Most plants enjoy a moderate temperature to thrive in. Sometimes mother nature doesn’t always provide this. The solution is to install an AC unit in your grow room to keep your plants happy.
Most plants like to remain between 68°F and 77°F as a general rule of thumb for optimal growth. Sometimes your grow room ambient temperature and the heat produced by the growing equipment can bring garden temperatures out of this range. In extreme cases, high or low temperatures will kill a plant. Always monitor your grow room temperature with a thermostat or thermometer to ensure plant health. Air temperature also effects humidity. Warmer air can hold more water vapor than colder air. A hygrometer will measure relative humidity in your grow area.
How Much Do You Need?
The general rule of thumb is 4 BTU per watt. If you are running a HPS light system its always a good idea to increase this by 25% to 5 BTU per watt. For example, if you are running a 1000 watt grow light you would want a 5000 BTU ac unit to counteract it. LED lights are sometimes measured in HID equivalent watts so it is important to go by the wattage they actually use instead of this. Consult your manufacturer if you are unsure how much wattage your lights or other equipment use. Once you have added all the wattages of your heat producing systems inside your grow area, you can then calculate how large of an air conditioning unit you need to counteract it. It's always best to round up so that your unit doesn't have to work as hard, and will shut off occasionally as temperature requirements are met.
Mini-split AC units allow the compressor and other parts of the AC unit to be installed outside while the lighter indoor portion of the unit can be installed where cool air is needed. These are the most popular air conditioning type of unit and can be installed in both grow rooms and tents with some custom mounting. More and more of these type of units are being installed in medium to larger grow rooms that need retrofitting for more air conditioning. These units are usually ductless as air flows directly from the outside portion of the unit to the indoor portion. They are meant to cool a single space much like a traditional wall mount unit might.
Ceiling mount AC units take advantage of ceiling space in order to maximize floor space and remain out of the way. These types of air conditioners are often found in larger grow rooms. Units are meant to be mounted indoors and often will tie into existing duct work. Some can be combined with air handlers for added efficiency and air exchange. They often have the highest energy requirements and may require professional installation.
Portable AC units can typically be carried or rolled into place as needed. They are the most common AC unit found in small to medium sized grow rooms. Units are portable and easily moved to where cooling is needed. Most need to be able to exhaust hot air outside the grow room or building in order to maintain temperature which means that they will most likely need to be placed near exterior walls or windows. Some larger units may require a drain line for condensation removal from the unit. Some larger units may be installed outdoors, always consult the owner's manual for installation instructions.
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