There are three main reasons why it’s important to keep you grow room well-ventilated: it reduces heat, it controls humidity and enhances the plants’ intake of carbon dioxide.
Let’s discuss these three main reasons first before we jump to other benefits of keeping your grow room properly ventilated.
You might be thinking: where in the world does heat in a grow room come from?
Apart from exothermic action by the plants themselves, much of the heat that you encounter when you check the temperature of your grow room comes from the artificial lighting.
We know; grow lights have come a long way since the 1980s and we now have ultra-efficient LED grow light assemblies that deliver powerful lighting with less power.
However, this doesn’t mean that these lights do not emit any heat.
On the contrary, a single LED bulb running with just ten watts of AC power can generate a lot of heat.
Now imagine an LED grow light that promises to deliver the equivalent of 1000 watts of light as it amplifies its light efficiently to keep power costs down.
That’s a lot of heat if you ask us. Unlike animals and humans, fluctuations in ambient temperature can have a drastic effect on plants, so much so that the final harvest weight can suffer, or in between planting and harvesting, your crops may suffer from bouts of disease.
And again, while the heat generated by your grow lights may not seem like much to you, the heat is enough to merit the proper ventilation of the grow room itself.
Humidity in a nutshell is the amount of water or moisture that is available in the air at any one time.
Plants need humidity to grow normally. However, if there is excess humidity, the environment becomes less than ideal for growing plants.
Where does the humidity come from? Apart from the natural humidity of the room, crops also release moisture into the air.
And since grow rooms are by nature cramped and enclosed, moisture retention can be alarmingly high at times.
Proper ventilation removes the excess water from the air and creates balance – something that your plants will surely love.
One of the great things about plants is they literally exude oxygen after taking in carbon dioxide.
That is why forests are called the Earth’s lungs, because they are in charge of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and in return, they release oxygen.
In an enclosed setup such as a grow room, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air can run alarmingly low after a period of time.
The only way to replenish CO2 naturally is by ventilating. Air from the outside contains generous amounts of CO2, which would make your plants bloom.
Insufficient CO2 can affect growth and even the fruiting of plants, so keep this in mind if you haven’t installed proper ventilation yet in your grow room and have been leaving your crops mostly unattended.
So those are the three main reasons why a grow room should be ventilated.
And if you’re still not convinced, here are some more benefits/reasons for you to install ventilation the soonest possible time:
This might come as a surprise to many of you, but proper ventilation does ward off pests and many kinds of diseases.
This is mostly associated with the humidity of the plants’ immediate environment.
When things are humid and mostly damp, you are going to attract insect pests and fungus, both of which would require immediate intervention and more time lost on your side as the hydroponics grower.
This applies to conventional farming setups in greenhouses, too. If there’s too much humidity, the chances of attracting a plague upon your plants can be quite high.
It might sound strange, but wind stress is one of the physical stresses that is actually good for plants.
When you have a ventilation system installed, there’s going to be this constant breeze inside the grow room, which would simulate the natural breeze and wind conditions in an outdoor setup.
Why is this important? Wind stress is a positive thing for plants because they helps strengthen the physical structure of the plant.
Stems that are buffeted by light winds will develop more efficiently, giving you sturdier and more robust plants at the end of the harvesting season.
The simplest way to introduce ventilation to a grow room is by adding oscillating fans and by making sure that there are windows open.
Oscillating fans not only reduce heat by circulating air, they also provide the wind stress we just talked about, which would help make your plants sturdier.
Another option would be to mount ventilation fans on a wall or window cavity. There would still be some wind stress, but not so much.
On the upside, heat dissipation will be more controlled and more efficient.
To strike a balance between ventilation that provides wind stress and ventilation the focuses on the removal of heat, why not combine both types of ventilation? That way, you will be able to get the best of both worlds.
Now, just remember when installing your oscillating fans, don’t point the powerful blades directly at your plants.
There is no need for that. The slight wind stress will still be present if you point your fans away from the plants. Your plants just need a slight nudging, not a colossal push to develop those sturdy stems.
Failure to follow these pointers can cause the opposite of what we are trying to achieve: your crops may inadvertently suffer from what we call wind burn, and you will end up with lopsided crops instead of sturdy ones. If you have a large grow room, it would be a good idea to have more than one oscillating fan. Remember to measure the ambient temperature too, to make sure that you are on the right track.