Temperature. Humidity. Air Quality. These are the three most important factors to consider when looking to control any sealed room environment. Independently, they are significant, but together they create a mix that is vital to the success of your room, and ultimately your crop.
With so many different medicinal strains now being grown, along with countless methods and techniques being used to grow them, it’s crucial to have a constant and stable environment in which to achieve impressively consistent results.
Depending on your geographic region, you may have more options for environmental control than other growers do, but even the lucky few can rarely control all three factors of a sealed grow room’s environment without help.
Let’s take a look at a few different options growers have to control temperature, humidity, and air quality – both independently and together.
If we had to rank the three biggest factors affecting a grow room's environment, temperature would arguably be the most important, as temperature dictates the levels of both humidity and air quality within your environment. The principles behind regulating a grow room’s temperature are the same across all platforms: add or remove heat from a specific place at a specific time.
You have several options when looking to cool or heat your space, including air-cooled, water-cooled, or ventilation systems. Our team at Excel Air Systems specializes in air-cooled air conditioning because we believe these types of solutions provide the greatest value in control when looking at several factors: simplicity, redundancy, and overall control.
The simplicity of an air-cooled air conditioning system comes in the form of two components: an indoor air handler and an outdoor condensing unit. There are no additional reservoirs, blowers, or other components involved. The air handler doesn’t even need to be in the room, just a simple duct is all that is required. Redundancy, depending on the size of your set-up, would allow for multiple smaller systems vs. one large system.
In the event of a power surge or other type of critical issue to one unit, you can easily continue operating while correcting the issue, without any time lost.
Overall control is where air-cooled systems shine the brightest. With air-cooled systems, you’re not only able to control temperature, but also humidity levels. You’re also able to limit problems associated with air quality issues, such as powdery mildew.
When growing plants specifically, it’s essential for grow room operators to provide an ideal climate in which the plants can thrive and produce the highest quality fruit.
Humidity is one of those things that people know when they like it or dislike it, but rarely understand how it works. In its most simplistic version, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air at any given time. Its percentage is based on temperature; the hotter the air, the more water vapor it can hold. Likewise, the cooler the air, the less it can hold.
Because it is so intertwined with temperature, humidity is one of the largest headaches for growers today. Too dry and everything wilts, too wet and your room becomes a mold emporium. A perfect balance is required to stave off mass issues.
Much like temperature, many growers have different preferences as to what percentage of humidity is optimal for their crop. On average, most growers like their room’s humidity levels to somewhere in the 50-60% range.
"Too dry and everything wilts, too wet and your room becomes a mold emporium."
To accomplish this, you’ll need either an air conditioning system or a standalone dehumidifier. Again, this is another aspect where air conditioners allow the most value. With an air conditioning system, you can control both the humidity and temperature in the room, whereas a dehumidifier will only remove moisture, and, due to the design of these systems, will generate additional heat into the space, adding to your temperature dilemma.
Air quality is by far the newest factor to consider of the three, especially as the industry moves towards mass adoption of indoor grow rooms and plant factories. With additional air quality controls, we can ensure the end product is as safe, clean, and free of harmful bacteria as possible.
One method of improving a grow room’s air quality that we recommend is UV air purification. Growers can achieve this by integrating UV-C bulbs into their indoor air handler and allowing the entire volume of air to pass by this bulb hundreds of times per day. The UV will kill spores, molds, and mildews, preventing them from populating throughout your room.
Another technique for improving air quality is air filtration, which removes airborne particles that can spread onto your plants and throughout the space. The higher the efficiency of the filter, the better, but beware – the more restriction you put on the fan, the higher the likelihood of causing system malfunctions. That’s why it’s important to find a system capable of high static air movement.
Lastly, let’s talk about odor removal. Methods of grow room odor removal have continued to improve for the past two decades, but at a lesser pace than the potency of the plants in which its aiming to control.
For grow room odor control, we recommend using a coconut charcoal based system. We have found that these blends are designed specifically for organic smells and are highly effective on even the strongest odors.
This article was meant to highlight the three most important individual factors when it comes to controlling your grow room’s environment, as well as reveal how connected they really are in the end.
Controlling your sealed grow room’s environment is the single biggest step in producing consistent results and a strong foundation to continually improve your cultivation business.