For updated information, check out “4 Reasons to Invest in an HVAC Maintenance Plan for Your Grow Room.”
Designing and building a commercial cultivation facility can be a long and stressful experience. Between obtaining financing, adhering to state and local regulations, finding the ideal real estate and picking a suitable team, the process can feel overwhelming.
In particular, choosing your environmental control system is a large undertaking as it usually represents the largest capital expenditure outside of real estate that cultivators face when designing a facility. Not only is the climate control system costly, but it also contributes greatly to the success or failure of a facility.
After purchasing, cultivators must protect their investment by consistently maintaining their equipment. As any cultivator knows, cultivation can be a dirty operation. Depending on your growing style, cultivators experience different issues. For example, cultivators who choose an aeroponic system will often have greater humidity issues while those who grow in soil or coco might experience more dust or debris in the air. Regardless of how your facility gets dirty, regular maintenance has to be a part of operations of facilities. If coils, vents and filters are not cleaned regularly, debris and dust will block them from pulling in as much air as they should or cooling as much as they can, causing equipment to become less efficient or to overheat, potentially damaging or ruining your system and requiring expensive repairs. Some equipment, like Surna chillers, may even shut themselves off when blocked to avoid equipment damage, causing a facility to lose cooling simply due to blocked fans.
Depending on the equipment, maintenance can be relatively easy or more complicated. Cultivators who use ducted systems often complain about the maintenance required to keep their systems clean. Because ductwork provides a perfect environment for pests and pathogens to breed and are hard to access, facilities will usually have to hire someone to do the cleaning, often creating more problems than solutions. When someone cleans out the ductwork, they often knock these organisms and pathogens free from their home, sending them out into the space. And if a facility opts to not clean the ducts at all, they essentially guarantee that pests and pathogens will continue to breed, spreading issues into all cultivation rooms as soon as the air comes on.
This is why Surna opts for stand-alone fan coils and a chilled water system. Our hydronic cooling system uses closed piping, eliminating the need for ducting and making maintenance easy. We’ve also designed our equipment to be open, meaning that any parts that need to be cleaned or maintained are easy to access. All coils, drains and filters can be cleaned and changed in under 10 minutes without the need for any tools. In fact, our customers find that moving the ladder around is the most time-consuming part of regular maintenance! At Surna, we specialize in precise cultivation environments, offering a range of options for controlling your climate. We’ve been designing for cultivation for a decade and understand the unique needs of the cultivator.