Using dehumidifiers in cannabis grow operations can stimulate and optimize plant growth, prevent diseases and molds, save energy, and create homogeneous conditions for uniform bud development, ensuring a healthier and more profitable yield.
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Like all plants, cannabis constantly transpires water vapor. In a closed space, with powerful grow lights, transpiration is turned up even more. The heat generated by the lights, as well as the radiation, both work to make the plants release massive amounts of water.
Without proper control over humidity, any closed grow space will inevitably be extremely humid, easily reaching 100% relative humidity.
High humidity leads to various problems. It inhibits growth and bud development and leads to numerous diseases and molds. Realistically, it’s just not possible to grow cannabis for commercial or medical use in high-humidity environments.
Using a dehumidifier is a surefire way to keep humidity in check. But there are many ways in which adding a dehumidifier to your space can improve your grow, as well as your bottom line.
4 Main Reasons to Use Dehumidifiers in Your Cannabis Grow Op
1. Stimulate and Optimize Growth
Humidity has a major impact on plants’ ability to grow. In order to develop, the plant needs to take in and break down nutrients. The nutrients, which are found in the soil, are transported through the plant through the water it sucks in through the roots.
However, the ability to take in water relies on the ability to transpire water. Simply put, plants are like straws. Water released from the stomata on the leaves creates the force that sucks up water from the soil.
In high humidity, plants can’t transpire. There simply isn’t “room” in the air for more vapor, so the water in the plant has nowhere to go. So, when conditions are too humid, the plants can’t take in nutrients. Of course, this inhibits growth and development.
By providing ideal humidity levels, you’re basically allowing the plant to maximize its nutrient intake. This stimulates the plant to grow faster, larger, stronger, and healthier.
2. Prevent Diseases and Molds
High humidity doesn’t just lead to inefficient growth. It’s also a catalyst for some of the most common and devastating diseases in cannabis cultivation, including bud rot (botrytis) and powdery mildew, among others.
Most fungal diseases require high humidity in order to develop. It’s enough for even one plant to experience high humidity for them to develop and subsequently spread throughout the space, infecting more plants.
When it comes to most other crops, growers use a mix of environmental controls and fungicidal sprays to prevent or reduce outbreaks. However, when it comes to cannabis, using sprays isn’t always a viable option. In many cases, using these substances is prohibited in commercial cultivation, both for medical and recreational purposes.
The regulations surrounding cannabis make things even more difficult for growers, as even a minor presence of mold can lead to buds being disqualified from distribution or further processing.
So, to grow healthy buds, that uphold regulations, many growers have no choice but to invest in humidity control to prevent diseases and mildews.
3. Save Energy
Energy is one of the biggest expenses in cannabis cultivation. Mostly due to heating/cooling and running powerful grow lights for extensive periods. However, humidity contributes a lot to the overall energy consumption. More specifically, it’s the way you control humidity that has a major impact on energy.
Most growers, that don’t use dehumidifiers, use HVAC systems to control humidity. Especially when it comes to indoor grows. But controlling humidity with HVAC has several disadvantages and leads to much higher energy expenses.
HVAC systems are relatively inefficient at reducing humidity. While they do extract some water from the air, like any other air conditioning system, they do so as a side-effect. It’s not their main function, so they’re simply not optimized for the task. Gallon per gallon, HVAC’s efficiency at reducing humidity is much lower than a dedicated dehumidifier, such as DryGair.
Furthermore, to continuously extract water from the air, the HVAC needs to run constantly, even if temperatures are already perfect. That means alternating between heating and cooling just to keep the extraction going, driving costs up significantly.
Adding a dehumidifier lets you separate humidity control from your temperature controllers. So you gain more control over your environment, and can better optimize your protocols to provide the best conditions and save energy simultaneously.
4. Create Homogeneous Conditions and Grow Uniform Buds
Not all dehumidifiers are equal. While most units simply dehumidify the air surrounding them, some manufacturers take things a step further. DryGair dehumidifiers, for example, come equipped with a unique air circulation module. This additional detail ensures that the treated air is blown forcefully in all directions, to allow it to reach all corners of the space.
This simple, yet effective mechanism creates homogeneous conditions everywhere in the grow room or greenhouse. So all plants experience the same temperature and relative humidity levels, no matter where they’re located.
This is incredibly important in a dehumidifier. As mentioned, it’s enough for one plant to experience humid conditions for a mildew outbreak to occur.
Besides being an integral part of disease prevention, a uniform climate also helps unify bud growth and development. So you can ensure that your entire harvest is homogeneous, in terms of quality, size, and cannabinoid concentrations.