I just read a staggering report that says indoor marijuana growing accounts for at least 5-7% of total American electricity consumption! As an indoor marijuana grower, I already know the sad truth about electricity consumption. My electricity costs go up about 45% per month when I’m running my indoor grow room instead of growing outdoors, adding an average $100 or more per month to my electric bill.
Because I’m a fanatic about making my grow room as efficient as possible and because electricity is generated by fossil fuels, nuclear power and dams that damage the environment and human health, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on how to reduce energy consumption and costs in my marijuana growing. Let’s take a look at strategies for avoiding energy waste and reducing energy costs and consumption:
- Make sure your air conditioner is new enough to function at 15 SEER or higher.
- Make sure you air conditioner air handler is matched to your outside unit and your ducting capacity, and that all AC components are functioning properly.
- Make sure your air conditioner filters are always clean, and that your ductwork allows the freest movement of air, and no leaks.
- Install an extra return and extra delivery duct (or larger return and delivery ducts) in your grow room.
- Seal your grow room and put in a split unit air conditioner. It’s not that hard to do (check out the embedded video).
- Put a light-colored roof on your grow house and paint your exterior walls with a light, high-reflectivity paint.
- Put mirror film on your windows.
- Insulate your attic to the max.
- Install an attic exhaust fan and a thermostat to control the fan.
- Install ridge vents on your roof.
- If possible, insulate your walls with blown-in insulation.
- Grow cannabis only during the coolest months of the year.
- Grow outdoors, if only for the grow phase of your crop cycle. The sun is the best grow light ever, and it’s free!
- Change your light cycle so as much of your lights-on period as possible is during nighttime hours.
- Use LED grow lights instead of HID grow lights.
- Grow varieties that can handle higher temperatures (Sativas).
- Use C02 augmentation so plants can handle higher temperatures.
- Chill your reservoir water to 68F. Water-cooled roots can handle higher ambient grow room temperatures. Take a look at our article on root zone temperatures for more valuable information.
- Use the most energy-efficient appliances for your grow op, including fans, dehumidifiers, and other gear.
- Grow autoflowering marijuana. When you do, grow lights are on 18 hours per day the whole time from start to finish, but most autoflowering cannabis strains are ready for harvest in eleven weeks or less, saving you several weeks of having to have the lights on at all.
- If you grow photoperiod strains, grow strains with shorter overall crop cycles rather than long-bloom phase Sativas.
- Use deep water culture or other pure hydroponics in your marijuana grow op. Your marijuana plants must work harder to gain nutrition when you grow in soil. But when you have them in pure water culture, aeroponics, rockwool, grow rocks, or even coco, they work less, grow faster, and produce bigger harvests.
- Get a Tesla PowerWall. With solar panels and Tesla’s futuristic PowerWall battery system, you can harvest enough free energy from the sun to run a 5,000-watt marijuana grow op.
- Plant shade trees around your house, especially along walls where direct sunlight hits.
As long as you grow marijuana indoors, you’ll be sucking down lots of electricity. Reducing the amount of energy your grow op uses helps save the biosphere, and it saves you money! I wish you the best in your energy conservation efforts. It’s worth it to lower your bills, and keep your energy footprint as small as you can.