The marijuana industry is one of the hottest markets in the country and possibly North America. U.S. sales were estimated at $10.4billion in 2018, and the global market is expected to hit over $66 billion by the end of 2025. If you’re new to the industry or looking to improve or expand your marijuana grow operation, it’s essential to have the right HVAC system to compete.
Whether it’s medical-grade or recreational marijuana,quality flower production begins with using the right tools. An HVAC system controls the grow room’s entire cultivation cycle and determines whether your products are safe for consumption. It helps keep plants in the optimal temperature for healthy growth without too much moisture that leads to mold and bacteria growth. A marijuana grow operation requires a specialized HVAC system to handle the heat, humidity, moisture, and odor from cannabis cultivation.
Marijuana is like all plants—It needs the right temperature for the best performance. The system can vary depending on where your facility is located. For example, businesses in Texas must worry about keeping rooms cool most of the year, and in Massachusetts, it needs to consider heating needs during the fall, winter, and spring months. Plus, if the facility is close to the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean, those atmospheric conditions need to be taken into consideration.
Additionally, temperature and humidity needs change during your plant’s life cycle. For example, some conditions can create microenvironments,causing leaves to overlap, and creating an atmosphere indicative of mold spores.
If that wasn’t enough to consider, grow room operations use heat lamps to cultivate cannabis plants. As you may guess, these lights put out massive amounts of heat and can make it difficult to control the temperature throughout the facility. A specialized HVAC system can take this into account and provide room by room and area centered heating controls to make sure all areas get adequate heating or cooling, depending on the plant’s needs.
Your marijuana grow operation needs heat, light, and humidity to provide the ultimate environment for growth. At the same time, too much moisture can have the opposite effect by causing moisture buildup and mold, which is not only dangerous for cannabis consumption but will hurt your bottom line when your entire yield goes into the incinerator.
Traditional HVAC systems can have trouble with the humidity needs of marijuana, which can be as much as 70% at times. These regular changes are also hard on regular systems that are designed to vary by season, rather than the growing cycle.
According to Chip Seidel, a channel manager for Anden explains,
“These facilities demand extremely tight control of relative humidity . . . The combination of continuous watering of plants and the sheer physical size in cubic feet of many of the operations requires dehumidifiers with commercial-grade componentry and capacities.”
Another way to prevent mold and mildew is withairflow. The HVAC should create light breeze-like conditions throughout the facility.
Whether you love it or hate it, the truth is, cannabis plants produce a strong odor that many people consider noxious. Keeping in tune with that problem, many states and local districts that permit marijuana grow operations also have strict regulations regarding these aromas.
Many small operations use high-quality charcoal filters combined with industrial exhaust fans to reduce the odor through neutralization. However, these steps won’t remove 100% of the scent.
According to Dr. Laura Haupert, a director of Research and development at OMI Industries, a company that focuses on industrial odors, “Keepin mind that, no matter what, there’s no odor control out there that’s going to be 100%.”
As you may guess, the cost of keeping your marijuana grow operation’s environment perfectly in sync can be expensive. Another consideration is state and local energy consumption regulations that may require you to find ways to reduce use. By working with an HVAC specialist, you can work to find a happy medium between costs and efficiency.
One option that can help lower the price of operating massive HVAC controls is using alternative energy sources like solar panels. Along with reducing costs, these system additions may improve the overall function and increase efficiency.
These are the major points for finding the right system for your marijuana grow operation. Here are a few more questions to consider when choosing a contractor and brand,
· What is the plan if my system stops working?
· Why can’t I reduce costs by circulating air from outside my facility?
· How do my cultivation methods affect the HVAC system?
· Can my HVAC be integrated with other systems?
· Is there a way to automate the environmental controls?
· How environmentally friendly is the system?
· Is there a light system that works better for the HVAC needs?
You don’t have to be a cultivation specialist to grow quality cannabis, but you do need to have the right HVAC system. Herbal Cure’slead cultivation technician, Don Newman, explains it best,
“At the end of the day, people often try to put their own spin on it, create their own version of cannabis cultivation and claim itas their own . . . But really, if you just follow basic guidelines, you’re going to have a successful run, and you’re going to be a great grower.”
Hartzell Heat and Air have over 37 years of experience servicing and solving commercial and industrial environmental issues. Contact us today for questions or to schedule an appointment to evaluate your marijuana grow operation and help find the right HVAC system keep prized plants healthy and your customers happy.