Now that you’ve set up your grow tent, the next step is to install the lighting system, the fan, and the carbon filter. But what’s the procedure for installing a carbon filter, you may ask?
Well, there are several ways you can install a carbon filter in your indoor grow tent. And we’re going to look at all those scenarios. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What’s a carbon filter? And how exactly does it work?
You need to know the answers to these questions to make it easier to comprehend the different ways of installing the grow tent carbon filters, and how each differs from the other.
What Exactly Is a Carbon Filter?
As the name suggests, this is a filter made of carbon substrate. The substrate filters odors and impurities through adsorption (not absorption), which is the process of adhesion whereby molecules and atoms of particles meant to be filtered are captured by the carbon substrate.
The process of adsorption involves filtering particles and impurities within the air. This successfully makes the air clear and clean.
Basically, this is the process of carbon filters purifying the air in the grow tent. It gets rid of the odor by capturing any impurities within the air.
The carbon substrate is porous in nature, whose role is to attract the small molecules of the impurities and trap them, thus leaving the air pure. The air passing through the carbon substrates comes out clean and without impurities, or odor.
What Does a Carbon Filter Consist of?
Other than the obvious carbon substrate trapping the impurities, the carbon filter is large in size and is made of pre-filters. These are the soft-like materials that are placed within and around the carbon filter to trap impurities and clean the air.
The pre-filters are usually washable, and replaceable after a long period of using the carbon filter.
In most cases, the carbon filters come in 6-inch and 4-inch sizes, which makes it easier to calculate your grow tent’s size to pick which one is best and suitable for the purification purposes.
Carbon filters are usually installed alongside inline fans.
Step-By-Step Installation Guide for Carbon Filters in a Grow Tent
There are four main ways you can install the carbon filter. However, only one of the four ways is the best and most recommendable.
I’ll still show you all four ways because there comes a situation where you need the alternative setup for your carbon filter.
Method 1: Installing Both the Carbon Filter and Inline Fans Inside the Grow Tent
Here, you’ll have the carbon filter attached alongside the inline fan. The filter will be drawing air from the grow tent and passing it to the inline fan, which then releases the “used” air out of the tent.
With that in mind, the very first step is to hang the carbon filter on your grow tent. You’ll be using ratchet hangers to do so.
The next step is to hang the inline fan and make sure it is on a horizontal level with the carbon filter. The air will be flowing from the carbon filter into the inline fan in a straight line.
After hanging the fan, attach it to the carbon filter using ducting. Use a box cutter to cut a ducting that’s attachable to both the carbon filter and the inline fan on both sides.
Tighten the two components using ducting clamps and duct tape for further tightening.
The next step is to attach a ducting on the “exit” part of the inline fan, and then direct this to the exist hole of the grow tent, which then exhausts the air outside. Make sure the inline fan is drawing air from the grow tent and releasing it out via the exit hole.
Method 2: Install the Carbon Filter Inside and Fan Outside
You can choose this if your grow tent is limited in space availability. That is, you’ve tried having both components inside the tent but there isn’t enough space. So you’ve made the decision to sacrifice one of them to go outside.
The best decision is to install the inline fan outside. This is because the carbon filter needs to adsorb the impurities using the pre-filters. And this is best done if the carbon filter is within the grow tent.
Now, you’ll have to hang the carbon filter using ratchet ropes and attach a ducting to it, which is then directed to the exit hole of the grow tent. This is then attached to the inline fan on the outside of the grow tent.
Make sure the fan sucks in air from the grow tent and releasing it to the outside environment.
Since the fan is outside the grow tent, you’ll be straining the fan to do more work. This is because the fan is far from the carbon filter, and thus the ducting between them is long for airflow. The exhaust fan will have to suck up all these air.
Finally, if you’re wondering how to attach carbon filters to fan, just don’t forget to tighten the ducting into both the filter and the fan. Use the duct tape effectively.
Method 3: Inline Fan Inside & the Carbon Filter Outside
Follow the same instructions but interchanging the two components. The only difference here is that you won’t be hanging the carbon filter on anything. Instead, you just need to place it vertically on the floor with its intake opening connected to the ducting coming from the grow tent.
Since the ducting is connected from the top of the grow tent all the way down to the carbon filter placed on the floor, outside the tent, you’ll need to cut a long ducting.
Also, the ducting will be bent on a 90-degree angle as it goes all the way to the carbon filter at the bottom.
Although the carbon filter is placed on the floor, it doesn’t have to. In fact, if you can find somewhere outside the grow tent where you can hang it, that’s okay. In fact, this is much better because you won’t have to use more ducting, which somehow minimizes the effectiveness of the carbon filter.
Once again, don’t forget to use duct tape to make the openings airtight.
Method 4: Both Inline Fan and Carbon Filter Outside
Repeat steps in method 1, but with the components installed outside the tent. You can hang them somewhere, or simply leave them on the floor outside the grow tent.
Nonetheless, if you decide to install both of them outside the tent, make sure the carbon filter is attached first to the existing opening of the grow tent. The filter is then attached to the fan, which will be drawing air from the filter and releasing it.
The option of method 4 (both components outside) is mainly prompted by a small grow tent. That is, you have such a small grow tent that it cannot fit both the filter and the fan. Perhaps the plants you’re growing are in need of height space for growth. This is understandable.
However, you’ll be sacrificing the effectiveness of the carbon filter in getting rid of impurities and bad odor. The adsorption will be redundant because the pre-filters will not be doing their roles of capturing the small molecules of the impurities.
Now that you have four different ways of installing an exhaust fan, the ball is in your court. You can go with whichever suits your grow tent’s requirements, especially in terms of size.
However, it’s highly recommendable to opt for Method 1 where both the carbon filter and the inline fan are installed inside the grow tent. Make sure to attach the carbon filter and the fan in such a way that air goes through the filter before going into the fan.
The clean and filtered air helps keep the fan effective because there are no impurities passing through it.
Finally, if you are wondering where to put carbon filter in grow tent, it’s advisable to have it above your lighting system. This is because the heated air will have to rise to the carbon filter to be exhausted.