How Effective are Carbon Filters for Weed? The Truth About Odor Removal…

If you’ve successfully harvested cannabis, you know the importance of good ventilation in your indoor grow space.  Even if you’re a beginner, you have most likely come across carbon filters as a potential solution in your research.  If you’ve considered this option, you may have wondered “how effective are carbon filters?”  Many growers swear by these products, as they provide a wide range of benefits for cannabis growing. 

So how well do carbon filters work?  In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about carbon filters for weed and the factors that influence how effective they are. 

How Exactly do Carbon Filters Work?

Carbon filters use a process called “adsorption” to remove impurities from the air.  As the air flows through a carbon filter, particulates interact with the carbon and stick to the surface of the carbon.  The more porous the carbon the better, as how well carbon filters work depends on the amount of surface area available for adsorption to occur.

Why It Matters How Effective Carbon Filters are for Weed

Carbon filters are often listed as an essential part of a grow room. There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, to keep your grow room discreet, and more importantly, to protect your crops.

Keep Your Grow Discreet

While the plant's aroma may appeal to its grower, just a few plants in a small area can quickly overpower the room as they mature, and the odor is unlikely to stop there.  While an airtight room may be one solution, a grow room that has an air exchange system is likely to be more beneficial.  Carbon filters can filter these odors and keep your growth operation discreet.

Odor Removal is Just Part of the Filter’s Role…

More than odor removal, a carbon filter provides benefits to your crops.  Cannabis plants are sensitive and prefer warm, humid climates.  Pathogens, mold, and fungi also prefer these types of climates.  A carbon filter will scrub air from the outside to keep your grow room safe from damage. They can also get rid of VOCs including formaldehyde. 

How Well do Carbon Filters Work? Factors Affecting Performance

Three factors affect the performance of a carbon filter.  First, the type or quality of the carbon used, then the depth of the carbon bed, and finally the quality of the filter housing.

Type of Carbon Used in the Filter

Remember, the effectiveness of the carbon depends on the surface area; the more porous, the better.  Some brands use cheap or low-quality carbon or residue that does not have as much of an effect on treated air.  Brands using carbon pellets glued to rods suffer from inefficiency.  

In such a scheme, only the tip and bottom of the piece scrub the air; the side walls are covered by the glue or adhesive used in the production of the filter, meaning that no scrubbing is being done to the air that passes through.

Thickness/Depth of Carbon Bed

A second factor is the thickness of the carbon bed. A deep bed provides more space for surface adsorption to occur. This means that thicker carbon beds don’t have to do as much work, are more efficient, and last longer - a carbon bed that is thin or shallow needs more frequent replacement. 

Quality of Filter Housing

Finally, the quality of the housing is also important. Any gaps in the housing can allow air to pass through without being filtered through the carbon. This means odors and pathogens have a pathway to move freely into the air without being altered.

So, How Effective are Carbon Filters for Weed at All Stages of Growth?

A carbon filter is highly desirable at every stage of growth, especially when using a filter with a quality housing and filled with a thick layer of activated carbon. It will effectively reduce the chance of introducing pathogens to the plants’ environment and will cut down the odor. 

A properly installed filter should eliminate odors during its early stages. While the scent of the plant will increase during late bloom and drying, it will prevent the odor from overpowering the room or the nearby area.  

Many cannabis farms have been detected through their odors from hundreds of feet away. Carbon filters will reduce this risk to manageable levels and are the most effective solution for controlling odor on the market.

In most states and counties that allow legal cannabis cultivation, there are explicit rules which require the grow facility operators to filter out or eliminate the pungent smell of cannabis before the air is exhausted outdoors. Those grow farm operators who exhaust untreated odorous air outside are subject to fines from the local authorities and potential exposure to the legal disputes with the neighboring businesses.

Tips to Improve Odor Management In Coordination With Your Carbon Filter

An effective carbon filter should be used in conjunction with a proper ventilation system and should be checked regularly.  Here are some tips to improve your odor management.

Ensure the Ventilation System is Installed Correctly

Your cannabis plants need fresh air.  Not only is it needed for proper photosynthesis, but the lack of fresh air will provide a breeding ground for contaminants that will kill your plants. There are several strategies for ventilation, but an extractor fan is essential.  

The extractor fan will pull old, hot air out of your growing area, helping the air to circulate. Just as important is the intake fan, which brings the air in. When purchasing a fan, pay attention to the CFM, or cubic feet per minute. For more information on these topics, check out What does CFM mean, Best inline duct fan, and What size intake fan for grow room

If you already have existing ductwork, you may also need to consider the Best booster duct fan to help improve air circulation in your space. 

For more information, read the comprehensive resources on our blog for how to install an inline duct fan and how to set up grow tent ventilation to learn more about setting up your ventilation system. 

Duct Out a Window Rather Than the Attic/Other Interior Space

While you may be tempted to duct out into your attic or interior space, this setup can cause health hazards for both you and your plants as it can encourage mold growth and cause heat levels to rise.  With proper filtration in place, you can safely vent the air from your grow room to the outdoors.

Pay Attention to Filter Lifespan & Replace as Necessary

No filter lasts forever.  While using high-quality filters will cut down on the frequency of replacement, you should replace your filter as recommended by the manufacturer and remain alert for changes in the level of odor in your growing area.

Consider Adding An Additional Carbon Filter Fan for Continuous Scrubbing

If your premises still have a lingering cannabis smell even when using a carbon filter on the exhaust side, it might be a sign that the capacity of the filter is not adequate for your room size or the carbon filter is approaching or reaching the end of its useful life. 

Looking for Effective Carbon Filters That Actually Work?

Choosing a quality brand for your carbon filters is almost as important as using them in your growing space. At Terrabloom, we can provide you with quality carbon filters for your grow room. In fact, you'll find the best carbon filter for grow rooms on our site.

Remember that the quality of carbon and bed thickness is important to the effectiveness of a carbon filter. Our filters’ carbon beds are 40% thicker than competing brands, which means longer lifespans and better efficiency.  

This also means better odor control and better protection against volatile organic compounds or harmful chemicals that can affect crop growth.

And while our carbon filters are most popular amongst cannabis farms, our products can and are also applied in meat processing facilities and other industries that produce fumes.  

The quality of our carbon filters holds up in commercial spaces to combat smoke and smell from laser cuttings, engravings, book bindings, and more.

When we design our products, we want to make sure that we adapt to grow rooms at any scale.  We offer the highest quality 4 inch carbon filters, 6 inch carbon filters, 8 inch carbon filters, 10 inch carbon filters, and 12 inch carbon filters at an affordable price. 

How Well do Carbon Filters Work? Wrapping Things Up

So how well do carbon filters work, and how effective are carbon filters for weed in particular?

The effectiveness of a carbon filter is based on its ability to adsorb impurities from the air, which helps keep odors from cannabis under control and protects the plant from harmful agents. 

The type of carbon used, the depth of the carbon bed, and the quality of the filter housing has a direct impact on individual carbon filters’ effectiveness. Carbon filters should be used in conjunction with a good in- and out-take ventilation system that is ducted out through windows.  

They should also be regularly checked and replaced when they are no longer serviceable. Carbon filters and proper ventilation can be coupled with other odor management methods to help keep your operation discreet.  

Shop at TerraBloom for all of your ventilation needs. Whether you’re looking for a durable carbon filter, commercial inline duct fans, or a duct fan booster, we have the top-quality inventory to exceed your expectations. 

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