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Odor Control & Carbon Filters

Grow Room Odor Control & Other Grow Room Filters

It’s incredibly fun to have your own indoor garden, but very few gardeners want their entire house smelling like one. Even less will want the smell leaking outside and into their neighborhood letting everyone know that you’re growing inside. A pungent garden is an easy way to attract pests and insects far-and-wide turning it into a haven where your plants are on their dinner menu.  

Odor control will be a requirement for many indoor gardeners but fortunately, they are fairly simple to put together, and you have a lot of options to pick from. To newcomers, they may at first seem complex, but don’t worry, as long as you know a couple basic components even the most complex odor control systems are a cakewalk to put together.

At Hydrobuilder, we offer a range of odor control methods that will work with your setup. So let’s take a look at the best and find the one that’s right for you.

Carbon Exhaust Filters

Carbon exhaust filters are the most common odor control method by far. If you’ve been researching growing with a grow tent, then you’ve probably already seen an exhaust filter and just didn’t know. They are usually hung near the ceiling and have ducting attached to them which is then ran to a lighting unit or an extractor fan. This gives the appearance that they difficult to set up, but really it’s just a few different systems combined to create an all-in-one system, and breaking it down piece by piece is easy.

Carbon filters work by absorbing the odor eliminating at least 90%. As well, they can either be hung near the top of the tent or sat on the ground. Most growers prefer to hang them as they will be out of the way of your plants and will keep your all-in-one ventilation system compacted. An extractor fan is required, and if you’re using ducting, you want it to be as straight and short as possible to not hinder airflow between the fan and filter.

Why exhaust filters are universally loved:

  • Long lifespan (12-18 months) – to improve their lifespan, it’s recommended that you shake them halfway throughout their cycle to expose activated carbon.
  • Effectively eliminates odor in even the most pungent grow room
  • Will not alter or harm plants
  • Will help remove dust and pests
  • They are a crucial component for creating an all-in-one ventilation and odor control system

At Hydrobuilder, we offer flange sizes from 4” up to 14”. The flange will attach directly onto the carbon filter creating an airtight seal and allow it to connect either to ducting or directly to the fan. Some filter models come with built-in flanges, while others will require an external flange, but this gives you the choice to connect your filter to a wider range of fans and ducting.

Last, you will want to closely match your filter’s CFM rating to your fan’s CFM rating. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and this essentially tells you how much air can be removed from your grow room in a minute. These numbers can be off, but not by much as it will create improper airflow. The cubic feet or volume of your grow room/tent will decide the CFM rating you need to efficiently remove air. To calculate your grow tent’s cubic feet simply multiply your tent’s length x width x height.   

Intake Filters

Intake filters aren’t a necessity for many indoor gardens, though if you’re commonly fighting with insects then they quickly become a godsend. When using larger grow tents the need for an active intake system for air circulation becomes more and more a necessity. A passive intake system works fine with smaller tents, but even they open you up to pests getting in.

The air in your grow tent must be completely replaced every 1-5 minutes for four environmental reasons: CO2, temperature, humidity, and oxygen. Without an intake system, whether active or passive, this will not happen and you’ll create a poor environment for growing your plants.

Why it’s a smart idea to have an intake filter:

  • The most dangerous insects for your plants are some of the smallest. Spider mites are tiny and notorious for taking out gardens and intake filters will stop them dead in their tracks.
  • Replenish exhausted CO2 levels
  • Prevent unwanted pollen and dust

If using a grow tent, it will most likely have a place near the bottom where your intake filter or fan will go – just make sure your filter and tent’s intake port are the same size. If you haven’t purchased a grow tent yet, this is something to look for, as air that enters in from the bottom and then is pulled out from the top is the most effective air circulation pattern for creating and controlling your four environmental factors from above.   

Ozone Generators 

Ozone generators are a powerful way to remove odor and clean the air, and work by creating ozone. So you’re probably wondering what is ozone. Ozone is made up of three oxygen molecules, but this is different than the oxygen we breath, which only has two molecules. Technically, we breathe dioxygen or O2, not individual oxygen molecules.

It’s the third oxygen molecule that does the odor cleaning and control because it’s an extremely unstable molecule and loves attaching to pollutants, especially high-odor pollutants.

Why ozone generators are awesome:

  • Does not need to be replaced unlike all other methods
  • Eliminates all odor
  • Will not harm or affect plants
  • O3 attaches itself to bacteria, germs, fungus, and other contaminants and destroys their cell walls.

Ozone generators are fantastic, but they are not recommended unless you know what you’re doing. Breathing in the ozone that these machines create is dangerous and can be especially dangerous to your lungs. Chest pain, coughing, irritation in the throat and windpipes, and general difficulties when breathing deeply are all symptoms of ozone toxicity. Ozone at low levels can even be an issue, and it’s not recommended to spend any significant amount of time in the grow room.

This isn’t to scare you away from them, however, as they are used in hospitals, hotels, and grow rooms far and wide, just that caution is advised.


Deodorizer, sometimes called passive odor controls, are usually the cheapest method for odor control and don’t require additional parts or any setup time to work. Often, deodorizers are usually gels that come in a container, and all you have to do is remove the lid and they start working. ONA is a very popular brand and offers a range of deodorizers that work great.

Why growers like them:

  • Cheapest option
  • No set up time required
  • Only completely silent method
  • Only odor control method that doesn’t require electricity

While they are the cheapest and least complicated odor control method they have one big problem – they work too well and not well enough. You absolutely cannot place these inside your grow room/tent as they can alter your plants and change the smell they emit. Since they have to be far away your grow tent, it stays rather pungent. Also, while great for younger plants, they often will not remove all the odor that’s produced from flowering plants.


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