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The Importance of not good but a Great Airflow in your indoor grow room

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Have you ever grown plants indoors and have suffered failings with your airflow endeavors then this article is for you. When the indoor growing revolution began, nobody really explained the importance of airflow within a confined space, whether it was to grow in a grow room or grow tent.

Yes there were fans for sale back then and yes we were told to buy at least an outtake fan or what some call and exhaust fan, especially if the tent or space was relatively small. The smaller the growing space the easier it is for one single fan to do the job of two fans, thus the outtake fans acts as an intake fan too. So off we went with our new equipment and sent up our new growing adventure. Now depending on which part of the year you actually started your indoor set up, would unbeknown to a novice grower, but the season outside where you intake your air from would ultimately affect and determine the quality of your grow inside.

Air exchange in a grow room/tent is one of the most important environmental factors that you must have total control of, as don’t forget your kind of playing the role of mother nature here so you must have the correct air flow. For your plants to achieve photosynthesis and grow them, they need constant air exchange to refresh the CO2 content of the surrounding air during both day and night periods. Otherwise in a stagnant air environment a plant can use up the CO2 surrounding a leaf within 20 or 30 minutes.

This is how photosynthesis works, air is exchanged through tiny little holes in the surface of the leaf which are named stomata; remember plants also facilitate the loss of water through the leaves via transpiration. Carbon dioxide is then taken in through the stomata while oxygen is released as a by-product of photosynthesis.

Your air flow in the grow room is also crucial for keeping control over temperature and your grow rooms humidity levels. Lack of air exchange in this aspect will result in a constant increase in temperature as the radiant heat from the lights will just accumulate. Humidity of the grow room will also constantly rise due to transpiration from the plants if air exchange is not adequate. Too much humidity may promote and allow unwanted pathogens to take hold. Also the temperature of the air exchange is vitally important as the actual air flow rate. For example you will find that the air flow and temperatures in your indoor garden are at their optimal levels during autumn and spring. Basically the weather or simply the air you will be taking into your grow room should neither be too cold or too hot. This is why indoor growers tend to have a higher success rate during these months.

The summer can become far too hot for some indoor growers gardens to control it, and unless you have waged the war against hot air before, you will be at a loss. This is why research or extra care and time are needed when building your grow room. Also bear in mind all bends to your fans ducting, and how far the fan has to pull or push to etc. Each additional right angle bend in your ducting will lower your fans performance by 5%. Take more time with your initial air flow set up and all calculations must be done in depth and correctly.

Take a look in your outdoor garden, or in your local park, or literally anywhere where plants are growing. Apart from the obvious things like the energy the sun gives your plants but can you identify what else outdoor plants are abundant with? The answer is natural winds which mean air movement for the indoor grower. Air movement is such an important factor that it will not only help your plants to breathe but air movement will also help to strengthen the stems of your plants if the movement is energetic enough. A plant’s reaction to being moved around is to strengthen itself to avoid any more movement that could be damaging. Plants naturally perform this self structure strengthening mechanism when they feel the need to stabilise their environment. This reaction in self strengthening triggers stronger stems/branches which can ultimately hold a greater weight of produce.

The stronger your plants are the fewer plants supports are needed. Remember that too much energetic air movement especially of younger plants can be a case for concern with breakage of branches or stems may occur, so finding the perfect medium of air movement is critical. Although air movement is very beneficial for our plants, there also negative effects of too much air movement especially with your more mature plants. If leaf surfaces are cooled too much, your plants leaves can literally curl up. This unfortunately reduces the amount of active photosynthetic material on the leaves. Extensive strong air movement can cause your plants leaves stomata’s to close up, as your plants will try to alleviate any water loss, thus ultimately this process will stop the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, leading to reduced or stopped photosynthesis.

Another advantage of have Great air flow is that it helps to deter pests and insects. This is possible because of the strong air movement which hinder a lot of insect/pest species’ and their reproductive cycles. So your airflow totally disturbs and blows away (pardon the pun) their stable habitat, making it a much less desirable home for them in the first place. A great deterrent!

Also when you are purchasing air movement/flow equipment such as your fans or ducting, always buy quality fans and equipment. Get the correct fan for the correct job at hand. Don’t penny pinch when building a good indoor grow room, the better quality of fan the better air movement quality can be achieved.

Lastly this is the most commonly used formula when working out how much air flow and movement will be needed and the simplest one we find is below.

Exhaust: Number of lights X (multiplied by) Wattage X 3.12= (BTU’s) divide this by 5 = M3/hour

Intake: exhaust figure – (minus) 33%

If you have any trouble or issues with planning, we would be happy to assist and help you so come on in after you have measured up your grow space.