Managing the Grow Rooms Air Quality is an important step when setting up an indoor grow space just like it is for your home. All grow rooms need consistent air movement as well as regular exhausting and replenishment of air (when not utilizing additional CO2 supplementation) which is typically accomplished with oscillating and inline duct fans. Many grow rooms utilize carbon and particulate filters made specifically for this application, read more about Grow Room Carbon Filters here.
There are some other things that you can do to improve the grow rooms air quality however while they can be good for the garden, they can be bad for you and your pets. We Are talking about Air Purifiers/Ionizers and Ozone Generators. These can be utilized if your grow space isn’t inside your home or in commercial applications where fungi can wipe out the entire garden. So what do these devices do exactly?
Air purifiers are an excellent tool for eliminating grow room odors and airborne pollutants. Carbon and volatile organic compound (VOC) filters help reduce odors and airborne pathogens and HEPA filters reduce common allergens like dust and pollen.
Some air purifiers use ionizers, it’s important that you to understand the risks of this technology and are careful about how you use them.
Oxygen is a neutral particle that loves to change its charge. An ionizer uses an electromagnetic charge to add or remove electrons from oxygen atoms, making the oxygen particles either positively or negatively charged as they leave the ionizer. Ionized particles are far more common in the upper atmosphere. In theory, after oxygen passes through an air filter it detaches from other particles and looks for a new particle to bond with. The ionizer gives the outgoing oxygen particle an electromagnetic charge so that it will bond with other particles more easily and then when the charged ion passes through the air filter a second time, it is easier to capture.
The potential danger with this is that humans don’t usually breathe ionized air, and many studies show that electromagnetically charged particles can damage lungs. Also, if an oxygen molecule bonds with two others, it becomes O3, or ozone. Ozone can irritate airways and exacerbate breathing-related problems.
The best way to use an ionizer is with an operation scheduler or timer. This way, you can run your air purifier and ionizer while you are out of the house. Then, the charged particles will bond with other compounds without damaging your lungs. However, if you are sensitive to ozone, you should avoid ionizers entirely.
Ozone generators by design produce the toxic gas ozone. They are sold as air cleaners for commercial and residential applications for deodorizing, disinfecting, and removing dangerous or irritating airborne particles in indoor environments.
Ozone generators make ozone by breaking apart oxygen molecules. Unfortunately, the same chemical properties that allow ozone to alter organic material in household air also give it the ability to react with organic material inside the human body. Even low levels of ozone exposure can cause the following conditions:
- coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and throat irritation;
- worsened chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma;
- increased risk of developing bronchitis or pneumonia; and
- compromised ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.
An ozone generator should never be operated in occupied spaces, and the area should be adequately vented before people or animals are allowed to re-enter.
Toxic Ozone levels for Plants
Ozone generators can damage plants in indoor environments as well. High levels of ozone will inhibit the ability of plants to open the stomata (microscopic pores on plant foliage) and breathe. Specifically, ozone can cause the following conditions in plants:
- chlorosis, a condition in which the plant cannot produce sufficient chlorophyll to manufacture carbohydrates;
- necrosis, or the premature death of living cells, which may lead to the death of the plant as a whole;
- flecks or small light tan irregular spots;
- stipples, which are small, darkly pigmented areas; and