How Ductless Mini Splits Can Help Regulate Temperatures in Grow Houses
The legalization of marijuana has been a controversial and highly debated topic for years, but there has been significant progress recently. Since 2010, sixteen states have legalized medical marijuana and nine states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use. As states continue to legalize marijuana, it will become more and more popular to grow the plant for both individual and commercial use.
Marijuana can be grown indoors or outdoors, but only in a very specific environment. Outdoor marijuana growth requires a perfect climate and conditions only found in certain locations such as the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, it is not always legal because it is a state law. There are usually specific guidelines and rules to follow when growing marijuana outdoors, and it is completely illegal in some locations.
A grow house is the most popular option for indoor marijuana growth. Grow houses use proper equipment to control elements, such as lighting and irrigation to create the perfect environment for marijuana growth. Temperature is another element that must be precisely controlled in a grow house. Like other plants, marijuana goes through different stages that require a different temperature environment.
A ductless mini split is the best way to regulate temperature in a marijuana grow house. Fortunately, we sell countless mini split models from the industry's most trusted brands here at ComfortUp. They are available in single- or multi-zone systems, so we definitely have something for your grow house. Read below to learn more about how ductless mini splits can help regulate temperatures in grow houses, and then give us a call at 1-855-337-0001 to speak with a trained product specialist. We’re here to help you find the perfect mini split system for your grow house and answer any other questions.
What Is a Grow House?
A grow house is any building specifically designed for the growth of marijuana. Buildings such as warehouses or suburban homes can be repurposed for marijuana growth and production, but many opt to build their own grow houses as well.
Smaller-scale operations and growth for personal use usually takes place in residential homes, as they do not have the capacity and resources to sustain mass production. Make sure to check local rules and guidelines before moving forward and converting an old building into a grow house.
Building a grow house is recommended for serious larger operations, but can obviously be used to grow any amount of marijuana. When a grow house is constructed from the ground up, it is usually a free-standing steel structure that creates a “microclimate” similar to an outdoor area where marijuana would flourish.
It can be difficult to replicate this microclimate in a home or basement without using an excessive amount of resources, so this is why many prefer to build their own grow houses. Grow houses must provide specific water, nutrients, humidity, lighting, and heat to the marijuana plants for proper growth.
The temperature in a grow house must be strictly regulated in order for the marijuana plants to properly grow. However, the temperature varies, depending on the stage of your marijuana plant. Too hot or too cold temperatures will ruin your plants, and this is why there is only one perfect HVAC option for grow houses... the ductless mini split.
What Are Ductless Mini Splits?
Ductless mini splits have long been the norm in Europe and Asia, but their popularity has recently seen a significant increase in the United States. This is not without reason, as they offer countless advantages and benefits over their competitors, such as central ducted systems and window air conditioners. Ductless mini splits consist of an outdoor unit, or condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. The two components are connected by a series of copper wires and pipes, and the indoor unit is usually mounted on the wall or ceiling.
As their name implies, mini splits do not require the extensive ductwork of central HVAC systems. Roughly 30% of all air produced by central systems is lost as it travels through the ducts, but this waste is eliminated when using a mini split. This means mini splits operate at very high efficiency levels, which also leads to significant short- and long-term savings on your energy bill. Their installation and maintenance process is also much simpler than other HVAC systems, but this should be handled by a professional technician.
ComfortUp sells products from the industry’s most trusted brands. Gree, Boreal, LG, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi all make excellent mini splits that will perfectly regulate the temperature of your grow house.
Single and Multi Zone Systems
Mini splits are available in single and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system consists of one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit. This allows you to regulate the temperature in the room where the indoor unit is physically located. A multi-zone system consists of one outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor units. This allows you to control the temperature in each zone individually, without impacting the other areas.
Mini splits’ single-zone capabilities make them the perfect option for grow houses. If your grow house has multiple rooms or levels, using multiple single-zone systems will provide adequate temperature regulation for your marijuana plants. This way in case of a product failure on one system, the other systems can help to handle the load while one is being repaired. Of course we do not anticipate product failures, but due to the value of the crop, we always recommend this to minimize risk of losing the investment.
Marijuana plants have four main stages of growth, and they each require different temperature and humidity conditions. During the cloning stage, marijuana plants do not have roots, so they absorb moisture from the air. Therefore, they thrive in high humidity environments with temperatures between 74 °F and 78 °F. The vegetative stage sees growth of stems and leaves, which requires temperatures between 70 °F and 78 °F during the day and roughly a 10-15 °F drop at night. This allows the plant to convert light into energy through photosynthesis.
During the flowering stage, the buds begin to appear. Optimal flowering stage temperatures are between 68 °F and 75 °F during the day with a 10-15 °F decrease at night. Drying removes moisture from your plants, and it requires a temperature of 65 °F to 74 °F. Curing preserves flavor and cannabinoids, and it requires an environment of 68 °F to 72 °F.
Multi-zone systems are perfect if you are growing marijuana plants on different cycles in the same grow house. By separating each area into its own heating and cooling zone, the plants will be in their optimal environment.
When growing marijuana, make sure to research temperature requirements for each stage beforehand. These are just general guidelines, and each strain or plant might have specific temperatures that creates an ideal growing environment.
Air Filters, Humidifiers, and Dehumidifiers in Grow Houses
As a marijuana plant requires a different temperature range in each growth phase, they also require a different humidity level. Cloning requires a humidity level of 75%-85%, while vegetative requires a lower humidity level between 45% and 55%. Flowering requires 35%-45% humidity, and drying and curing require humidity between 45% and 55%.
When using a non-mini split heating or cooling system in a grow house, you would likely have to purchase a separate humidifier to keep your marijuana plants healthy. However, mini splits also regulate humidity levels. Therefore, you can control the humidity and temperature levels on your single or multi-zone system without having to purchase a separate appliance.
In addition to their humidity control, mini splits also serve as air filters and purifiers during operation. They remove any harmful pathogens, allergens, dirt, and other debris during use. This deters the growth of mold, mildew, and other bacteria in your grow house. These harmful microscopic materials and bacteria wreak havoc on marijuana plants and can easily ruin entire batches if not properly prevented.
However, you should know that mini splits’ filters require simple maintenance. They must be cleaned every four to six weeks and replaced annually. With a mini split in your grow house, your marijuana plants will not only be in a temperature-regulated environment, but the air quality will be exceptional and they’ll grow as healthy as ever!
Mini Splits and Smart Technology
Another benefit of mini splits is their smart technology compatibility. While all mini splits come with a remote control, many can also be controlled via smartphone app. The apps are very comprehensive, as they provide users with data and complete control over their system. They also allow grow house owners to control their mini split systems when they are not physically located at the grow house, which is very convenient for many.
Both single and multi-zone mini split systems feature temperature cycling capabilities as well. Cycling allows you to set the mini split to run at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time. This is ideal in grow houses because marijuana plants during certain stages require different temperatures during the day and at night.
Temperature cycling via mini split system saves grow house operators the trouble of having to manually change their system’s temperature settings. Simply set your cycle with the remote control or smartphone app, and you’re good to go!
Grow houses also require thermostats to monitor temperature and humidity levels. Fortunately, ComfortUp has excellent smart thermostats available, such as the Honeywell D6 Thermostat. They provide you with detailed temperature reports and conditions, and most are compatible with mini split systems. With smartphone applications and thermometers, you can monitor temperatures and humidity levels in your grow house from your phone and make any necessary changes from anywhere.
Grow House Size
Marijuana grow houses vary in size, depending on the number of plants being grown. Many often purchase the “biggest” mini split possible because they think it will work the best, but this is incorrect. Mini split systems are designed for use in rooms of specific sizes, and an improperly sized mini split does not operate anywhere close to peak efficiency. It leads to many problems, such as temperature imbalance and short cycling.
Short cycling is when the mini split turns itself on, blows a blast of air, and shuts itself off repeatedly. This leads to a temperature irregularities and can cause irreversible damage to your batch of marijuana plants. For mini splits to properly regulate your grow house’s temperature, they must be properly sized. Please refer to this page for specific sizing charts and measurements.
Grow House Costs
Simply put, grow houses for marijuana are expensive to operate. The overhead costs of the building and necessary materials add up quickly. Additionally, lighting and watering costs lead to sky high energy bills. For example, electricity costs for a 7,700 square footage warehouse could be about $55,000 per year. Ductless mini splits operate at such high efficiency levels that they end up reducing these high energy costs and offsetting other higher overhead costs, making them the perfect option to regulate the temperature of your grow house.
In conclusion, ductless mini splits are the perfect heating and cooling option for marijuana grow houses. They offer countless benefits over other HVAC alternatives and create the perfect controlled temperature and humidity environment for the plants. However, they should be installed in your grow house by a professional HVAC technician. Improper installation causes many problems, such as decreased performance and lowered efficiency.
It also voids the warranty of your system, which would lead to excessively costly repairs or replacement in the event something goes wrong. Fortunately, we have partnered with My EZ Install to find you a professional HVAC technician in your area. With our help, you’ll have a mini split installed and running in your grow house in no time! For any other mini split questions, please call 1-855-377-0001 or contact us online today. We have a team of trained product specialists standing by to help you.