Why Do You Need a Carbon Filter?

So you’ve decided to start your own growing project. Whether you are picking up a new hobby or starting your own growing business, producing a successful yield can be one of the most satisfying things you can experience. You’ve acquired all the assets you need to get started, including your grow tent and ventilation system. But there is one important piece that’s often overlooked since it doesn’t directly affect the growing process.

Activated carbon filters are widely used to reduce odors and control emissions from grow tents and grow rooms. Typically attached to the inline duct fan or tail end of ducting, the carbon filter cleans the air circulating through. The result is fresher air that is clear of odor, spores, and other allergens. Odors and emissions affect how livable your home is; they can be uncomfortable at the least and hazardous at the worst. Filtering the air is especially important for those with respiratory issues so let’s explore how a carbon filter protects your olfactory health.

Odor Fatigue

When your nose’s sensitivity to smell diminishes as a result of long exposures, you are experiencing odor fatigue. While walking into a smelly room will hit your olfactory senses hard, the scent will slowly fade on you as you stay in the room. This is so your brain and nervous system is not overloaded which allows it to respond to new stimuli.

On the surface, you won’t experience the foul assault on your senses as you experience odor fatigue. However, you may still be breathing in particles that are harmful to your respiratory health like mold spores and other impurities. That is, your awareness of hazard exposure diminishes. Not being able to detect any dangerous particles can create breathing problems or allergies that will be harder to recover from.

Sensitivity to extended exposure to scents can be restored by leaving the smelly space and breathing fresh air. However, this may not be an option if you need to work around your grow room for extended periods of time.

How Carbon Filters Work

To see how beneficial a carbon filter is to your health and hydroponics system, let’s see how it reduces odors. Carbon filters do not necessarily eliminate foul smells but rather they block odors from spreading out from your grow space. Using activated carbon, scrubbing filters trap particles and impurities through adsorption and the exhausted air is odorless and allergen-free.

Yes, that is a D, not a B. Adsorption is a similar phenomenon to absorption where it traps and takes in odor compound, the difference being that absorption results in increased mass and weight.

Activated carbon has nooks and crannies that odor compounds pass into when traveling through the ducting and filter. The odor compounds are adsorbed by the carbon, which is the equivalent of falling into a hole and being unable to get out. The empty space in each piece of carbon fills up over time and further compounds (smelly or not) may displace lighter ones that are already trapped. At this point, the carbon filter reaches full saturation and needs to be replaced.

Putting it all together, subjecting yourself to odor fatigue will render you unable to detect impurities that you could be breathing in. Using a carbon filter in your hydroponics ventilation system will allow you to work in and around your grow space. Now that you know why a carbon filter is good for you, you’ll know to get the best one within your budget. No matter which one you choose, make sure the activated carbon used is high quality and the removal capacity is high as well.