Whether growing in a closed greenhouse, semi-closed greenhouse, or completely indoors, dehumidification is a primary method to increase efficiency, reduce costs and boost the yield and quality of your crop.
In order to simplify the sometimes-daunting task of purchasing new equipment, we put together a checklist of the top factors to consider when shopping for a dehumidifier.
First and foremost, dehumidifiers are there to reduce relative humidity. This is done by removing water vapor from the air, effectively maintaining a humidity range that doesn’t reach the dew point. In this manner the water vapor contained in the air never appears as liquid water.
There are many reasons to keep moisture in check. When water condenses in the greenhouse, diseases such as botrytis and downy mildew begin to pop up. If water never condenses, these fungi cannot exist, even if their spores are present.
The second reason is that, just like temperature and radiation, plants have different preferred ranges of relative humidity. Unless you are a tropical fruit grower, chances are your crops would enjoy moderate humidity, aiding them in growing faster, larger and of better quality.
To better understand how humidity works, head over to our article explaining the dew point – “Humidity – It’s All About the Dew Point”
An effective agricultural dehumidifier needs to operate optimally in the conditions maintained in a grow setting. Therefore, a temperature range of 18-24Co and relative humidity of around 80% should be the levels at which a dehumidifier maximizes its water removal capacity.
Under these conditions, DryGair removes 45 liters per hour, consuming only 10kWh.
Energy consumption should be the next piece of information acquired. Modern agriculture strives to reduce inputs. In some cases, this is anchored in regulations, to which farmers must adhere. Any new gear introduced to a growing area should be able to assist in reducing the cost of growing, as well as the environmental footprint.
For more information on energy savings check out our “6 Tips to Increase Greenhouse Energy Efficiency”
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The most basic aspect of any type of indoor cultivation, is temperature control. When looking for dehumidification solutions, the big picture needs to remain in the forefront.
Optimally, the new machinery will assist in additional tasks beyond that for which it is obtained. In this case, make sure to note the benefits, or negative side-effects which may occur during operation.
A good dehumidifier will allow you to gain extra control over the temperature in your growing space. Temperature is dynamic, and therefore, so should your dehumidification machinery. As most of the time heating is necessary, it should be able to boost heating efforts. Though it should not heat out of control, as during warm summer days you may find yourself investing energy in trying to cool things down.
These systems are already treating and moving air. So, the best machines may be able to help in cooling as well, transforming from simple water removal, to a one stop air control unit.
DryGair emits minimal heat, though may be controlled to boost temperatures by a few degrees by effectively closing and insulating the grow space. Additionally, DryGair may come equipped with integrated heating and cooling, further reducing the need for extra equipment and fuels.
Airflow is one of the leading buzz words in greenhouse cultivation, though it is not always fully understood.
The pattern in which air travels is critical in a closed growing space. So much effort is poured into maintaining the correct environment, but if the air does not flow equally and harmonically throughout the entire operation, these efforts may be in vain.
As mentioned above, dehumidifiers already handle air. So, the right dehumidifier should effectively spread the optimal growing environment throughout the entire space, to all corners. If this is not done correctly, humidity related diseases will continue to appear in the more humid parts, and consequently travel around, infecting additional plants. The crops in these sections will also underperform, as they are still subjected to suboptimal conditions.
Air circulation isn’t always intuitive, a more in-depth explanation may be found here – “Why Air Circulation is a Key Factor”
DryGair is equipped with a patent protected, agricultural minded canopy which distributes air equally in all directions, creating uniform climate conditions over large areas.
Bringing in any equipment which treats air, without taking these factors into consideration, will end up performing poorly, so make sure to invest wisely.