Canadian Hydroponics Supply Blog

Easy Ways To Install Charcoal Filters For Hydroponics

charcoal filters

If you’re cultivating a hydroponic garden, one thing you will have to contend with is odour.  Installing charcoal filters is the best solution. As indoor growing can also produce even potentially toxic odours and contaminants from fertilizers and even the plants themselves, charcoal filters for hydoponics is a great solution.

Let’s face it: Cannabis does have its use, but it also has a very pungent smell, especially during the flowering phase.

One way to mask or remove odour from your greenhouse is by installing an activated Charcoal filter. Alternatively, you may hear the term carbon filter. Not to worry. Both phrases are used interchangeably.

But what exactly are carbon filters and how do you install one in your grow room? That will be the focus of this article: A few of the many easy ways to install/use Charcoal filters for Hydroponics. 

What are Charcoal Filters?

Charcoal filters are equipment that uses activated carbon to filter out the impurities of water or air. They use a process in which pollutants adsorb to the carbon particles as the water or air passes through it. Charcoal filters are useful for purifying water, but they are exceptionally effective in removing the pungent smell of Cannabis from the air. They are often installed in an exhaust system.

Charcoal/Carbon filters, also called carbon scrubbers, are especially useful at filtering out the smell of flowering Cannabis plants grown in a grow room. The filter pulls the smell of the plants from the air and neutralises the odour via a functioning exhaust system. Ideally, a vacuum is created in the grow area to force the air through the Charcoal filter.

It is important to note that Charcoal filters do not alter the smell of the Cannabis plants, but they effectively prevent that pungent odour from escaping from the growroom. Carbon filters work with an exhaust fan. Some are called Carbon Filter Fan Combo, where the exhaust fan is already attached, and no additional equipment is needed. 

Charcoal Filters For Hydroponics

Charcoal filters are very handy for any grow room because they remove most organic compounds, chlorine, and even odours from water, but they do not remove the minerals in the water that are vital for plant growth. It is for this and other reasons, Charcoal filters are also found in homes, garden ponds and wastewater treatment. 

In this article, we will discuss easy ways to install / Use Charcoal Filters For Hydroponics. 

How to Install a Carbon Filter the Quick and Easy Way

  1. Remove the Charcoal Filter from the package
  2. Place the pre-filter (if any) on it.
  3. Place the filter on the exhaust along with rope ratchets. Make sure to put the exhaust ducting, filter and the exhaust fan in one line.
  4. Secure the connections by duct clamps. Make sure the connection is air-tight.
  5. Power the fan up and check for any leakage throughout the process. 

How to Install a Charcoal Filter the Not-So-Quick, but Easy Way

First let’s get our supplies: 

  1. Charcoal filter that’s suitable for the size of your growing room.
  2. Aluminium ducting or other types of ducting to connect your filter to the fan. Usually they come in combo with the carbon filter so you don’t have to search for ducting that matches the size of your carbon filter.
  3. Hanging equipment such as heavy duty rope clip hangers .
  4. Duct clips to secure an air tight seal between the fan and the filter.
  5. A suitable extractor fan for your grow room to keep the airflow in check.
  6. Duct tape for an extra secure seal. 

Once you have all your supplies you are now ready to get your Charcoal filter setup in your grow room.

  • Decide on where you will install your Charcoal Filter. We suggest the exhaust system. Some filters can be mounted easily to the exhaust fan. 
  • Your filter should be mounted on the intake side of the fan to remove contaminants before they reach the fan housing. 
  • If Filter-Fan Combo is being installed you don’t have to worry about the attachment of the fan to the filter. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. 
  • If the filter and fan are separate, place the intake fan near the bottom of the room so the denser air that accumulates lower is taken in by the fan.
  • You can mount the Charcoal filter to the intake side of the fan with a rubber coupler or ducting and place it inside the grow room without ducting the fan’s output out of the growroom. By doing this, the carbon filter will continuously “clean” the air in the growing area to remove odours.


To prevent dust, mold and other particles from clogging the activated charcoal in the filter itself, you should be pulling air through the filter rather than blowing air into it. It is always better to have fans placed where they are puling air through the Charcoal filter rather than pushing air.

Reason being: Pulling through the Charcoal filter with the fan mounted on top allows you to utilise the pre-filter (the white polyester wrap on the outside of the filter) to remove dust and larger particles before they can enter the Charcoal filter and clog it. Also, the outside of the filter has more surface area than the inside of the filter. This means that the air will have less resistance,and will flow through the filter with greater ease.


It doesn’t really matter whether the charcoal filters for hydroponics is installed inside or outside your grow room. The key is to ensure that your extractor fan pulls out the air from your grow room, out through your Charcoal filter. As long as the air is going through the filter, it shouldn’t matter. The consequences however are bad odour and musty plant smells leaking out towards your neighbour(s). 

Your system can be a bit noisy caused by the vibration. A solution could be to mount your extractor to a wall for less vibration. Alternatively, you could hang your extractor fan inside the grow room with the Charcoal filter. 

Whichever method you chose, installing Charcoal filters is usually a quick and easy endeavour requiring minimal effort on your part, especially if you purchase the Combo package of filter plus fan. 

We hope you found this article useful. If so, please share with your friends and family and leave us a comment in the box below.

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