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Aluminet

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by EdM, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. EdM

    EdM Member in Good Standing

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    This Spring I finally "bit the bullet" and replaced my old black shadecloth on the greenhouse with Aluminet. Holy Cow, I continue to be amazed at what a difference it has made. I had no idea how good the Aluminet is.

    I've been using the 55% black plastic shadecloth on my greenhouse for many years. It worked fine for shade, but the greenhouse still got hot, even with a wet-wall evaporative system. I replaced it with 50% Aluminet this Spring. The biggest difference is that it has apparently dropped the inside temperature by as much as 20°F. This past weekend I had to work in the top of my greenhouse...usually a very hot, sweltering job. Outdoor day temperature here over the weekend was about 90°F, which usually means the top of the greenhouse would be 100°F or more, even with the evaporative pad and fans going. With the Aluminet, the temp in the top of the greenhouse was about the same as down on the floor level...about 78°F.

    I'm totally sold. BTW, the price has dropped substantially the last couple of years. I bought my Aluminet from EcoLogic in Maryland.
     
  2. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    Thanks, Ed. That's good to know. May I borrow your bullet? Oh. Wait. Normal maximum temp, here, for this date is 63°F. Record of 78°F was set in 1918.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    That is so not right.
     
  4. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    That's Dale.

    Ed, I want to say, I like the look of your new website.
     
  5. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "That is so not right."

    Yabbut it gets really cold, too. Average low for late December-early January is 41°F.
     
  6. EdM

    EdM Member in Good Standing

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    That's so not right either. :p

    Thanks, Mary Jane.
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For those of us who do like to pay attention to heating and cooling costs, aluminet is a worthwhile investment. To say nothing of the vastly improved light distribution it gives. Especially compared to the knit clothes that only let in maximum light at high noon and block a much high percentage of light at all other times of day (When you would like it most). And because of its very light weight and much less bulky, it is so much easier to put up and take down.
     
  8. EdM

    EdM Member in Good Standing

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    Absolutely. I thought I'd noticed that the light seemed much better, but I thought it was "just me". The bulk and weight of the Aluminet is about 25% of what the black stuff was. Thanks, Marni.
     
  9. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

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    I don't use it, but have a friend that does and she loves it. Both of my g.h's came with shadecloth but when they wear out I'll go this route.
     
  10. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    I'm resurrecting this thread, because I'd like to know if you folks who use aluminet are still happy with it. I've been considering installing it on the roof of my 24x36 shadehouse, mostly because of the supposed temp reduction property. I called my local greenhouse supply company to get a price quote, and was basically told that aluminet is crap, that it will fall apart in 2 years and that I'll get a max of 5° temp reduction. When I said that I've talked with many people around the country who use this product with great success, I was told that South Florida is a whole different world in terms of climate. Well, that's true to some degree, but a lot of you folks experience summertime temps in the high 90s like we do. What kind of temp reductions are you getting in the extreme heat of the summer?

    I have to replace the 6mil poly covering on my roof, so I was going to install the aluminet at the same time; plastic first, aluminet directly on top. My roof is 24x36', with a 10 foot high ceiling on the west side, dropping to about 8' on the east side. I emailed the folks at Cloudtops, and they said this setup would work. And now my local guy has gone and burst my bubble. I'd be inclined to say he doesn't know what he's talking about, but in this largely agricultural area of south florida, this company has established themselves as the standout pros.

    One other thing: I installed an evaporative mist system 2 weeks ago, and it is effective in bringing down my temps by about 8 degrees; from 100° to 91-92°. It's on a thermostat, and runs pretty much all day from noon til 5ish. My hope is that aluminet would bring temps down even further, to maybe mid-high 80s and not just give my mist system a break. In other words, if aluminet simply reduces the load on my mist system so that it doesn't run as often, and temps are still maintained in the 90s like I'm getting now, it won't be worth the money.

    Thoughts?
     
  11. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "Thoughts?"

    I think it would be easier to move to the Oregon Coast. You're welcome.
     
  12. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    I can't handle your late December/early January lows, Dale. But thanks for the suggestion!
     
  13. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

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    I think he doesn't know what he's talking about. Saying it's going to degrade in 2 years simply can't be true. I know several people who have had it and used it for much longer than that and have never complained.
     
  14. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "I can't handle your late December/early January lows, Dale."

    Oh, please. I remember last winter. Down there it was raining frozen iguanas and it was like spring here. Presently 67.5°F.
     
  15. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would buy the Aluminet, but I wouldn't buy it from him.

    I have had some that I have used on top of the gh for over 10 years. It is getting a bit fragile, but it still works. It lasts at least as well as the knit cloth I've had. It is up all year. We definitely don't have the same quality sun that you do, but even if I had to replace it every few years I would still use it. I love it and haven't bought anything else since I started using it.

    I have bought several times from this company and recommend them. I don't get it with grommets, I don't have finished edges and it doesn't fray. http://www.shadeclothstore.com/products/aluminetcoolshade40__aluminetshadecloth.html

    Another site with good prices is this that someone (I forget who) recommended: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/...oducts/1180/?gclid=CMSX_uuo06ICFQ5IagodwVHbnQ
     
  16. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Perhaps the vendor is saying that as a free-standing shade material (i.e. stapled to a frame with no support), it only lasts a couple/few years. If it has an underlying support structure (i.e. the 6mil plastic), I see no reason why it wouldn't last for years. I use it on my GH, and it looks as good today as the day I first installed it. Exposure to the elements in Colorado is usually a death sentence for a lot of products; our summer sun is absurdly intense.
     
  17. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Thanks, folks. I'd already decided that I won't buy it from him, if I decide it's a go.

    What about my concern about using it in conjuction with my mist system? Can I expect a further temp reduction?

    Dale, you're right. We did have frozen iguanas falling from the trees last winter, and I did more than my fair share of crying about the cold temps. But a summer high of 68° would be a nice place to visit, but I break out my sweaters if temps fall below 75. ;-)
     
  18. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would expect it to reduce the temperature in the gh. It certainly does in mine. I don't see what the problem would be with the misting system.
     
  19. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    My gut reaction is that if it's already 100f in the shade with >90% RH, the misting system dropping it into the 90s is probably about as good as it's going to get. You might get a few more degrees, but it won't be as dramatic as with the misters.
     
  20. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    That's what I'm thinking, Jon. But I want Ed, or others who employ both methods of cooling, to report on their experience.