Growing cannabis indoors is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the best yield and the top quality cannabis for you and your business however there are some unspoken disadvantages of growing weed indoors. As cannabis grow and bloom, these release chemicals that can be quite unbearable and too strong inside a closed space. Cannabis has that distinct pungent odor that can easily distinguish it from other odor –releasing plants and being this strong, you need to contain this odor not just because it’s too strong but because it can compromise your entire operation.
Cannabis odor and health risks
There are no known health risks from inhaling cannabis odor however there are some growers who report headaches after being exposed to this pungent odor. There are growers who don’t mind the smell but some large grow rooms could become too smelly as soon as the buds open. Therefore planning and installation of carbon filters should be done alongside your light and heat ventilation systems are installed as well to prevent any side effects of odor accumulation.
How carbon filters work
And possibly the champion of all methods of removing the distinct pungent aroma of blooming cannabis is a carbon filter. A carbon filter is simply a device that filters air. Air passes through the filter medium, moves through an activated carbon layer and then is released to the environment. Activated carbon granules have very large surface areas that traps various chemical molecules. It can filter chemicals from your grow room and stop horrible odors. Carbon filters are available in premade sizes and structures with one end fitted with activated carbon and the other end to be attached to a fan that will push air into the filter.
Premade carbon filters and fans
The most common type of carbon filter system has an inline fan attached inside the duct itself. These inline fans are sealed and will not leak air which will prevent any leakage. Growers DIY carbon filter and fan attachments for their grow rooms. It’s not so hard to attach premade carbon filters and fans; after attaching the end of the filter to the fan, duct tape is used to seal both ends to prevent any leakage. When you shop for fans for carbon filters, check for air movement reading in CFM or cubic feet per minute then compare this with the air movement reading of the carbon filter. When shopping for fans and carbon filters for your indoor grow, select a fan that has a smaller air displacement rate than the one on the filter to ensure that air that is sucked in will be cleaned more efficiently. Using a filter on your fan can reduce air displacement by 10% to 20% depending on the size and efficiency of the filter.
You must also use an extraction fan to create negative pressure to pull out air from the grow room into the filter in a more efficient manner. This will make sure that no odors can pass out of the room and other areas near the grow room will be odor-free.
Using carbon filters with your HID grow light
One of the major problems of using high intensity grow lights is heat accumulation inside the grow area and because of this you need to add additional ventilation systems to get rid of this heat. You can combine your grow light ventilation system with your carbon filter and a fan to push clean air through the HID protection ducts outside the grow room. This is an efficient way to remove heat which could be detrimental to your plants and to remove terrible odors.
Finding and installation of the ideal carbon filter for your grow room
- Find the diameter of your exhaust
Standard grow lights usually have a 6” exhaust duct or 6” air-cooled hoods. If you have a small-scale growing operation, you can use a tent and match it with 6” exhaust holes including your fan, carbon filter and ducts. 6” fans are ideally the most efficient way to exhaust air from your small grow room. Steer clear from small 4” fans because these are too weak. Don’t count on 8” fans because these are for large-scale or commercial applications only because these are extremely strong. 6” fans are ideally the best size and will fit standard grow lights ducts.
- Match CFM rating between fan and carbon filter
The CFM rating on your carbon filter should match or be slightly higher than your fan. This means that the carbon filter will be operating in its maximum efficiency and it also makes sure that the carbon filter is taking in as much air as it can clean or scrub for odors. For instance, if your carbon filter has a CFM of 300 then the fan should be 300 CFM or slightly lower.
- Install your fan and filter to the exhaust system
When everything is set, you can now install your fan into your exhaust system. Ideally the carbon filter is attached to a hole from the lighting hold via ducting. On the other side of the hood is where the exhaust fan is attached to pull hot air as well as odors towards a hole that leads outside the grow area. Ducting is used to connect the exhaust side of the fan to a hole that leads outdoors.
Using odor neutralizers
Sometimes odors can be too strong to manage with an air filter that you need an odor neutralizer to remove very strong odors from the air. An odor neutralizer should not be used in a room with flowering cannabis because these are so effective in reducing or altering the flavor of buds. Other alternative ways to control smell are sprays, air fresheners and colognes but these should be used only when necessary. These may work however may only do for a few hours. Cannabis plants will simply create strong odors and become stronger as days go by until harvest time. Therefore the ideal odor control should work continuously day in and day out.