proper spacing between plants also facilitates better air circulation, preventing localized heat pockets.

7. Wet Wall Cooling: A wet wall, also known as a evaporative cooling wall, is a simple and effective way to cool a greenhouse without electricity. Water-soaked pads or walls release moisture into the air, creating a cooling effect as the water evaporates. This method is particularly useful in arid climates and can be combined with natural ventilation for enhanced results.

8. Mulching: Mulching the soil surface around plants helps retain moisture and reduces soil temperature. Organic mulches, such as straw or wood chips, provide insulation, preventing the soil from heating up excessively. Additionally, mulch helps control weeds, ensuring they don't compete with your plants for water and nutrients.


Cooling a greenhouse without electricity is not only feasible but also sustainable. By incorporating these eco-friendly strategies, you can create an optimal environment for your plants while minimizing your environmental impact. From natural ventilation to shade solutions and clever plant placement, there are numerous methods to explore. Experiment with a combination of these techniques to find the perfect balance for your greenhouse, ensuring healthy and thriving plants without relying on electrical cooling systems.