Today's Gardener (todaysgardener.com) participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.
If you own a grow tent, you know how important it is to clean the air coming from the growing area. With a good fan, you can push chemical smells and other odors from your tent.
But if you want to release clean and odorless air from your grow room, you also know it’s important to have a carbon filter. The carbon filter is usually attached to the ducting system or in an inline fan.
It cleans your air. You won’t notice any odor coming from your grow room.
Unfortunately, carbon filters do not last forever. They get saturated. And when they are saturated, you will smell all odors coming from your grow tent.
So, time over time, you need to replace your carbon filter. This is something you should know even before you set up a grow room.
Simply said, you should put a carbon filter in the budget of grow room operations.
In this article, we will discuss how often you should replace your carbon filter in a grow room. I will also share everything you need to know about carbon filters.
Let’s dive in.
When is the Right Time to Replace Your Carbon Filter?
Its use will highly determine the durability of your carbon filter. The volume of and the quality of air cleaned will have a direct effect on the durability of your filter.
In simple terms, if your grow room emits much odor, the carbon filter will have a shorter lifespan. On the other hand, grow rooms emitting lesser odors will tent to serve you for a long period.
Also, installing a small carbon filter on a large grow room will damage it quickly.
There is no set lifespan for the carbon filters. They all need to be replaced at the point when they stop working effectively. And we have said this will be determined by how you use your filter.
Change the carbon filter at the point where it stops functioning as expected.
How to Know the Right Time to Change Your Carbon Filter?
No indicator will show you its time to change the carbon filter. But you can consider doing the following things to test and determine whether its time to change your carbon filter.
Smell the Active Carbon
Smelling is the best test you will have for your carbon filter. Smell whether the active carbon. Compare its smell to that of unused activated carbon.
This should be done after 3-4 months of installation.
The moment you won’t sense the smell of fresh carbon from your filter, its time to replace it. This is a sign that the active carbon is fully used and it can’t be used anymore.
Smell the Air Coming Through Your Carbon Filter
One symptom that will show that your carbon filter needs to be replaced is a bad odour coming through the filter.
The main purpose of the filter is to clean the air from your grow room before it emitted to the atmosphere. And if the filter stops performing this purpose, then it’s important to replace it with another effective filter.
So, overtime pay attention to the smell of the air coming through the filter. Compare it with the smell inside your grow room. If these two odours are the same, its time to replace the filter.
The air coming from your filter should be fresh and odourless. If you had used some chemicals in your grow room and you can smell the chemical, it means the filter is not working.
At this point, replace the filter.
Get a Skilled or Experienced Person Inspect the Filter for You
If it’s your first time to have a carbon filter you might have difficulties noticing when the filter needs to be replaced. At this point, you can easily rely on the help of someone else.
If you know someone who has been using their carbon filter for a long time, you can consult them. Let them inspect your filter. Someone who has had their filter replaced will be able to identify the need to replace another filter.
Alternative, you can consult an agricultural officer.
Find someone you can trust to inspect and smell your carbon filter. And once you find out that the filter needs replacing, go ahead and replace them immediately. Don’t wait until its too late.
Factors that Will Determine the Frequency of Changing Carbon Filters on Your Grow Tent
We already mentioned that carbon filters would need replacement depending on their usage. This is the main factor that will determine how often you need to replace them.
However, other factors will determine how often you would need to replace the filters. The following are the key factors you need to consider.
The plant you have in your grow room is the first thing that will determine the lifespan of your air carbon filter. Some plants are more aromatic than others. They push more smelly chemicals to the filter.
As a result, such plants saturates your carbon filter faster as compared to less aromatic plants.
This means that if your plants are more aromatic, you will need to replace the carbon filter more often.
The Type of Carbon Filter
There are two categories of carbon filters – reversible and irreversible. The reversible filters are inline while the irreversible filters have a dead end.
Reversible filters can easily be flipped or turned. You can easily interchange the exhaust and intake opening. The flipping will give you an extra month of air cleaning.
The same thing can’t be done on the irreversible filters. Once the carbon bed is saturated, its already done.
So, the type of carbon filter you have in your grow room determines the time your filter will serve you.
Humidity Level in Your Grow Room
The level of humidity in your grow room determines the effectiveness of your carbon filter. If the total humidity of your grow room goes beyond 85%, the activated carbon stops working completely.
So, to give your filter more months, keep your grow room environment dry. Ensure the humidity is below 70%.
You can consider using a dehumidifier. It will regulate the humidity in your grow room.
Type of Carbon Particles
The quality of carbon you have will also determine the lifespan of your carbon filter. Not every carbon you see is up to standards with the activation.
Majorly, there are two different types of carbons used on filters. They are either granulated or palletized carbons.
If you are looking for a filter with a longer lifespan, consider the granulated carbons. They have better durability due to their increased surface area per gram.
Palletized carbons have a uniform shaped particle. They have a smaller surface area. Hence the reason why they don’t have a long lifetime.
The density of the Carbon Used
Carbons have different densities. There are carbons with a density of 50 to 60 grams per cubic cm. Other carbons have a density of 30 to 40 grams per cubic cm.
Dense carbons have pores that make the particles not spacious. As a result, they cause premature clogging. They lessen the lifespan of the carbons.
On the other hand, lightly dense carbons have wider pores. As a result, they allow more air into their pores. As a result, they last longer.
So, if your filter has dense carbons, they will last for a shorter time. The vice versa is also true.
The Best Carbon Filter for Grow Room Replacing
Once your carbon filter gets damaged, you need to replace it with a new one. Most importantly, you need to buy a filter that will serve you better and longer.
The good news is that these filters are readily available on Amazon. Any time you need to change them, you can just go ahead and buy them. The following are the best filters you will market.
iPower 4-inch Air Carbon Filter
This is a powerful 4-inch flange ducting filter with a 12-inch length. It holds an airflow of 200 CFM.
One thing you will love about this carbon air filter is the 1050+ IAV charcoal. It will give you superior performance that you won’t find in most of the other filters you will find in the market.
For durability, it comes with a reversible flange.
According to the manufacturer’s specification, the filter has a life span of up to 2 years.
- 200 CFM
- Reversible flange for durability
- Can serve you for up to 2 years
The filter is available on Amazon.
TerraBloom 6-inch Carbon Filter
This filter comes with RC-48 charcoal carbon. This quality is only found from Western Australia – one of the best charcoals you will ever find in the market.
With its length of 6 inches and 46mm thickness, the carbon filter offers better performance compared to other filters. It has 15% more carbon in it. This is because most of the other filters you will find in the market have 38mm.
And if the quality is a concern, this is a filter that comes with a 3 months warranty.
- Better performance than most of the other filters – it has 15% more carbon
- More durable
- 3 months warranty
The filter is available on Amazon.
Which is the Best Among the Two Filters?
Both. But you can’t buy both of them at the same time. These are superior filters that will give you durability and superior performance.
When replacing your filter, consider their size and compare them with your exhaust pipe. If your grow room exhaust pipe is four inches, buy the iPower 4-inch Air Carbon Filter. However, if your exhaust pipe is 6 Inches, buy TerraBloom 6-inch Carbon Filter.
This is the most important factor that you need to consider when deciding to buy your filter.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Carbon Air Filter for Your Grow Room
- Size: As mentioned, the size of your filter should be the same as the size of your exhaust pipe. Its CFM should also be the same or less than the CFM of your grow room fan.
- Material: Choose for material construction that will give you durability. Aluminum and stainless steel materials are things to consider.
- Price: Don’t just buy a filter that seems cheap. Go for a filter that will give you value for your money. It should be a durable and yet good performance. Find a balance between money and performance.
- Warranty: If a manufacturer gives you a warrant, the filter will give you peace of mind. It’s also another way of identifying a better and quality filter. No manufacturer will give you a warranty if they know their product will break down easily.
You will never have an indicator on the carbon filters to tell you its time for replacing it. The only thing you can do is the smell, or taste.
However, you don’t have to wait until the symptoms of the dysfunctional air carbon filter. Instead, have a regular schedule for replacing the filters with new ones. You can start by observing how long the first filter lasts and change the next one before that time.
Say for example, if your first filter lasted for three months, change the next one after 2 months and 3 weeks.
When the time comes to change your carbon filter, you need to get a perfect and well-performing filter. Go ahead and buy any of these two filters we have recommended in this article.
But most importantly, remember to inspect your carbon filter time over time.