4 Easy Ways To Sound (and Smell) Proof Your Grow
Loose lips sink ships, it's a phrase we're all too familiar with in this industry. So, this being the case, then a noisy, smelly extraction system will surely blow up a whole fleet, set it on fire then piss all over it and set it on fire again. Then that's it! your cultivation hobby you had running so smooth, the hobby you worked so hard on building and developing is all for nothing, guaranteed. Just make sure you stick your grow notebook and feed charts in that fire on the way out.
How can you stop this from happening? It's pretty simple and should be a fundamental concern when setting up ANY grow space, wherever you're growing. The extraction system can be broken down into three main components, Fans, Filter(s) and Ducting. Your fans are responsible for pulling clean air into your room or tent and then extracting the hot, smelly, used up air through a filter or filters depending on the size of your grow room. This is all connected with ducting which has an equally important role to play in the airflow drama you've got to contend with. Oh...and the heat, you need to get rid of heat as well, if that wasn't all stressful enough already and you've got to do all this without making a sound, seems impossible? It's not.
This post is written assuming you've already worked out your correct airflow and fan size needs, which is a mammoth task in itself and can be found in another post on our blog as it's a long winded (pun definitely intended) process and requires dedicated attention beyond making things quieter and less smelly.
1. GET A FAN SPEED CONTROLLER
If you've already got your extraction system set up and running and it's just a bit too loud and doesn't sound like a helicopter taking off just over your head this is an easy fix. One of the SMSCOM fan speed controllers or Control Freak or the RAM Air-Pro will sort you out, you can see what we have in stock and ready to ship here VIEW FAN CONTROLLERS ONLINE. Fan controllers work by plugging in both your intake and exhaust fans and adjusting the frequency of the fans, changing the output wavelength to a series of smooth curves that operate on a constant as opposed to the larger frequency shift that occurs without a controller. They maintain a set temperature (high and low) that you input on the unit and they constantly monitor this using a temperature probe that you dangle into your grow room where the temperature is the happy medium of the whole grow space. This is just a simplified explanation of the science of the units, but what happens is that you'll get a much quieter extraction system overall.
2. SOUND PROOF FANS
Your fans are responsible for that fucking racket! They are the logical things to consider to make a completely silent extraction system. Amazingly, manufacturers feel our pain on this and there's loads of different options to try on the market, in our experience the best ones to invest in (at the time of writing) are the ISOMAX acoustic fans or the TORNADO box fans. Both are incredibly powerful and capable machines to cope with high intensity cultivation and to coincide with fan power they are both INCREDIBLY quiet. We have both these fans on display in our stores for you to have a proper good look at and see (and hear) how they work.
3. CARBON FILTRATION
ALWAYS BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD, easy as that. When it comes to filters, the more you pay the better the filter will be, this is down to the carbon bed inside the filter unit and the quality of the materials used in the manufacture. You can get some pretty cheap filters and they won't last long, the problem is the only way you'll know they've stopped working is that STINK! and it could be too late at that point, someone else could've worked out that you've got shit filters before you do. BUDDY filters are alright if you've got a relatively small operation and are happy to replace these with every grow. But for larger grows and more developed strains you'll need some premium filtration, we'd recommend brands like CAN-FILTERS, PHRESH FILTERS, RHINO PRO FILTERS or some of the best filters we've seen are the new CARBO AIR filters from SystemAir. The CARBO AIR filters come in varying carbon bed sizes, their standard being 60mm deep around the filter up to 100mm bed thickness for more intense grows and really smelly strains. You can view our range of popular filters here online or if you're after something more specific and unique you can call us or pop by one of our stores, they'll also be an expert on hand to get the best filter for your needs.
Sometimes one filter isn't enough to remove 100% of the VOC's (THE STINK) from your grow room, or you're just paranoid and want to make sure that the air leaving your grow space is cleaner than fresh air itself. For those people, you can double up or double bag it, however you want to call it, it's basically adding another filter onto your extraction system. With this setup, you'll have one filter inside your grow room removing the majority of VOC's with the air being pulled through and then you'll add another on the other side of your exhaust fan, outside your tent or room, filtering the air being blown out. This secondary filter doesn't need to be as substantial as the primary filter inside your room and you can go for a cheaper one as it's not having to work as hard as it would normally.
Your filter won't quieten down your extraction system, but you'll get rid of the smells effectively, couple this with a silent running system and you've entered the true depths of stealth mode.
4. NOISE AND SMELL TRAVEL
Because we live in an actual world with all natural forces, elements with physics and everything working what feels like against us most of the time, we have to stick to those rules. Unfortunately, noise and smell travel and they like to be heard and smelt by everyone it seems. The internal whirring of a fan can travel along the steel skeleton of a piece of ducting and the flow of air kicks up a fuss as it's rushing through the pipes and dragging on the edges of your well-planned extraction system. The smell wants to leak out of the tiniest cracks between the jubilee clip and god forbid you get any perforations in your ducting. See that sinking ship image, it's only a matter of time before thats you. There's several easy and clever options to reduce noise and smells between your fans and filters, the standard alu-ducting, just doesn't cut it when it comes to sound insulation, there's no insulation on it and all that airflow noise is rushing through it with nothing dampening the sound. Combi ducting doesn't fare too well either when its comes to reducing noise levels. To quieten down all this ruckus you'll need a good quality insulated acoustic ducting, the basic INSULATED DUCTING is good and will reduce noise levels to a careless whisper(ish). This ducting is lightweight alu-foil and steel with a glass wool membrane, like the insulation on a house but on a much smaller scale, for the price, it works great if you've combined it with the other tips previously, you'll hardly hear much at all. But what about those of us that really want a truly silent extraction system? There's a new, clever bit of ducting from SystemAir, those guys who make the Carbo Air filters, it's called PHONIC TRAP DUCTING an ultra silent acoustic ducting that is built in three layers, an internal, perforated cloth layer with a non-allergenic insulating membrane, covered in a vapour-proof barrier layer. This is all still built around the steel frame of traditional ducting, keeping it lightweight and flexible and easy to install. It comes up quite costly for larger grows but for what you get in terms of build quality and sound proofing, it's totally worth it.
BUT! some of us don't have a huge budget and still want to keep our grow on the low, what can we do then? You could try adding a SILENCER to your extraction system, this'll absorb a lot of the noise and make all of that stink flow where it's supposed to. You can use ANTI-VIBRATION CLAMPS minimising vibrations and noise moving along your system. You can even make your own DIY sound proof box fan using ACOUSTIC FOAM to line a box (MDF or Card) and drop your RVK or inline fan in it, it works really well. That's for another blog post.
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