Do You Need a Dehumidifier for Hydroponic Grow Rooms and Greenhouses?
Hydroponic farming, whether in a greenhouse, or indoor grow room, generates large amounts of moisture. When gone unchecked, high humidity can damage the plants, cause diseases and molds, and slow down their development. Using a dehumidifier, designed for hydroponic cultivation, is the best method to ensure full humidity control and optimize growing conditions.
Why Is Humidity a Problem in Hydroponic Greenhouses and Grow Rooms?
High humidity is a common issue in closed environment agriculture and indoor growing, such as greenhouses, grow rooms and grow tents. Plants transpire water vapor as a part of their growth process, so without treatment, high relative humidity is inevitable. This is true for any type of cultivation, whether soil-based, or hydroponic.
However, hydroponic farms tend to be even more problematic in terms of humidity, due to a couple reasons.
First, is the fact that most hydroponic grow facilities include powerful grow lights. Lights contribute to higher amounts of moisture. Both the heat they generate, and the radiation, cause plants to transpire at a higher rate. Hydroponic growers should take this into consideration, as it often leads to much higher humidity levels.
Second, as hydroponic systems are based on water, there’s greater potential for evaporation, further increasing relative humidity. The presence of water in a grow space can be detrimental. Some diseases, such as botrytis, require free water in order to develop.
Hydroponic systems don’t necessarily increase the risk of fungal diseases and mildews if operated correctly. But the added danger of water in the space makes humidity control even more important, to ensure you avoid these diseases.
Molds and diseases aren’t the only problem with high humidity. When conditions are humid, it makes it difficult, or even impossible, for plants to transpire, which is crucial for development. So, controlling humidity, and providing optimal VPD (vapor pressure deficit) levels, stimulates growth, increasing yields and improving quality.
How to Control Humidity in Hydroponic Farms
The best way to control humidity in any horticultural environment is with dehumidification. Dehumidifiers are the only solution to humidity that can provide full coverage, at all times, and are the most effective at this task.
Dehumidifiers are also much more efficient than alternatives. They’re designed specifically for the task of removing moisture in growing environments, so they’re highly efficient at it.
How Hydroponic Dehumidifiers Work
Dehumidifiers such as DryGair are based on condensation. They use heat exchangers to create condensation inside the unit, removing excess moisture from the air. The water is than drained and can be reused.
This process is similar to what happens in an air conditioner, which also condenses and removes water. However, greenhouse and grow room dehumidifiers are designed specifically for this task, rather than cooling. So they’re much more efficient in terms of energy.
If you were to control humidity with air conditioning or HVAC, it would take a lot more energy. It would also require much larger systems to be able to handle the massive amounts of humidity.
A DG-12, for example, is capable of removing 45 liters per hour (2282 pints per day) running on only 10 kW. In terms of energy efficiency, that comes out to 4.5 liters per kWh, which is highly efficient compared to alternatives.
Additional Benefits of Dehumidifiers for Hydroponics
Adding dehumidification to your hydroponic farm offers several added benefits.
At its core, controlling humidity without ventilation can change the entire operation protocol. It’s no longer necessary to exchange air with the outdoors. So, growers can control every climate parameter from inside, creating and maintaining more ideal climate conditions. Avoiding ventilation lets you retain CO2, as well as manage odor and light pollution, which may be important in cannabis cultivation.
The improved insulation and heat retention, made possible with dehumidifiers, can save as much as 50% on energy, compared to alternatives.
DryGair dehumidifiers come with an added tool – air circulation. This is a patented mechanism that circulates air in all directions, 360°, ensuring uniform climate conditions all around the greenhouse or grow room. Using air circulation to prevent humid microclimates is crucial in disease prevention as well. It’s enough for one plant to develop mold for the disease to spread throughout the growing facility.
DG dehumidifiers come in a number of models, including portable dehumidifiers, such as the DG-X. The different size dehumidifiers make the DG solution fit for any sized grow, and able to handle any number of plants. The main difference between units is their extraction rate, meaning pints of moisture removal. These benefits make DryGair the best dehumidifier for hydroponics, currently on the market.
Interested in humidity control solutions tailored to your grow? Contact us!