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Top 7 Features of a Commercial-Grade Dehumidifier
Experienced cultivators know first-hand about the detrimental effects of excess humidity in their greenhouse climate. Stagnant water vapour in the air can manifest fungal pathogens such as Botrytis and powdery mildew. Once established, these and other foliar and root diseases require pesticides to control and lead directly to lower crop yield and unforeseen costs. Whether you’re growing cannabis or any other greenhouse crop, plants are highly sensitive to humidity during their transpiration and photosynthetic processes. Saturated air can result in high vapour-pressure deficits, making plants more susceptible to decay.
Whether you are looking for an upgrade or to make an initial investment, a high-quality industrial greenhouse dehumidifier will sustain RH at optimal levels season after season. Commercial models are designed as efficient environmental control systems for specific use in the horticulture sector.
But where do you start? Doing the research can be overwhelming and cumbersome, so we’re here to make the job easier! The market is inundated with products and sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between commercial and residential models. Below we’ve compiled a list of characteristics to distinguish industrial horticulture varieties from the average residential unit:
1. High pint capacity
One of the most important basic features to determine de-humidification performance is a pint capacity. Pint capacity refers to the total pints of water the unit is capable of removing from the air in a 24 hour period. This number is determined under controlled studies and will vary depending on the size, temperature and humidity of a room in a real-world setting. Efficient commercial models should have a pint capacity upwards of 100 pints. With models capable of removing 130, 210 and 320 pints of moisture per day, Anden Industrial Dehumidifiers, featured in the Hydrotek catalogue, is designed to perform specifically inside the grow room micro-climate. A high pint processing capacity, means they can be used in a larger space and tackle high humidity (levels up to 90%) while still remaining efficient.
A powerful internal fan is an essential factor that enables pint capacity. A high-speed fan will allow a larger volume of air to move through the system. This amount is measured in cubic feet per minute. A commercial system (one or multiple) that can handle the CFM metric for your room will be more efficient at extracting water from the air.
As the result of plant proximity and frequent water spills from condensation and irrigation systems, grow rooms are prone to elevated humidity. Therefore, a high pint capacity unit such as the will also play a critical role in water damage restoration.
Most residential units will deposit extracted water into a storage chamber. This requires users to manually empty this chamber multiple times per day so that it can remain functional. Commercial de-humidifiers use a pump system to push water into an extra-long drain tube (or steam hose) that will completely remove water from the room with no need to empty a water bucket.
3. Multiple sensors
Some commercial models come with additional remote sensor equipment to gather several readings from one room. Sensors can be placed at plant level and relay an accurate average of the total moisture in the air to the control panel. This means that humidity control systems can be placed separate from the canopy while not comprising their accuracy. As vapour-pressure deficit is a critical element of greenhouse regulation, plant-level air samples are instrumental for an accurate metric. An elevated VPD will cause plants to draw more water from its roots and can lead to soft growth, plant diseases and nutrient deficiencies.
Anden Commercial Dehumidifiers go a step further by incorporating a specialized extra sensor, along with multiple remote sensors, that will sample air continuously for three minutes every hour to ensure that desired humidity levels are maintained. This is ideal inside hydroponic grow rooms to protect plants from unpredictable fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
4. Durable materials
Commercial options are made from durable metals (for inner parts and outer casing) instead of fallible plastic. With continuous around the clock use, this means they will be less prone to failure. A quality unit will come with a set warranty that can apply to the unit as a whole or for specific mechanical parts. Some models will highlight their waterproof design, which can be ideal for a long life inside a greenhouse.
5. More control
Even the most basic de-humidifiers allow users to set a specific RH level for the room they are in. A standard commercial model is often amended with a programmable digitized control panel. This allows growers to adjust humidity within a wide range, know RH measurements in real-time and even change the room temperature. The control panel is often fully programmable, sometimes remotely, so growers can set pre-determined levels to activate at specific times or to only become active when needed. More precise control options allow for easy monitoring and can save you money on energy costs.
6. Automatic restart
Thanks to your monthly bill, you are probably already well aware of the energy requirements needed to power a thriving cultivation system. These requirements can make greenhouses and grow systems prone to power outages and short circuits. With this in mind, commercial units were designed with an automatic restart option so your environment can be up and running as fast as possible in these circumstances. Some may also feature permanent device memory so that pre-programmed settings are not lost when the power comes back on.
7. Stackable design
In large rooms that require more than one dehumidifier for the job, the benefit of stackability should not be understated. Stacking units on top of one another means there is a reduced risk of fire hazard since the equipment will not be in contact with potential water spills or flooding.. As plants are regularly moved and arranged, a stackable unit will be easier to transport and allows for more flexible layouts. Remember to keep an eye out for commercial models with options to be suspended or easily ducted. Anden Grow Optimized Dehumidifiers are stackable as well as available in 3 installation options: inlet and outlet ducted, freestanding and suspended.