Plants need a certain level of humidity to grow and thrive. However, too much humidity can be as detrimental as too little when it comes to a hydroponic system. If excess moisture remains a concern in the grows room, additional measures must be taken to protect the crop.
Growers turn to a dehumidifier to ensure the humidity levels remain at the desired level. However, they must get the right device for their grow space. What do men and women need to consider when looking for a hydroponic dehumidifier?
What is a Dehumidifier and How Does It Function?
Dehumidifiers are devices designed to lower the humidity in an area by removing excess moisture from the air. It does so in much the same way an air conditioner removes humidity from the air, but there are some key differences. For example, an air conditioner returns cool air to the area after processing it. In contrast, dehumidifiers return warm air into the environment. This helps to explain why an air conditioner may not be enough to maintain the correct humidity level in the grow space. Furthermore, air conditioning units don’t allow the user to set the desired humidity level, but most dehumidifiers allow for this today thanks to the humidistat feature found on many of these devices.
Excess humidity in a grow room can lead to a range of issues. For example, too much moisture in the air leads to bud rot, a condition that can spread throughout the crop and leave the grower with nothing to show for their efforts. Changing the environment is one of the key ways to prevent this issue and try to stop the rot from spreading among the plants. Furthermore, high humidity levels in the grow room will prevent the plants from growing and thriving.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level for Plants?
Growers want to know what the ideal humidity level is for their plants. This depends on which stage of growth the plants are currently in. Seedlings and clones require a much higher humidity level than their mature siblings. Growers will want to keep the grow area at between 70 and 75 percent relative humidity. When the plant enters the vegging stage, lower the humidity level to 50 to 70 percent. A final change must be made when the plant enters the flowering stage. Lower the humidity to 40 to 50 percent and keep it in this range until the crop is ready for harvest.
Hydroponic systems benefit greatly from a dehumidifier. However, other measures should be put into place to help control the humidity in this area. Most growers also use a blower or fan to keep moisture in the room at an acceptable level.
Choosing the Right Size Dehumidifier
When comparing dehumidifiers, a grower finds manufacturers size these units according to the amount of water they can remove from the air in a specific period. To calculate the size you need, multiple the gallon capacity of the hydro system by 8 or the gallon to pint figure. Divide the answer by 7 and this will tell you how much moisture needs to be removed by the dehumidifier each day.
(gallon capacity of the hydro system) x 8 (gallon to pint figure) /7=dehumidifier performance
This equation differs from the one that would be used for grow spaces making use of other mediums, as the plants don’t consume all the water present in the reservoir. Doing the calculations with the assumption the plants would drain the reservoir dry would lead to too much water being removed, and this could harm the plants as much as excess moisture would. However, industry insiders recommend making sure all reservoirs remain covered to ensure there is no risk of contamination. Covering the reservoirs also helps to prevent any additional humidity from entering the room.
Why is Humidity Such a Concern in a Hydroponic System?
Plants breathe through a process known as transpiration. As the plant breathes, it releases water and oxygen, and transpiration allows the plant to take up nutrients through its roots.
Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, which helps to explain why thunderstorms are more common during the summer months. However, warm air in a grow room can make it challenging for plants to release water and oxygen into the air. When they cannot expel enough oxygen and water, they find it difficult to take up the nutrients they need from the water. This leads to a slowing in the growth of the plant if growth doesn’t stop completely. As the air in the grow room cools, the water condenses. This leaves the plants susceptible to a whole range of issues, including mold growth. Excess humidity in the growing space also interferes with pollination.
The Benefits of Humidity
A grower will find high humidity levels become more of a concern during the summer months. During the winter months, the air becomes dryer as the thermostat drops. Dry air in the home leads to respiratory issues and more. Fortunately, the hydroponic system serves as a natural humidifier at this time, allowing the occupants of the home to breathe easier. Don’t overlook a hydroponic system simply because you are concerned about humidity levels. The benefits obtained from a hydroponics system far outweigh the drawbacks.
The Dangers of Low Humidity
Low humidity is harmful to plants just as high humidity is. When plants remain in a dry environment, they increase their rate of transpiration to add to the moisture in the air. This process leads to the plant exhausting itself, which can slow or halt growth. Keep this in mind when monitoring humidity levels in the grow space to ensure they remain at the right level.
Growers cannot focus solely on the humidity level in the grow space. With the help of a dehumidifier equipped with a humidistat, they won’t need to. Monitoring humidity levels becomes an easier task, so the grower can turn their focus to other areas of concern. Anything that makes the grower’s life easier is greatly appreciated, so begin looking into dehumidifiers today. This is one purchase you won’t regret when you see how it helps you cultivate an amazing harvest.