Save Money Heating Your Home And Grow Room In Winter WIth This Simple Set-Up By Subcool
Posted by Subcool | 14394 views
A simple grow room set-up can save you cash on your winter heating bills.
(Click to enlarge)
I want to share a simple modification that is easy to do and has made a huge difference in my winter bud rooms. Growing in the winter in colder moist climates can be a challenge and if your rooms not set up properly, one day you might walk into a crop full of powdery mildew or mold. Even if this doesn’t happen lower temps can slow the rate of growth and also prevent nutrient uptake.
Last winter we had trouble keeping the main bud room warm enough without spending a ton on heaters and dehumidifiers. We actually lost a huge Space Queen when it started getting mildew just before it was ready to harvest. It was a sad day when we tossed a massive plant that would have provided lots of medicine to our patients.
Many growers run more than one room, so they can have a area for vegetative growth and another for budding the plants. I run four different rooms and they are all connected to the same large venting system that draws air over the bulbs, keeping them cool and keeping all the rooms at a negative pressure so smells don’t escape. I had an idea to help control the temperatures in the dark period. My idea was to run one light-off cycle with the other one on and pump the heat into the main bud room. This would prevent me running a heater in my bud room and wasting costly energy.
We have a 4x4 room that is used for finishing budding plants and sometimes for finishing seeded plants, as well as starting clones and seeds. It has a switchable ballast, so I can install either Metal Halide for vegetative growth or High Pressure Sodium for budding the plants. I simply run this light on when the other room is in the dark time. The heat created from the 1000 watt bulb is pumped into the main bud room during lights off using a 265 CFM inline fan.
Our main exhaust system is quite elaborate, allowing us to keep running even on the hottest days while maintaining temperatures under 80°F. It was designed using a 1000 CFM 10” Vortex fan feeding into a 1200 CFM 12” Phat Filter. The hood we're going to use to feed the heat is connected to the main hard metal exhaust system using 4” flex. Normally I prefer 6” intakes, but this was a hood we already owned and I always like to use what I have on hand. The flex ducts are less than 5 feet long so the restriction in back pressure is very low and the air flows freely. Never run over 10 feet of 4” flex. It will restrict the amount of air that travels across your bulbs. I simply disconnected the flex lines from the main system and constructed this simple by-pass.
I used the following materials:
3- 4" Collars
2- 4" Adjustable elbows
1- 4" Tee
1- 4" Cap 10" of 4" Flex
4 feet of 4" single wall pipe
1- 177 CFM 4" Vortex inline fan
Large Hose Clamps
Black Duct tape
We use the new fan to pull the heat through the hood across the bulb, keeping it nice and cool. The heat is then blown into the main bud room through a small 4” hole I fitted snugly with 4” metal pipe. We then install the fan, making sure we hit the stud behind the plaster. If you need to, you could build a small bracket to mount to providing some better support. When I constructed this area, I installed lots of support and I have studs every 16”.
This manifold with 4" inline tee allows me to open and relieve the temps if it gets too hot in the main bud room. The heat is then recycled into my office. This is also really helpful on those nice winter days when the temp can rise unexpectedly. Now this is not an automated system, but, this could be hooked to a damper and actuator with thermostat to provide some automatic control. If I have a day that it gets warm, I can simply open this cap allowing the warm air to help warm the rest of the office. If the temp gets too high, the main venting system pulls out the warm air through the main filter, preventing any smells from escaping.
This also prevents a huge temperature swing between dark and light, one of the biggest causes of “Plant Stretch.” When you have a warm bud room that gets cold at night, some strains can stretch as much as three times their height after being placed in 12/12. I have noticed when day/night temperatures remain close almost no stretch occurs.
Today its 26°F outside, and inside the grow area I am at 77°F with 38% relative humidity with zero heaters running and no humidifiers running. The room feels nice and dry when entering and I haven’t seen any signs of mildew or mold anywhere, even the moisture created when I water goes away rapidly. The one thing to watch for is when the season change don’t let your main room heat up and invite unwanted pest.
Give it a shot may save some money and prevent some winter mildew.
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Monday, 31 October 2011
Article by Subcool, on Oct. 31st 2011