July 21, 2020 6 min read

By George Mouratidis

Like most people, cannabis plants are happiest when they’re in warm & sunny locations. If you’re an indoor grower, you need to find a way to maintain this steamy “temperate zone” in your grow space.

It doesn’t matter if you start with rock star genetics; you can’t grow bountiful buds in a lousy environment. 

Thankfully, there’s an easy way you could exert massive control over your indoor climate: invest in proper insulation.

Cultivators who have a well-insulated grow space enjoy superior bud production year-round. Adequate insulation could also slash your energy bills, enhance your grow lights’ intensity, and keep nosy neighbors from whiffing those “earthy aromatics.”

If you’re looking for inside info on grow room insulation, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll share a few common ways cannabis cultivators boost grow room insulation. Putting any of these strategies into effect will help you maintain an ideal growing environment.

Wait, What Are We Insulating?

Before we get into our insulation suggestions, new home-growers need a basic understanding of cannabis's ideal climate. After all, what’s the point of insulation if you don’t know what you’re insulating?

Since cannabis likely evolved in temperate regions, it’s no surprise these plants thrive in areas with plenty of warmth, humidity, and sunshine. Although some strains could handle a chilly night or two, please don’t let your temps drop below 68° F.

In fact, most marijuana growers recommend setting daytime temperatures between 70 – 85° F. Usually, vegetative plants need higher temps than plants in the flowering stage. As for nighttime temps, aim for the upper 60s to low 70s for optimal results.

In terms of humidity, vegetative plants usually do well in an environment set at 60 – 70 percent. However, when plants reach the flowering stage, they typically perform best when humidity is at 45 – 55 percent. Please note: clones need humidity around 80 – 90 percent in their initial stages of development.

Different cannabis strains might have slightly different climate requirements, but the above ranges are reasonable estimates. It’s always best to research your specific seeds for more accurate temperature and humidity recommendations.

FYI: all of the grow kits on Everything But The Plant include a digital thermometer-hygrometer with easy-to-read temperature and humidity levels. If you’re new to home-growing, we encourage you to look through our complete grow kits by following this link.

Five Suggestions For Creating A Well-Insulated Grow Room

Now that you know the ideal climate for cannabis cultivation, let’s run through a few ways to insulate your growing space. Below, you’ll find five insulation strategies many home-growers use to great effect.

1. Zip-Up Your Plants In A Snug Grow Tent

Grow tents have come a long way in recent years. As marijuana cultivation becomes more mainstream, manufacturers are making innovative designs to help cultivators keep their plants nice and toasty. 

But grow tents do far more than keep your plants well insulated. Indeed, most professional grow tents have vents so you could easily recirculate air. This not only helps with ventilation, but it also ensures you have a way to cool your grow room’s temp.

As you explore the many grow tent models on Everything But The Plant, you’ll also discover most have Mylar coatings to increase light coverage and intensity. Professional grow tents also have high thread counts to help prevent light from escaping.

And don’t worry if you think your grow space is too small. Today, there are a plethora of grow tent sizes on the market that are sure to fit any grow area. You’d be surprised how many cannabis growers place these tents in their “cultivation closets!” 

If you’re in the market for a high-quality grow tent, please take a few minutes to look through Everything But The Plant’s wide assortment of products. For a full list of our grow tent catalog, please click this link

2. What Room Has The Best Insulation?

If you haven’t decided where you’re going to place your grow space yet, it’s worth considering the natural insulation of different rooms. Obviously, if you start with a well-insulated room, you could save yourself a ton of money and time from the get-go.

So, what room tends to have the best insulation? In most cases, it’s the basement. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense, considering you’ve got the earth’s crust all around you! In addition to reliable insulation, basements are popular grow spaces due to their lack of windows, ample space, and stealth.

If you can’t grow your marijuana in the basement, you might consider using a grow tent in a closet or the garage. Although both of these locations aren’t exactly stealthy, they are usually easy to reach and have decent insulation.

As a word of warning, it’s never a good idea to create a grow space in the attic. Sure, this location is pretty stealthy, but it also has the worst insulation in the house. Also, who really wants to lug all of their grow equipment into this creaky area every day? 

Of course, all of these tips are merely suggestions that focus on insulation. Be sure to factor in other features like ventilation, space, and discretion when deciding where to plant your cannabis seeds. 

3. Consider Investing In High-Quality Spray Foam

Of all the insulation materials now available, polyurethane spray foam is held in the highest regard. Soon after contractors spray this foam in your home, you’ll be amazed how quickly it expands into all of the crevices in your walls. Since spray foam instantly molds wherever it’s placed, it’s sensational for sealing tiny air pockets.

In addition to providing a superior air seal, spray foam doesn’t retain water. This is significant for cannabis growers who need to create a humid environment. With spray foam, you won’t have to worry about air moisture getting trapped in your walls and causing costly issues like mold or bacterial rotting.

On the negative side, spray foam insulation tends to be a costly endeavor. Typically, customers have to pay a professional contractor between $1 – $1.50 per board foot for high-quality spray foam insulation. Although you might save money in the long-run, spray foam insulation demands a serious up-front investment.

FYI: if polyurethane puts you off, there are soy-based spray foams that seem to work just as well. Be sure to find a professional contractor in your area for more specifics on your spray foam options. 

4. Could Fiberglass Get The Job Done?

If you’re looking for an inexpensive insulation option, fiberglass is always a decent choice. Made out of recycled glass threads, fiberglass has a distinctly fluffy texture that’s often compared to cotton candy. Fiberglass is one of the most common insulation materials in homes...primarily because it’s dirt cheap.

Many people are drawn to fiberglass because it’s affordable, easy to install, and readily available at hardware stores. But there is a downside to using fiberglass in your grow room. Most notably, fiberglass doesn’t offer a 100 percent air seal. In fact, most buildings that use fiberglass lose about 30 percent of their internal heat.

Another drawback of using fiberglass is that it absorbs moisture. Since cannabis grow rooms have higher-than-average humidity levels, it’s essential to keep this feature in mind. While fiberglass may work fine initially, it could lead to mold and bacteria problems down the line. 

Despite these drawbacks, fiberglass will remain a popular insulation choice because it’s affordable and offers decent heat retention. Just be sure you’re comfortable with the tradeoffs associated with this material.

Pro tip: please avoid stuffing oversized pieces of fiberglass in your home’s panels. Although it might seem like you’re getting better coverage, you’re actually creating more air pockets. 

For more efficient insulation, you should measure the spaces where you need fiberglass and only cut pieces with about ½ inch extra. You could also use caulk to seal up any narrow cracks and crevices you notice along the way.

5. Ponder Putting Up PVC Wall Panels

In recent years, PVC wall panels have become one of the most popular choices in professional marijuana grow rooms. If you’ve seen pictures of medical marijuana facilities, chances are you’ve already seen these bright white panels in legal ganja grow rooms. 

Like spray foam, PVC panels are highly praised for their lack of absorbability. No matter how high you crank the humidity, these sturdy panels won’t harbor bacterial diseases or wood rot. Indeed, with proper maintenance, PVC panels should last years without signs of wear.

Another reason PVC panels are an excellent choice for grow rooms is they are naturally reflective. Each panel’s bright white surface helps intensify grow lights, especially LEDs. You’ll notice you get a lot more out of your grow lights when you place PVC panels around your grow space.

Although PVC panels are often associated with professional facilities, that doesn’t mean at-home growers can’t research this material. Who knows, maybe PVC panels are all you need to take your cannabis growing to the next level.

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