Whether you're growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, or cannabis - odors are inevitable.
It's important to understand the impact that your plants have on the surrounding environment to avoid complaints and potential growing complications.
Fruits such as strawberries are lighter in scent while the smell of basil is relatively strong and cannabis odors are known for being overpowering. By the way, the potent smell of cannabis is due to terpenes, oil-producing compounds that play a major role in psychotropic effects via complex interactions with cannabinoids.
With grow room odor control, you're not only protecting yourself from aroma-related issues but are also preventing insect and pest infestation.
For growers dealing with strongly scented plants, there are a number of things you can do to control grow room odor.
Generally speaking, growers use a carbon can filter with a mounted inline fan to control odors. The issue with can filters is that the pores in the carbon filter fill up so quickly with dust and the other particulate that growers have to frequently (every 2-3 months) change the filters to ensure odors don't escape.
However, there are grow room air filtration systems that are equipped with a HEPA pre-filter and a shortened bag filter to make room for more activated carbon (up to 80lbs).
HEPA pre-filters remove 99.97% of particulate down to .3 micron meaning they catch all of the particulate and dust before it reaches the carbon filter resulting in maximum odor control for a longer period of time.
It is suggested that these units run 24 hours a day and growers can expect to change filters every 6 months - 1 year giving them 50% more filter life when compared to carbon can filters.
It seems to be common for growers to recommend or use HEPA because of its reputation for being highly effective and medical-grade.
While it's true that HEPA air filters are extremely efficient in capturing particulate, mold, dust, etc. they do not contain carbon and are not as beneficial in controlling smells for applications where grow room odor control is a top priority.
Used widely by home growers, odor neutralizers cover a complete range of products to cover up smells without actually getting rid of them.
An odor neutralizer can fall in the range of cheap air fresheners to oils or gels. They aren't used in the actual growing area because of the effects they will have on the cannabis and are placed in boarding/living areas (which is why they are common to home growers).
Now that we've covered the most common and cost-efficient ways to control grow room odors, consider this, organic and home growing trends have opened the door for a market of new and continually expanding technology.
Here are a couple of grow room solutions to keep an eye on.
Sealed grow rooms are becoming extremely popular amongst commercial growers because of their resourcefulness but present high costs and serious challenges when it comes to humidity and overheating.
Biofilters have been used as a solution to the livestock industry for years and are made up of organic materials such as wood chips that are implanted with a type of bacteria that naturally consumes fragrant molecules. Biofilters are currently being tested by Tantalus Labs to evaluate how the bacteria processes terpenes.