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Why a Strong Commercial Cannabis Ventilation Automation Strategy Is Important to Production

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Shayne Taker

Ventilation plays a vital role in ensuring plants are strong and healthy. For commercial cannabis growers, it’s also key to producing better quality and higher yields. Automating commercial cannabis ventilation takes the guesswork out of indoor grows and optimizes crop development at every stage. But it takes the right strategy to truly succeed.

Why Is Ventilation so Important? 

Though indoor-grown cannabis plants don’t experience many of the environmental stressors their outdoor cousins face, artificial environments present their own challenges. Chief among these is maintaining proper ventilation.

What ventilation does for indoor grows:

  • Controls carbon dioxide. Plants require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, but plants grown indoors gradually use this gas up, which limits growth. Ventilating indoor grows brings fresh air into the grow area, resulting in higher carbon dioxide levels, which boost plant growth and increase yields. 
  • Controls humidity. Indoor growing systems need to control moisture in the air to encourage healthy growth and prevent diseases or pests that thrive in humid environments. 
  • Creates artificial stress. Stems of plants grown outdoors are inevitably stronger, especially in windy areas, because moving air fortifies plant stems. Ventilation can mimic that stress and produce plants that bear heavier flowers.
  • Regulates air pressure. Controlling air pressure ensures air flows optimally through the facility. Negative pressure areas allow growers to control temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide more easily. 
  • Removes excess heat. Even LED lights emit heat, and even slight temperature variations affect the health of cannabis plants. Ventilation prevents plants from suffering heat-related stress. 


Automating commercial cannabis ventilation ensures correct airflow within growing facilities and promotes strong, healthy plants. 

Automating Commercial Cannabis Ventilation 

Successful grow facilities capitalize on smart automation to control ventilation. This means integrating IoT technology and smart facilities management platforms to continually adjust equipment for optimal conditions. Your strategy should take into account:

Airflow

Properly automated airflow keeps temperatures and humidity within acceptable ranges, which keeps plants healthy and disease-free. Fans should regulate airflow to allow a fresh breeze to blow steadily through the grow area, ideally just above the tops of the plants. However, fans shouldn’t blow directly across the plants, as this may cause damage. 

Ventilation should bring fresh air into the grow area toward the bottom of the room. As the grow lights heat the air, it rises through the plants. This allows plants to effectively utilize carbon dioxide. Using multiple fans that blow from different directions helps mix the air to prevent dead spots. 

Intake Fans

Intake fans blow cooler, fresh air into a room, lowering temperatures and making exhaust fans work less hard. This fresh air will normally come in from inlets along the bottom of the room, pumped in via fans similar to those that extract hot air. However, these fans should ideally only have a quarter of the power that exhaust fans provide. Automating intake fans to create an ideal airflow ensures plants receive a constant supply of carbon dioxide. 

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans remove hot air from grow areas to regulate air temperature. If not properly vented out of the grow area, this hot air can cause problems. These include:

  • Bud rot
  • Burned leaves
  • Fungus gnats
  • Root problems
  • Spider mites 
  • White powdery mildew

Automated exhaust fans ensure conditions stay within your desired parameters and prevent damage. 

Filtration

Ventilation systems rely on air filters to remove particulates like pollen, fungal spores, or other contaminants. While the filters themselves are not automated, air quality monitoring devices that detect and quantify air pollutants can help you determine whether your filters are working and if they need to be replaced.

Sensors & Software for Cannabis Cultivation 

Intelligent automation systems continuously monitor and control commercial cannabis ventilation and other vital elements of your operation to maintain ideal grow conditions. But the benefits go far beyond ventilation. 

A smart building platform:

A cutting-edge platform, like onPoint, allows you to easily manage operations and make smarter decisions about your building, your crops, and your business. This is the future of commercial cannabis grow facilities, and it is possible today.

Buildings IOT offers state-of-the-art solutions for automating commercial cannabis ventilation and transforming your grow facility. Contact our team of experts to learn more about what we can do for you.

 

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