Hello Professor Lee,
I’ve been growing for about a year now and I love it! I have a pretty simple garden that meets my needs. I have a small fluorescent veg garden that I use to raise my seedlings and a flowering garden that uses a basic RDWC system made with some five gallon buckets and a thirty gallon reservoir under a 1000-watt HPS. I’ve had some problems this summer with the heat and my air-conditioning can barely keep up. I can’t really increase my ventilation anymore or spend too much money. Are there any tips I can use to help my babies make it through the summer?
Having started my growing career in Texas I’ve had to deal with the dreaded summer heat plenty of times and I found the most effective low cost method is to simply run the lights at night and have the dark cycle correspond to the hottest part of the day. This can include your veg garden as well, assuming you’re running an 18/6, or similar, light cycle. Your air-conditioning should be able to handle the night time light cycle a lot better and keep you cooler during the day.
When it comes to spending money, because you said you can’t increase your ventilation, the lowest expense would be additional circulation fans. After that you may consider a good dehumidifier. By reducing the humidity in your garden your AC will be able to cool the air a bit more efficiently. I’ve used these before and preferred the models that drain their water through a hose. I usually ran the hose out a back window or into a nearby bathtub. That being said there is nothing wrong with the smaller models that have to be emptied by hand day after day other than the fact that they have to be emptied by hand day after day.
The most expensive option would be a small air-conditioner. If you or any of the readers decide to go this route then I do suggest a wall-mounted model as they are the most efficient and worthwhile system to invest in. This of course isn’t an option if you rent or don’t have a few grand to invest with. So that leaves small window units, which are a next best choice, and portable models. Dual ventilation hose models are the more efficient of the portable air conditioners. Single hose models use one fan to cool and ventilate the air. To their dismay growers using CO2 will find these models can vent quite a bit of CO2 out of the grow room before the plants have a chance to use it. They can also use quite a bit of electricity.
Keep cool, Karl.