The problem with most indoor cannabis grow room HVAC systems

06 February 2020 /

Humans have grown cannabis for thousands of years, but cultivating it in an indoor cannabis grow room without the aid of sunlight is a relatively new phenomena from the last century. Cannabis grown indoors is often seen as better quality, even if the biggest difference is aesthetic.

One of the reasons cannabis became an “indoor” crop was the fact that it was federally outlawed in the U.S. and much of the world. What was once a staple crop became a blackmarket hit, with many growers adapting whatever space they could. With medical cannabis being legal in some states for two-and-a-half decades, and recreational cannabis not even five years old, the legal cannabis industry still lacks Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Where this hurts today’s indoor growers particularly hard is the lack of knowledge around the interplay between indoor cannabis grow room HVAC systems and the science of cannabis growing.

As such, the cross section of companies with expertise in both HVAC systems and cannabis is small, and indoor growers need to design their systems from the get-go with both sides of the equation in mind. Many systems are not designed in a way that maximizes the potential of the plant.

Two Reasons Growers Get HVAC Wrong

Your indoor cannabis grow room is a vibrant, living ecosystem, with energy pouring into the system from electricity (lights) and water and pouring out from the plants in the form of water vapor. With each stage of the cannabis plant’s life cycle requiring unique humidity and temperatures to maximize the vitality and chemical profile of the final product, your HVAC system is responsible for bringing this ecosystem under control. 

A “good enough” HVAC system is no longer good enough for the highly regulated recreational and medical markets in the U.S., but some growers stick with good enough for two main reasons.

1. The legacy of the black market

In newly legalized markets, many of today’s legal growers use the same technologies employed in a black market setting, but scaled to huge operations with millions of dollars of investment at stake. Compelling marketing and branding has led them to believe they’ve found the components of an effective commercial dehumidification system for cannabis. These systems may function— and even function passably for a time. But for all their size and cost at the outset, they fail to effectively provide an entire space with the ideal temperature and humidity for plants at their various stages of growth.

2. A lack of understanding (and control)

Conventional grow room cooling technology is not rooted in an understanding of cannabis, largely due to the lack of scientific and commercial research available in the prohibition era. 

Many of today’s commercial cannabis dehumidification techniques apply a “brute force” method to managing grow room temperature and humidity that disregards the efficiency or cost, not one precisely sized for individual plants or the growing operation. In these environments, employees spend valuable time adjusting settings and equipment to right the latest imbalance in the entire system. There is no integration between parts and no protection against infection. When staff spend the bulk of their time responding to the latest crisis, they fail to maintain the correct grow room temperature and humidity and the risk of infection increases.  

The Importance of an Integrated Approach

With an integrated HVAC system, temperature and humidity are managed from one centralized system. An integrated approach makes up for the shortcomings of separate A/C and dehumidification systems, such as uneven air distribution forming microclimates and condensation providing the opportunity for pests and pathogens to thrive.

InSpire believes in a different way to control the environment of your indoor cannabis grow room. We use the latest scientific knowledge of cannabis to deliver custom HVAC systems that maximize biomass and terpene profile while reducing risks. When the environment is kept stable and secure, staff can keep their focus where it belongs: the plants. The entire operation, from seed to final product, is stable. 

See how InSpire can help you solve the challenges of your unique grow room facility by contacting us today for a free consultation!

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