How to Use a Carbon Filter in a Grow Tent

How to Use a Carbon Filter in a Grow Tent featured photo

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cannabis grower, having your own grow tent at home is convenient and optimal for your hobby. The thing is, cannabis often comes with a very strong smell and if you’ve been wanting to solve this issue, a carbon filter shall do the trick. And so, many wonder how to use a carbon filter in a grow tent.

Setting up a carbon filter is pretty easy. Make sure to get the correct size, keeping in mind the tent’s size and the exhaust fan’s CFM value. Then, pass the ductwork through the duct ports. Connect the ducting to the outlet of the fan. Finally, install the filter on the fan’s inlet. Make sure everything is secured and power up the fan to run it.

Different carbon filters from different brands and manufacturers often come with their own set of instructions on how to install and use them. What we have in this guide is simply a general step-by-step process. Remember to always check in first with the specific instructions yours come with.

Below, we’ll go river what a carbon filter is and why you should consider getting one. We’ll then go over how you can set it up for your grow tent to make your plant’s growing conditions even more optimal.

What is a Carbon Air Filter?

Growing cannabis indoors in your own grow tent or grow room offers many benefits. Such a setup gives you control and autonomy over your plants’ growing conditions.

When you’re growing cannabis indoors, you have complete control and autonomy over temperature and humidity levels, exhaust system to draw fresh air in, air that goes in and out, light, and more. All these mean you can get better yields come harvest time and you can enjoy the fruits of your hard work better.

While growing cannabis in grow rooms and tents are widely beneficial, it also comes with a few drawbacks. One of which is the smell cannabis plants come with.

Cannabis terpenes are aromatic compounds that determine the smell and taste of what you’re growing. Though it bestows flavor, it does come with a very pungent smell.

While the smell isn’t offensive, some growers want to keep their hobbies discreet and away from nosey neighbors. You might also want to keep the cannabis smell separate from the rest of your home, especially if you share it with other people.

This is where carbon filters prove to be useful.

A carbon filter is a type of air filter that’s growing increasingly popular in the cannabis cultivating world. It uses multiple layers of activated carbon, which has a lot of small pores.

These devices capture, catch, and trap contaminants and particles from the air as your tent’s fan work in pulling air and exhaust it back outdoors.

Aside from particles, these small pores on the carbon filter are capable of catching and trapping scent particles as well. This means they prevent the cannabis scent from reaching the outside of your growing space.

How Do Carbon Air Filters Work?

The way carbon filters works is pretty simple. They trap odor particles so only unscented air makes it out of your growing space. The activated carbon in these filters is what catches and traps these very small scent particles.

Additionally, carbon filters work using the principle of adsorption. This process means small molecules and particles like dust, dirt, and odor stick to the carbon. This prevents these particles from going and mixing back into the fresh air.

Carbon filters usually have a cylindrical shape, as this provides the maximum surface area.

To get these filters to work, you only ever need to connect them to your existing ventilation system. There’s no need for any additional equipment or device.

Why You Should Use a Carbon Filter in Your Grow Tent

Theoretically speaking, activated carbon filters are actually not a necessary addition to your grow tent. Its addition will not impact your cannabis yield or quality. You can grow your cannabis fine without it. But if you’re looking to further optimize your growing experience with a few more benefits, then a carbon filter is definitely a great addition.

  • Keeps air odor-free and clean

The number one benefit carbon filters offer is it keeps the air coming out of your grow tent free from any odor. If you want to keep your cannabis-growing hobby discreet, this is a top priority.

Cannabis scent can be pretty strong, especially during the flowering stage. If you don’t want to smell it in spaces you share with other people, a carbon filter is the way to go.

It’s also great to think about if you have landlords or sensitive who might be sensitive to the smell.

  • Aids in proper ventilation

Healthy air ventilation is optimal for growing plants like cannabis. Carbon filters can help keep proper ventilation to the insides of your grow tent. It can keep airflow at optimal levels and can help further improve indoor air quality.

  • Removes airborne pathogens and diseases

Carbon filters will help in removing harmful chemicals, particles, pathogens, and airborne bacteria that get to grow and thrive inside your grow tent. When all these are removed through the ventilation provided by these filters, the plants get to grow healthily and without diseases.

The Best Location to Set Up Your Carbon Filter: Inside and Outside the Grow Tent?

So you’ve decided to install a carbon filter for your grow tent. Now comes the tricky part – should you set it up inside or outside the tent?

Inside the grow tent

Placing the carbon filter inside the grow tent is the most common and recommended setup for most home growers. This placement, right at the begging of where the ductwork begins, will minimize the chances of any odor escaping out through any holes or cracks.

This setup also pulls out both the smell and hot air inside the tent simultaneously, leaving only an optimal growing condition inside.

Outside the grow tent

Though it’s ideal to place your filter inside the grow tent, some factors like the size of your space will sometimes not make this possible. Another option is to place the carbon filter outside, at the end of the ductwork.

This setup will pull out air from the inside through the fan and ducting and then through the actual filter. The one drawback to this is the filter will not be able to pre-filter larger particles from the outgoing air, which is usually possible with the previous setup.

Regardless, this is still a viable option if you have no other choice.

How to Use a Carbon Filter in a Grow Tent: Setting Up Your Carbon Filter

Carbon filters are pretty easy to set up and install. Most of what you can find in stores also comes with its own set of instructions. But here is a general guide on setting up yours:

  1. First, make sure you pick the right size of carbon filter. They come in different sizes and what size you should pick depends on the size of your growing tent and the CFM (cubic feet per minute) value of your exhaust fan.
  2. Next comes the actual installation. You’d want to pass the ducting through the duct ports on the tent. Secure it with duct clasps or tape.
  3. Then, connect the ducting to the outlet of your tent’s exhaust fan. Secure that as well.
  4. Lastly, install your carbon filter on the air inlet of the fan. 
  5. Recheck the connections and make sure they’re secure and without any leaks so no odor escapes out into your house.
  6. Power up the tent’s fan and check again for any leakage.

How to Maintain Your Carbon Filter

Now that you’ve got your carbon filter up and running, proper maintenance is key to keeping it alive and well for much longer.

  • Regularly clean the filter. Do this by removing it and taking it out to an open space. There, shake the filter to remove any buildup of dirt or residue trapped within the filter’s small pores.
  • Never wet or submerge the filter in water as this can be very damaging.
  • Clean the frame of the filter with a sponge or cloth. This will remove any dirt or dust stuck on it.
  • Carbon filters, no matter how much you love them, don’t last forever and have a limited life expectancy. When you notice the filter isn’t working as it used to (i.e. it’s not filtering odor anymore), it’s time for a new replacement.
  • Carbon filters would be maintained best with regular and periodic check-ups. This is just to make sure everything is working fine.


Having your very own grow tent for growing cannabis right at home is convenient and optimal. Though it’s beneficial in many ways, it can come with one drawback: growing cannabis often comes with a very pungent odor. To solve this, carbon filters are the way to go.

Here’s how to use and set up a carbon filter: first, you need to pick the right size according to your tent size and exhaust fan. Then, pass the ducting through the duct ports. Then connect it to the outlet of the fan. Lastly, install the filter on the fan’s air inlet. Make sure to secure everything with duct tape or clasps.

And that has been our detailed guide on how to use a carbon filter in a grow tent. You can reach out to us below with any other questions!

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