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These are the worst mistakes a farmer can make in HVAC designControlling the climate is a top concern for indoor farmers, both in controllability and operating costs. It should be, since climate is largely responsible for crop health and avoiding crop losses.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems are the best way to maintain ideal growing conditions to help optimize yields and minimize losses.
But sadly, HVAC costs are often underestimated due to lack of understanding or oversight.
Farmers think they can piece a system together themselves or draw simple quotes from online catalogs or home improvement stores.
HVAC is a complex system that has to be fitted to each farm’s needs, each farmer’s desires, and the constraints of the situation.
When farmers underestimate HVAC, they get themselves into a bind with investors and limit the production of the farm in the long run.
The majority of this underestimation comes from the myth that farmers can choose cheaper options without a significant impact on operating cost.
Surveys conducted by Dr. Nadia Sabeh, Founder of Doctor Greenhouse, show that most farmers budget 50% of their energy and maintenance (i.e. OpEx) costs for HVAC, but only budget 5-10% of their equipment costs (CapEx) on HVAC.
These expectations reflect a flawed assumption.
In reality, farmers who invest in a properly sized HVAC system on the front end can reduce the ongoing costs of operating their farm and increase yield.
This ends up being a worthwhile investment for any indoor farmer, whether growing in a greenhouse, warehouse, or container farm.
Read more at Upstart University
Publication date: 10/14/2016
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