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Basement Grow Room Too Cold?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by PersonMan, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Got a pretty basic newbie question here. I'm all set to begin my first indoor grow and I've set up a makeshift grow space in my basement. Growing in a soil/perlite blend under 6500K CFL lights. Got floor-to-ceiling panda film surrounding my setup. Ventilation isn't terrific because the setup is located in a back storage room in my basement, but the grow space is an 8' x 5' rectangle located within a much larger room, and i have an oscillating fan to keep the air moving.

    Everything seems to be decent, or at least passable for a beginner grow setup, except for one detail: the room is COLD. And the humidity's not quite right. Directly under the lights, I'm getting a reading of 61 degrees and a relative humidity of 70%. From what I understand, optimum grow room temperature is roughly 75 degrees, and optimum relative humidity is 40-60%. I'd rather not buy a space heater for the grow room because I'm trying to keep expenses at a minimum, and I'm concerned about the electricity cost for running a space heater 24/7 for more than 3 months. Not to mention the possible fire hazard of leaving a space heater unattended for most of the day every day.

    So here's my question: Should I even attempt the grow with the grow room hovering around 60 degrees, or is it impossible to grow plants at that temperature? I'd wait to begin my grow til the summer, when the basement will be at least 10 degrees warmer, but my lease ends in August and my roommates and I are moving out, so it's pretty much now or never.
     
  2. #2 hemi4spd, Mar 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
    Add a 100w incandescent light to warm it up and think of shrinking the size of grow space. Smaller would be easier to heat. Consider instead of a room repurposing a cabinet or wardrobe. Ect
    Ohya put a piece of styrofoam on the floor. Will warm up alot as will reflect any heat back to you.
    As for humidity, unless you get some warm air you will never have humidity. The go hand in hand. Air has to be warm enough to hold moisture. Concern yourself with the temps and the humidity will come naturally.
    The plants themselves will put off some heat as well but not much.

    I agree a heater would be a waste of money. But a grow light that puts off significant heat and would grow your plants better and be better for you than any amount of cfl lighting could ever be.
    Better yet step up to a real growlight and get glorius heat as a byproduct of far superior light you will be giving your babies

    Not saying they won't grow. But I will say they won't flourish. With your current temps.
     
  3. 60 degree's is pretty cold to be at ALL the time.

    I think if you made / bought a confined space that you could grow in, like a cabinet or tent like hemi said, you could retain some heat, but still with CFL's, probably not that much.

    Given your details, I'de hold off and try to come up with a new game plan
     
  4. I didnt see this the first time i read through.

    I COULDNT AGREE MORE.

    I think one of the most important thing for somebody trying to grow indoors, is a proper grow light.

    200 dollars makes a 10 gram grow, go to 100.
    HTG Supply - Digital Greenhouse 600 watt HPS Grow Light

    And luckily for you, most people have to buy the air cooled hoods, becuase their heat it too high. You can use a simple maxwing reflector, that way that wont just be sending off thousands of lumens to your plants, but also some serious heat.
     
  5. #5 PersonMan, Mar 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
    I just checked my last electric bill and did some math. Since my electricity costs $.1326/kWh, here are the operating costs for various heating solutions, assuming I'm running these devices 24/7:

    900W space heater: $2.86/day ($87.36/mo)
    1500W space heater: $4.77/day ($145.59/mo)
    400W HPS light: $1.27/day ($38.83/mo)
    600W HPS light: $1.91/day ($58.24/mo)
    For comparison, my current setup (two 40W CFL tubes) costs $.25/day ($7.77/mo)

    So no matter what I choose to do, it looks like I'll have to shell out several hundred dollars for additional equipment and electricity costs over the course of the grow. Because of the higher operating costs and risk of fire hazard, I've decided not to go with a space heater. Since I don't know if/when I'll have an opportunity to grow again in the future, I'm not sure that I'm willing to make the investment in an HPS grow light. I hate to quit after I've already spent a significant amount of time and money setting it up, but unless I can find a cheaper/safer method to heat my grow space, it looks like I might have to abandon the project. It's a sad day.
     
  6. Did you consider a smaller space? 8x5 is a large area to even try to cover with the lights you have. Could you split the area in half and lower the over head height of your space? In a 3x5x5 area(basement one end concrete exposed) I run 150 watts of fluorescent tubes my temp averages around 78 with lights on(18/6). I use a small electric heater set at 65 to provide heat at lights out. Yes it gets cold here in the NW!!
     
  7. You scare me. I live in the mountains and I am currently growing in my basement cause thats where my room is. I grow in my closet. I would say the temp here is about the same as yours but my grow space is about 2.5 feet wide, 4 feet long, and 5.5 feet high. They are regular white walls (not the good flat white). With the light on I would say it inceases the temp about 10 degrees. Currently I only got one cfl on it but plan to put up another. It's a pretty redneck set up but at least it's semi-warm and the plants have at least sprouted. You have to remember these are hardy plants and mine have to be able to withstand some tourcher especially cause they might be moved outside at some point.
     

  8. I suppose I could make the space smaller. The boundaries of my grow space are defined by panda film that I stapled to the ceiling rafters, basically just loose curtains, so if need be I can just rip out the staples and move the panda film walls closer together. I'm not sure that that will solve the temperature issue though, because I can barely feel any heat radiating from the CFL lights even when I put my hand directly below them. I'm not as concerned with the light filling the entire grow space, though, because I have the light fixture attached to a crude pulley system, so I plan on keeping it a few inches above the plants at all times.
     
  9. We arent saying it wont work, because I'm sure it will. If you already have the supplies, go ahead and go for it.

    Your conditions are doable, just not optimal.
     
  10. Person Man one thing about your equation you over looked is the heater wont probably run 24/7. I live in snow country and mine cycles on for maybe 20 min per hour when its 32 outside my weakly insulated shack. Also when you flower you cut your bulb time in half. If that room is 60f without heat than you will only need maybe 500btus. the oil filled radiator looking heater on the low 600w setting will put out 2000btus. You may only run that heater for 5 to 10 min per hour. That works out to 0.29 a day roughly or $8-$9 a month.
     
  11. Yep, the room stays at 60 degrees without heat. The furnace is actually in the next room, but because this is a storage room, it doesn't have a heat register. I hope that the basement gradually warms up as the weather outside stays consistently warmer, but for now, that's how it is. I might look into a space heater for the room, but since I'm pressed for time and trying not to spend much more on this grow, I'll most likely just proceed at 60 degrees and see what happens.

    On an unrelated note, why the hell won't my seeds germinate? I placed them in between layers of damp paper towel on a plate, covered it with saran wrap to prevent the paper towel from drying out, then placed it in my closet where it's warm and dark. It's been 72 hours now, and not a single seed has sprouted. Did I do something wrong?
     
  12. How warm? Seeds like 75-80f for germinating.
     
  13. My room's currently 72 degrees. Didn't know seeds needed to be 75-80 to germ; just put the plate on top of my cable box, which radiates a decent amount of heat. Hopefully that'll get them to start sprouting taproots.
     
  14. they dont NEED it, but its optimal.

    That's what this all basically comes down to. Your doing nothing wrong, your just have room for improvements
     
  15. Agree on your prices for operating the heaters. However, those prices can almost be cut in half because you might only need to run them in intervals. You may not need to run them @ lights out because the plants can handle 60 degree temps at night. During lights on, depending on the placement and size of lights, your lighting can supplement some heat. Also, most heaters have low power options on them instead of using their full wattage power. For best power saving purposes, I would recommend infrared heaters.
     
  16. I think you could take some of this advise and get it all working really well.

    Some styro on the floor, get those plants off the floor.
    Use a regular light bulb in there, 100watts or bigger will put out lots of heat.
    If you can, lower the height, you probably don't need that much for a CFL.

    I use a regular 60watt in my boat under the cover to keep it from freezing at the end of the season, if it can keep a boat out in 20 degree weather above freezing it should heat up your storage area really nicely.
     

  17. Interesting, I'll do some price research for infrared heaters. Since my main grow lights are CFLs, which have a low electricity consumption, I plan to keep them on 24 hours a day during veg.


    Yeah I think that I'll grab some styrofoam to raise the pots up off the cold concrete floor. I plan to keep the CFL main grow light since I've already purchased it and taken the time to set up the rigging to hang the fixture above the grow space. As I said, I can adjust the height of the fixture, so I plan to keep it a few inches above the plants throughout the grow. I might try placing one or two desk/table lamps with incandescent bulbs in the grow space to get a tiny bit more light, but more importantly, a little heat in there. I'm trying as much as possible to limit additional spending on my setup and use materials I have around the house. Hopefully with the pots raised up on styrofoam and a little incandescent lighting in addition to the CFL grow light, my plants will be able to grow comfortably.

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's replied to this thread so far, I really appreciate your help!
     
  18. I'm not sure if an incandescent will help much with the grow, but it certainly will heat things up. That stryo to get them off the floor should really help.
     
  19. I just made a trip to Lowes to grab some bricks and plastic drip trays. So now I have the pots raised up several inches off the floor. I also placed a lamp with a 60W incandescent bulb right above the pots to warm things up a bit. Right under the lamp (a few inches above the surface of the soil) I'm now getting a reading of 68 degrees. The lamp's not warming up the entire grow space, but it is heating the area immediately around the pots, so that's what's important. Now I just need those damn seeds to finish germinating so I can get them in the soil. They've been wrapped in the moist paper towel for 4 days now, and still very little action. Finally, one of the three seeds cracked a little bit, but I can't see a taproot yet. The others are still sleeping.
     
  20. [quote name='PersonMan']Interesting, I'll do some price research for infrared heaters. Since my main grow lights are CFLs, which have a low electricity consumption, I plan to keep them on 24 hours a day during veg.


    I wouldn't use a Infrared heater. they are designed to heat objects not air they can be dangerous and may burn your plants. Again look into the radiator type. they run much cooler because they work off the surface area principle. The more surface area of the heater then the lower the operating temperature to perform the same job.
     
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