Many people are unsure about how to heat up their grow tents safely, effectively, and with minimal costs. A lot of indoor growers have tried heat mats in their grow tents. This raises an important question can I use a heat mat in a grow tent?
So, can I use a heat mat in a grow tent? There are a lot of methods to heat up a grow tent. A heat mat is an effective and reliable heat source that can be used inside the grow tent, especially in the winter seasons.
One of the biggest challenges that many indoor growers face is being able to provide their plants with the right amount of heat.
If a grower places their plants in a room with a temperature that is too low, their plants will not grow up to their maximum potential. On the other side, if the temperature of the room is too high, the plants will be left with too much heat.
Having to keep track of so many factors can be a hassle, so many growers opt to use a cheap and reliable heat source like a heat mat to provide their plants with the warmth that they need.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using heat mats in grow tents. We will also discuss how to properly set up your heat mat so that it will provide the most benefit to your plants.
Benefits of Using a Heat Mat in a Grow Tent
Heat mats have shown many promising benefits when compared to other conventional heating sources for growing tents.
Cheap Electricity costs
Heat mats do use a significantly lower amount of electricity when compared to other types of heaters. You can save up a lot of the monthly electricity costs by just switching up to using heat mats.
Regular ceramic heaters can reach up to 1500 watts of power. On the other side, heat mats have a maximum power of only 20 watts. Of course, a grow tent will require more than just one heat mat. However, the maximum combined power of all the heat mats used will nowhere reach the power of a ceramic heater.
Saving Up Space
Heat mats are the perfect solution to heat up small grow tents. Fitting a ceramic heater or an oil heater inside a grow tent with a small size like the 2X2 will occupy a lot of the internal space that could otherwise be used to grow plants efficiently.
On the other hand, a heat mat will use the minimum amount of space when placed under the soil pots.
When placing the heat mats on the floor of the grow tent, heat transfer to the soil pots above it. Soil does have the tendency to retain heat much longer when compared to air.
Other types of heaters work by heating the actual air inside the grow tent. If you are going to use a ventilation system, this is going to be a huge problem. The exhaust fan will constantly pull out the heated air from the inside to the outside of the grow tent creating a constant need for the heaters to be working.
How to Choose the Right Heat Mat for Your Grow Tent
Choosing the right heat mat for your grow tent can be tricky, especially if you are not sure what your grow tent’s best heat output is. Even if you do know the heat output of the heat mat you are picking, you might not know what other factors to consider when picking out a heat mat.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing a heat mat for your grow tent.
For ideal heating, you would want your heating mat to be the same size as your grow tent’s floor area.
But, you need to remember that heat mats were originally designed for seedling trays. Thus, most of the heat mat sizes on the market are relatively small.
You can get away with this in small grow tent sizes like the most popular 2 ft X 2 ft one.
However, this is a difficult aspect to achieve in grow tents with large sizes.
Heat Mat Sizes
The available heat mat sizes in the market are:
- 10″ X 20.75″
- 20″ X 20.75″
- 48″ X 20.75″
Some brands might have different sizes than the ones mentioned above. However, the differences would be minimal.
If you have a large grow tent size like the well know 5 ft X 5ft grow tent, you can install 2 heating mats beside each other to cover all of the grow tent’s floor.
How To Setup A Heating Mat For Your Grow Tent
Step 1: Install a heating mat that covers at least 70% of the grow tent’s floor.
Step 2: Connect the heating mat to the digital thermostat.
Step 3: Set the desired temperature on the digital thermostat.
Step 4: Close the grow tent with an operating ventilation system and measure the internal temperature every 2 hours for a day.
Step 5: If the internal temperature is below the set temperature in several readings, you should consider using more than one heating mat beside each other.
Step 6: Use a supplemental heating source like a heating lamp if the heat mats fail to keep the internal temperature stable.
Safety Considerations for Using a Heat Mat in a Grow Tent
While most growers are able to use heat mats safely, there are some caveats that you should be aware of.
Water leaks can cause serious damage and increase the risk of fire hazards inside your grow tent, especially if you are going to cover the heat floor with heat mats.
By operating a heat mat inside your grow tent, you must make sure that there are no water leaks from the soil pots.
On the other side, if you are running a hydroponic system, you will need to take extra precautionary steps like placing a plastic cover between the water tank and the heating mats.
Thermostate With Suffeceint Capacity
If you are going to use more than one heating mat, made sure that the used thermostat does have sufficient capacity to operate both mats at the same time.
Operating heat mats with more power than the maximum capacity of the thermostat can lead to breaking the electrical circuits.
Placing Heat Mats On Top Of Each Other
This is a common mistake that many indoor growers do. Placing a heat mat on top of the other can be done if you have a small grow tent area, but still want to maximize the heat output.
By doing so, you hugely increase the risks of starting a fire due to overheating.
Heat mats can be a great economical source of heat for a grow tent if used the right way. To get the most ideal heating output, you need to pick up a heat mat that covers at least 70% of your grow tent’s floor. You need to make sure that your grow tent’s floor is always dry by eliminating any source of water leaks as much as possible. Moreover, maintaining sufficient space between two heat mats is sufficient to avoid overheating.