Airtek Indoor Air Solutions, an Alliance Environmental Group company, collaborates with MSE Environmental Regional Manager, Erik Lundgaard to Discuss:
THE IMPORTANCE OF AIR BALANCING IN GROW HOUSES
Many residential and commercial forced air duct systems are typically not properly engineered or balanced to distribute air where it is needed; causing some rooms and/or spaces to become too hot or too cold. Airflow balancing systematically moves air around to increase comfort level for its occupants, plants, and to increase a HVAC (Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning) system’s efficiency.
Though airflow balancing was typically performed only on large commercial buildings, today this precision adjustment of airflow can be achieved in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. In an interview with MSE Environmental Regional Manager, Erik Lundgaard, we discussed why growers should be concerned about the proper management of their HVAC systems:
Q: For those who are not familiar with the term and concept of “Air Balancing,” what is it?
A: Air balancing is actually a simple concept, it involves balancing airflow exchanges and the movement of air from the interior to exterior environments; this is typically done using HVAC mechanical systems.
Q: Why is proper Air Balancing so important for grow house facilities?
A: Since most marijuana cultivation facilities move into a pre-existing facility where the HVAC mechanical system was used for an office or warehouse, the air balancing configuration for these facilities were used for different air flow protocols. Setting up new airflow protocols, where the movement of air enters and exits engineered controlled environments, will give you the best crop while farming in indoor environments.
Q: What are signs that may inform a grower that his/her facility is having an Air Balancing issue?
A: Typically, when HVAC air balancing issues occur, the grower did not properly configure the building envelope, HVAC system and controlled environments prior to starting a crop. The negative outcome of that would be not enough air movement or exchanges to certain environments, the grower isn’t monitoring carbon dioxide levels, and the environments have too much humidity; making temperatures unsuitable for growth.
Q: How do the seasons effect the balance of air in grow facilities?
A: Seasons affect outdoor and indoor levels of air temperatures and humidity. Depending on how your building envelope breathes and is sealed, HVAC and heating systems will need to be used to maintain the ideal environment; and counter balance Mother Nature by using mechanical dehumidification and other tools.
Q: What is the best way to remedy the improper Air Balancing?
A: The best way to remedy an air balancing issue is to start with the goal you want to achieve for each environment and reverse engineer all other factors to get you the result you want. This typically involves an HVAC consultant, industrial hygiene consultant and mechanical contractor to look at your building as a system and create optimal conditions for growth.
Q: How often should a grow house facility balance their air?
A: Each environment within a cultivation facility will call for different airflows, especially if it is a large facility. The air balancing for each stage of growth will call for different air exchanges, temperatures, humidity, CO2 levels etc.
Q: What other suggestions and/or recommendations would you give to a grower regarding the importance of Air Balancing?
A: We recommend pre-planning prior to farming in a structure. There are certain “must haves” for cultivating a crop to produce a result; “winging it” because a grower thinks a certain structure will work can backfire. Air Balancing the indoor environment for plants to grow is a science and since Mother Nature cannot help you with the indoor environment, the grower needs to do their research and homework prior to planting the first seed.
Airtek Indoor Air Solutions, MSE Environmental, and Authority HVAC are industry leaders, focused on helping grow houses conform to the highest professional standards, set forth by the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association). The NADCA has strict standards relating to equipment, cleaning procedures and ethical behavior.
For a professional evaluation of your HVAC system, call Airtek Indoor Air Solutions at 1-877-858-6213 for a free quote today.