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As your plants "breathe" CO2 and "exhale" O2, the balance of these two critical gases begins to shift. In nature, this uneven exchange fits in perfectly as animals "breath" in O2 and "exhale" CO2. Of course a perfect world it is not and modern industry and the burning of fossil fuels has somewhat "unbalanced" this effect. However, in your greenhouse or growroom, you will need to help your plants breathe by supplying a constant exchange of fresh air which by nature contains about 2% CO2. If you have already employed a thermostat and humidistat in combination with a vent fan, there is a good possibility that these two mechanisms will provide a good exchange of fresh air. However, if your fan is not operating frequently enough, you may be starving your plants of their most favorite flavors of gas, CO2.

Generally speaking, it is best to exchange the entire contents of your growing area about once an hour during daylight hours. To do this efficiently, you can use a fan which either runs continuously at a slow speed, or a fan that runs at high speed in short bursts. To determine the size of the fan that is necessary, simply multiply the length of your growing area by its height and then by its width. This number (use feet as a measurement unit) will be the Cubic Feet of your area. When buying a fan, you will notice that they are sold according to "Cubic Feet per Minute" or CFM ratings. What this means is that the particular fan will move the particular amount of air in one minute. So - if your greenhouse is 10ft x 10ft x 8ft. That's 800 CuFt. - you would need an 800CFM fan to exchange the air in the entire greenhouse in one minute. That's a big fan and you certainly don't need to move it all out in just a minute's time. I would suggest using a 100 CFM fan and running it for 4 minutes every half hour. You can do this easily with a programmable cycle timer like the one we discussed on the previous page.

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Building Your Own Greenhouse

Building Your Own Greenhouse

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