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Dehumidifiers for Growers
Every experienced grower knows that keeping a plants environment under control will bring a bigger harvest. One of the greatest advantages of growing indoors is our ability to change and tweak every aspect of our plants little grow world – the light intensity, amount of water and nutrients they receive, air exchange, oxygen to the roots, etc. With all the different adjustments that can be made to the growing environment, one of the most important is also the most overlooked. Humidity.
The relative humidity (RH) of the environment will control how much water, and in turn nutrients, your plants are able to drink. When humidity is too high, the plants stomata will close and transpiration will slow to a crawl. Without proper transpiration, the mass flow of nutrients and water from the roots to the stems and leaves stops, and so will growth.
Ed Rosenthal confirms. “As the humidity rises, slow evaporation becomes a problem, especially in still air. This slows growth.”
High relative humidity can also contribute to the chances of finding pests or diseases among your plants. This is especially critical during the night cycle. With the grow lights switched off, the temperature of the grow room will drop and so will the airs ability to hold moisture. As humidity climbs, the moisture from the air condenses and forms on the surface of plants and grow room walls. This encourages mold, fungus, and pests to come over and visit.
“Relative humidity control is an integral part of insect and fungus prevention.” Gorge Cervantes states in his book, Marijuana Horticulture: The indoor/outdoor medical grower’s bible. “Humidity above 80 percent discourages spider mites but promotes fungus as well as root and stem rot.”
If you factor in the plants lifecycle, RH becomes even more important and has a direct effect on the overall yield and quality at harvest time. Rooting clones flourish at a RH of 70% to 80%, seedlings grow best between 40% to 70% RH, but flowering plants thrive at 40% to 50%. Changing the relative humidity levels within the grow room to best match the plants lifecycle requirements will result in healthier, fuller crops.
The importance of precision humidity control is clear, but don’t rush out and buy just any dehumidifier for your grow room. Dehumidifiers that are designed for your home or garage cannot handle the levels of humidity in a thriving grow room environment. They were built to remove the humidity caused by a room full of people, a hot shower, or a busy family kitchen. Seven or eight people in a room will produce around 10lbs of water each per day. Compare that to a room with 100 cannabis plants producing 8lbs of water per day and the difference is obvious – less than 100lbs of water per day needs to be removed from your home but more than 800lbs per day must be removed from the growing environment. This requires a reliable unit that can run nonstop and maintain a balanced environment in sometimes adverse thermal conditions. Not exactly the same situation as your typical home environment.
Regarding conditions, let’s not forget that humidity usually rises the most overnight, after the grow lights are shut down and the temperature drops. Home use dehumidifiers do not function well (and weren’t designed to) at lower room temperatures.
The new line of commercial horticulture dehumidifiers from Anden were designed specifically to address the needs of indoor cultivators. Their parent company has been manufacturing dehumidifiers and HVAC equipment for more than 60 years. When they found many of their home and commercial dehumidifiers were going to indoor cultivation facilities, a review of how to better service this new customer base was made. After years of research, development, testing, and improving, the new product line was launched in the fall of 2017 under the Anden banner.
Anden has gone “all-in” with their products and commitment to the industry. While developing their dehumidifier line, units were installed in commercial growing facilities for actual use testing and adjustments were made until the final product was certain to do the job. Then they went a step further. Anden was not content to simply dehumidify a room, they wanted to do it in the best way possible.
Aware that temperature and humidity can vary greatly between the upper and lower levels of a grow facility, Anden developed remote sensors that are able to sample the air at plant level, providing more accurate monitoring and control.
With a more accurate reading of the grow rooms relative humidity level established, Anden then set on a way to keep it there. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity will effect plant growth, so they designed and incorporated a sensor that will sample the air for three minutes every hour to ensure proper humidity levels are maintained.
Thanks to these innovations, Anden dehumidifiers can maintain proper humidity levels any time of day throughout the growing life cycle and are the only dehumidifiers designed to remove moisture at lower temperatures to simulate fall growing conditions.
Anden included the latest in hi tech remote functionality as well. As the industry moves towards grow room automation to help monitor fluctuations in plant growth and health, Anden included options for wi-fi connectivity in their dehumidifiers that can provide a mobile update of the conditions in your grow facility at all times. The system is controllable via a smart phone app, wi-fi connected precision controllers, or the industry’s first full color touch screen controller that will also run many of your other grow room necessities like fresh air fans, air cleaners, and humidifiers.
By incorporating a quality dehumidifier system that was designed for the task on hand, in this case indoor horticulture, and controlling your environments relative humidity with precision, you can avoid many potential problems and improve the overall health and results of your indoor cultivation.