The number one reason for climate control failure in an indoor grow facility is inadequately planned dehumidification. To ensure your humidity control system is selected with enough capacity, we need to take a deeper dive into your desired setpoints for each stage of growth.

The key to getting this right is to understand the fundamentals of the relationship between temperature and humidity. As temperature increases, humidity decreases, and vice versa.

A critical climate control measurement and possibly the most important metric in a grow room is VPD, Vapor Pressure Deficit. VPD is the difference between how much moisture is in the air vs. how much moisture the air can hold.

Having equipment specialized for efficient temperature control, combined with an independent dehumidification system optimized for grow conditions, is the most efficient way to achieve an optimal VPD for maximum yields.

As it relates to dehumidification, the two primary technologies currently used in cannabis cultivation are Refrigerant and Desiccant. Each has their strengths and weaknesses depending on the climate a grower is trying to keep.

Refrigerant Based Dehumidifier

Refrigerant based dehumidifiers have been the standard in the cannabis industry for years. When broken down to their base operating principles, they are an Air Conditioning unit in a box. The compressor lowers heat from refrigerant and flows the refrigerant through an evaporator. An evaporator condenses water due to the low temperature of the refrigerant and the water is drained away. A fan consistently pushes air with high humidity across the evaporator. The condensate can be collected and drained to a collection tank for reuse while the air returns to the grow room dry and slightly warmer with the waste heat from the power consumed during this process.

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are rated to perform around 80°F and 60% relative humidity. The PPD, pints per day, ratings on most available refrigerant based dehumidifiers are based on those numbers. If the temperature or humidity go below the rated specification the amount of water removed can drop dramatically. When the temperature drops from 80F and 60% RH to 70F and 50% RH, you will realize a reduction in capacity of about 40% on average. Most flower and veg spaces are kept near the 80/60 level so the reduction in capacity is not an issue. If you, as a grower, want improvement in your humidity levels, we recommend increasing the temperature to lower humidity and improve your dehumidifiers performance.

Desiccant Based Dehumidifier

Desiccant pouches are commonly used in packaged food to aid in preservation. A desiccant dehumidifier has a similar medium that collects water from the air as dry air comes out the other side. The desiccant is then transferred to another air stream where the moisture is rejected outside.

The best use for desiccant dehumidifiers are in spaces that require lower temperatures. While refrigerant dehumidifiers drop by roughly 40% when temps drop from 80F to 70F, and humidity from 60% to 50% RH, Desiccant based units will typically only drop by 18%. That makes these ideal for dry rooms which typically have temperatures and humidities in the lower 60s. Also many growers prefer lower temperatures later in the flowering process, making desiccant dehumidifiers a serious consideration.

Until the release of the new EasyDry dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers have been overpriced and often too dimensionally large to fit a grow room. EasyDry dehumidifiers are compact to fit any space a more traditional refrigerant based model would fit, and can be ceiling suspended, all within a reasonable price range.

Every commercial cannabis facility has unique needs and challenges to create the preferred climate for the grower. Easy Roots is a team of engineers that are able to help design a facility to take on those challenges and deliver a unique solution. Reach out to us to provide a complete climate control solution for your upcoming grow.

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