4 Challenges to Overcome in a Grow Room HVAC Design
by The Cooling Company, on Jun 21, 2018 11:29:00 AM
From making sure you are making the most of your space to frequent filter changes, there’s so much to coordinate and keep track of when you’re setting up a grow room. If you are the owner or operator of a marijuana cultivation facility, or you will be in the future, you can plan to invest tens of thousands of dollars in this project, but as many successful growers know, with plenty of time, consideration, planning, and hard work, you can reap huge rewards.
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What You Should Know About Commercial Grow Room Design
Commercial grow room design is complicated because several different aspects will need to be addressed, and these will need to work individually and in conjunction with other features. For example, the air will need to be adjusted to compensate for the heat from the lights. This is a costly process, but a single room of marijuana crop can be worth enough that many growers find that they can recoup their initial investment within a single harvest. You may see that experimenting with different types of lights, such as LED, to be worth the effort and the initial investment because it can ultimately help you save a great deal on your energy costs and increase your bottom-line.
Large-Scale Grow Room Setup
Large-scale setups are different than smaller operations because there will be many rooms, along with additional factors to consider.
- Different rooms allow for crops that can be grown in various stages, meaning you’ll never have to wait for a growing season.
- Each room will require a separate AC or many of them, and they’ll need to be coordinated.
- Getting the humidity and air flow balance will also be trickier when you have multiple rooms to consider.
Challenges to Overcome in a Grow Room HVAC Design
As a grower, finding an HVAC company who truly understands the needs of marijuana grow facility is just one of many challenges you may experience when you’re designing your grow room.
For many, setting up their grow room means getting a crash course in lighting. If you don’t know how to calculate for CFM or what a BTU calculator is, now is the time to find out. These plants can be finicky, and they have particular lighting needs that must be met if you want them to flourish. Your lighting will directly impact the temperature in each room of your grow facility, and with lights like high-pressure sodium lights that are capable of putting out over 4,800 BTUs of heat, you always run the risk of destroying your crop if you don’t get the light and air balance just right.
Marijuana plants require a steady temperature of between 70° and 75°, and if your grow rooms get much colder or hotter than that you could be in serious trouble. Luckily, today’s technology offers growers solutions that make maintaining temperature more convenient than ever before. The latest air conditioning systems are smart machines that can be controlled remotely, and they have sensors that will quickly let you know via e-mail when something isn’t right. These are high-efficiency units, and you can expect to pay double for them, but anyone who has lost a crop due to an AC failure can verify they are worth every penny.
Marijuana plants need high humidity when they are in the growing stage. In a massive grow-op with many different rooms, you will have some crops that are in that growth stage year-round. This is another area in which your HVAC system is everything because the majority of the time you’re going to need to maintain a humidity level of approximately 50-60%, depending on the stage your plants are in. Letting your humidity get too high will spell disaster, because this creates ideal conditions for the growth of mold that will destroy your crops, along with your profits.
Marijuana grow facility won’t produce any product overnight. In fact, it can take between six and eight months for the HVAC installation alone.
One thing is sure; if you are serious about making your grow facility into a smooth-running and profitable operation, you’ll need to work with an HVAC contractor who is knowledgeable about the specialized requirements of marijuana growing. When you are choosing an HVAC company, make sure they have 24/7 availability along with plenty of inventory on-hand for any last-minute emergency parts replacements that are necessary. Choose a company that has the expertise and experience to understand the stakes for growers. If you can’t call your HVAC pros and have a technician at your facility within 15 minutes, you aren’t working with the right company.