CCH2O Crop Protection Bulletin, Grow Room Air Purification
by: Erik Biksa
Promoting Healthy Air, Indoor Farming
Grow room air purification promotes healthier crops and a healthier working environment. Ideal grow room air smells clean and is free of dust, spores, odors and other particulates. Airborne impurities should be eliminated when growing valuable crops indoors or in modern greenhouse environments. Pathogen outbreaks like powdery mildew can have serious consequences for crops and growers.
Advantages of Grow Room Air Purification
- Spores that cause crop diseases like powdery mildew (white mold) and botrytis (grey mold) are often present in outside air. Seasonal changes outdoors often mean an increase in disease pressures for crops, even when grown indoors or in a controlled environment. These spores have a way of finding their way indoors, whether in the air or on people–sometimes they are already present in young crop transplants. Good grow room air purification helps to reduce populations of spores in the air within the growing environment and prevents the spread of crop infections.
- Plants grow healthier in clean air. Just like you, plants like clean air to breathe. While yes, they do prefer theirs higher in CO2, they do not like particulates that clog up their tiny openings in the leaves for gas exchange called “stomata” or stomates, if you prefer. Grow room air purification keeps these openings clean and exchanging more gases freely–think of a performance air filter in a combustion engine: the more freely it breathes, the more it can do.
- Tiny insects, like spider mites, while very small in size can do a tremendous amount of damage to crops in both economic value and overall yields and growth rates. These tiny insects like to float around in breezes and find their way to new hosts (plants) to infest via air movement. Crop death from above; grow room air purification helps to trap and eliminate tiny problems before they become big ones.
The majority of indoor growers are familiar with grow room air purification in the context of eliminating or managing unwanted odors. Heavy and bulky activated carbon filters have long been the go-to, while they are not without some significant drawbacks for use in grow room air purification.
Limitations of Activated Carbon Grow Room Air Purification
- As humidity levels in the growing environment increase, the effectiveness of activated carbon filtration decreases. Moisture fills the pore spaces in activated carbon quickly; the very same pore spaces you are counting on to trap and bind unwanted particulates like odors and spores from grow room air.
- Activated carbon filters have a recommended CFM (cubic feet per minute) of fan rating to be effective. In larger installations, this means multiple fans and filters which are cumbersome to mount up high (where they are effective) and consume power while generating a lot of noise in a closed environment.
- Activated carbon filters and prefilters require maintenance and replacement. They are easily forgotten about until it’s too late, ie problems with odors or foliar diseases have begun to occur.
Professional Grow Room Air Sanitation
Indoor farming at scale means doing some things differently versus conventional sized practices. What you may have been able to get away with at a residential-sized scale isn’t necessarily going to cut it for multiple grow rooms many times that size–especially with a large investment of time and money at stake.
Hospitals, food handlers, and professional laboratories have long understood the importance of air sanitization, as well as recognizing the challenge of providing effective coverage on larger industrial-sized scales.
Current Culture H2O, your leading growing solutions provider, identified the gap between what professional level growers need for grow room air purification and what has traditionally been available in the past, ie “what size carbon filter and how many do you need–want fans for those?”
After much searching and exhaustive trialing, we are pleased to offer the ClensAir 6 Stage Air Sanitization Systems. These super-efficient air sanitization systems treat up 10,000 cubic feet per hour from a single, lightweight, reliable, and compact unit.
ClensAir™ is a Next Generation Air Purification technology that utilizes the latest UV based photocatalytic disinfecting process combined with advanced media filtration to produce 99.98% pure air. It uses a 6-layer purification process to ensure all microorganisms, VOCs, airborne mold, and pathogens are eliminated.
ClensAir systems are easy to install, operate quietly and take up a minimum of space in growing areas, locker rooms, supply areas, trimming rooms and other places in a growing facility where air quality counts.
For more information on ClensAir grow room air purification systems or for a custom solutions plan for your indoor farming facility, please contact Sales@cch2o.com