The ability to cultivate any healthy crop is highly dependent on the elements: light, nutrition, soil conditions, air movement, air temperature, relative humidity and more can impact growth. And cannabis is no different; with marijuana being legalized in much of North America over the past several years, there’s been a surge in new growing facilities. Paramount to the success and profitability of the growth operation is HVAC (+D), and we’ll unpack the reasons why.
First, the acronym HVAC encompasses heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The added “D” from above stands for dehumidification, an important element in climate control. Of note, there are many different climate specifications depending on the lifecycle of the plant. For instance, a grow operation may have a mother room in addition to rooms for cloning, vegetation, flowering, curing, trimming and packaging, all of which are likely to have distinct requirements. Most, however, will generally require temperatures between 70-80°F depending on the specific crop. The relative humidity at each stage is a different story, ranging between lows near 40% and highs near 90%.
So why the emphasis on dehumidification? A major factor in the successful growth of cannabis is the ability of the plant to absorb (and shed) water vapor. The main objective from an HVAC (+D) perspective is to remove the water from the environment that the plant has absorbed and control the air temperature. The plant will willingly emit the water, but system controls are needed to help the process along.
In a prior post, we explained how ENASTAT functions as both a thermostat and humidistat. Hopefully growers choose the most durable and intelligent solution on the market (ENASTAT, if that wasn’t clear), but in any case they’ll need a reliable and accurate means of control. Additionally, with so much money on the line, an active monitoring system should be in place. Alerts and notifications should be set if prescribed conditions are not being met for any reason, lest the crop be damaged or destroyed. Lastly, having a back-up plan (in ENASTAT’s case, the onboard battery) is key in the event of a power outage.
If you’d like to read more about choosing the right HVAC system for a grow operation, here’s a great resource. And if you need an intelligent controller for said system, well, you’re in the right place. Happy humidifying!