Growing medicinal plants indoor comes with a large set of advantages. You’ll have complete control over temperature, humidity, water, and lighting. Such command over your growing space will enable you to boost plant health, optimise yields, and keep pathogens and pests at bay.
However, growing indoors comes with a downside, too. Things can get very, very smelly. You might get used to the pleasant and floral odour, only to be reminded of the intensity of the terpenes when having guests over for dinner. While exposing friends and family to the signature scent of medicinal plants might not be an issue, landlords and nosey neighbours are an entirely different story.
You can keep your indoor growing operation completely private by removing skunk-y smells from the equation. After looking for a solution to this issue for decades, cultivators finally stumbled across a piece of kit that works remarkably well: carbon filters. Find out how these stealthy devices can eradicate obvious aromas and keep your medicinal plants grow clandestine.
Carbon filters play an important role in any indoor cultivation environment. Aside from growing tents, these devices are also found in air conditioning and furnaces where they help to capture contaminants while allowing clean air to pass through.
These filters feature layers of activated carbon, a form of carbon treated to features small, low volume pores. These small holes vastly increase the surface area of the filter, which provides much more space for chemical reactions and filtration to take place.
Carbon filters use the principle of adsorption—the adhesion of molecules to a surface—to scrub the terpene-rich air found in grow tents. Because activated carbon possesses a greatly enhanced surface, it serves as the perfect substance for the job. To put things into perspective, a single gram of active carbon features a surface area of 3,000m²!
To ensure terpenes pass through the filter, growers need to create a vacuum in the grow space. Exhaust fans that match the requirements of the carbon filter in use will drag air through the device and out of the grow tent. Adequate suction will force all of the terpene-rich air through the filter, preventing any from leaking out of the sides of the grow tent.
As the smelly air passes through the filter at the correct speed, the active carbon will capture airborne terpenes while allowing other molecules to pass through, preventing the obvious smell of plants from seeping out of the grow tent. By attaching ducting to the external outlet of the exhaust fan, growers can direct odourless air out of the nearest window or ventilation shaft.
Carbon filters typically suspend just below the ceiling of a grow tent. Use the following step to position them perfectly:
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