Best 6 inch Inline Fan 2017
Buying Guide and Product Reviews

Having and maintaining your own hydroponic crops can sometimes cost more than growing them outdoors. Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually quite a lot more equipment involved in the upkeep of hydroponic crops than with traditional soil-grown crops. Hydroponic growers need to invest in various components and equipment such as trays, nutrients, lighting, individual pots, reservoirs, and growing mediums, among others. The main benefit of hydroponically growing your own crops, however, is the predictability of the outcome of said medium. This method allows the grower to anticipate with great precision the dates and yields of each crop. Furthermore, growing crops and plants with this method will also allow the grower to experience more growing seasons per year than with regular growing. For these and many other reasons, it’s easy to see why many people opt to grow using hydroponics over regular methods.

However, one vital component of the hydroponics formula - which gets overlooked fairly frequently - is the ventilation. Just like lighting, the nutrient supply, and the use of a proper reservoir, among others, the fan you install into your growing room can help you maintain proper environmental conditions, regardless of whether you use a grow tent, a small grow cabinet, or even a huge growing warehouse. The thing is, excessive heat can damage or outright kill the crops, and the illumination system used for growing can generate lots of it. Similarly, airborne pests and bug infestations can wreak havoc on your crops. Heat, as well as pests, must be dissipated else you risk burning your plants or having them play host to an infestation. Excessive cold can also ruin your plants, so you don’t want your room to be too chilly. For each growing room, there are different types of environmental requirements for your crops to thrive, and you will usually want to strike a balance between hot and cold.

Inline fans can provide a perfect solution to your hot or cold predicaments, especially if you’re using a growing tent. Depending on your setup, an inline fan can be installed either onto the ventilation ducting or as an aftermarket cooler set on a wholly independent location. Regardless of your setup, inline fans are the purveyors of one of the best solutions when it comes to ventilation and regulating the temperature for your crops. Most of these devices can also be configured to variable speeds, depending on if your plants require more or less cooling.

Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) is the unit used to measure the fan’s “power”. In other words, CFM is the term used to refer to how much air the fan in question can move or how much airflow it can provide to any given room. Consequently, fans with higher CFM are better suited for bigger growing rooms, or for those who use HID lights as part of their illumination setup and thus have the need to dissipate more heat, given that these type of lights emit much more warmth than LED lights. Large rooms that use LED lights can actually make do with smaller inline fans, given that they aren’t in much risk of burning the crops due to excessive heat. In short, a big room with LED lights can require less ventilation than a small room with HID lights. Always take this fact into consideration when shopping for inline fans.

The purpose of this article is to help shed some light on the best brand of ventilation products for your growing rooms. We will be mostly focusing on the best 6 inch inline fans, which are especially useful for use with small grow tents. So if you’re just starting out and want to keep things small then these are the fans you might want to consider purchasing as part of your setup. However, before we hop into the list properly, let’s go over a few facts of why inline fans - and ventilation in general - is so important for hydroponic growing.​

Best 6-Inch Inline Fans 2017

Model

Item Weight

Product Dimensions
(Inches)

Durable black Inline Fan

10 lbs

13.8 x 12.2 x 10.2

Hurricane 435 CFM

9.9 lbs

13 x 13 x 9

Can Max Fan Mixed Flow

5.8 lbs

7.5 x 6 x 8.8

Apollo Horticulture 390 CFM

6.6 lbs

12.4 x 10.2 x 10.1

TerraBloom Inline Fan 240 CFM

3 lbs

7.9 x 7.3 x 6.5


The following 6 inch inline fans are our absolute top picks, being the best in their category. The products listed below stand out in their quality as well as for their price. These inline fans can give you the absolute best bang for your buck. Furthermore, they also have a considerable amount of positive user reviews, so you can tell from the start that you will be receiving a tried-and-tested product of the utmost quality.

1. Durable Black Inline Fan, 6-Inch - Best 6 Inch Inline Fan 2017

This sturdy inline fan is perfect for growing rooms of all kinds; it can accommodate a wide variety of environments such as indoor gardens, growing tents, or big hydroponic warehouses. It can provide ventilation for all growing rooms and can dissipate environmental heat in temperatures of up to 130°C, without the need for outdoor ventilation. This fan is suited for both circulating fresh air as well as pulling stagnant air from your filters so that the environment can always remain cool and clean. This 6-inch inline fan can provide up to 2730 RPM and 440 CFM, making it a perfect product for small to medium-sized growing rooms.


2. Hurricane 435 CFM Inline Fan

When it comes to ventilation solutions, Hurricane’s Inline Fans are special, because they come in not only 3 sizes, but a grand total of 5, granting the user unparalleled versatility within the industry. Hurricane fans come in sizes from as small as 4 inches to as big as 12 inches, making them the go-to choice for those that want to start a small growing op as well as veteran growers who want to take their operation to the next level. This inline fan in particular is compatible with 6-inch tubing and can provide up to 435 CFM of airflow. It has an all-steel construction, made with ultra-light components, so it’s both sturdy and operates very quietly. The fan itself comes with an 8-foot power cord and can be easily mounted anywhere in a matter of minutes.


3. Can Max Fan Mixed Flow Inline Fan, 6-Inch

This 6-inch inline fan by Can Max can spin at speeds of up to 3,305 RPM, providing a maximum of 334 CFM of airflow at its maximum power. This fan is of German craftsmanship and is made out of lightweight plastic, which makes it very silent, albeit less sturdy than its steel counterparts. The Can Max 6 inch inline fan operates at a maximum wattage of 75W, which makes it very cost efficient, allowing you to save hundreds of dollars worth of energy bills at the end of the year. This fan is also very small, which makes it especially useful for cramped growing rooms.


4. Apollo Horticulture 6" Inch 390 CFM Inline Duct Fan With Built-in Variable Speed Controller For Ventilation

Apollo Horticulture is another one of the big contenders for grow room ventilation. This company doesn’t only make some of the best fans available, they also manufacture and sell other pieces of equipment which are essential components of any growing room, such as LED grow lights, HID lights, replacement bulbs, grow tents, fluorescent grow lights, and other growing accessories. In short, Apollo Horticulture is a well-established brand in the world of hydroponics, with tons of positive reviews on most online retailers.

The fans from this company come in sizes from 4 inches to 8 inches and are suited for the growing of crops of all types and sizes. The best part about their fans - including the one mentioned in this article - is that they all come with a variable speed controller, which makes them very versatile, as well as able to adapt to growing rooms of varying requirements without having to purchase multiple fans. The downside is that their fans don’t come with filters or ducting. However, their four-inch fans can be purchased as a kit that includes a charcoal filter but, again, with no ducting.

This 6-inch inline fan can be configured to variable speeds and, at its maximum potency, can provide up to 390 CFM of airflow, while using only 60W of energy. Not only is this inline fan lightweight, but it’s also silent and sturdy, despite being made of plastic.


5. TerraBloom Inline Fan 240 CFM, 6 Inch

Our last entry in this list is by TerraBloom, one of the lesser-known brands in the world of hydroponics, but they are the manufacturer of some of the best products for growers that are working on a tight budget. Case in point, their 6-inch fan is inexpensive and can provide 240 CFM of airflow, which makes it great for novice growers that are running their operation in a small room or in a growing tent. The maximum wattage used by this fan is only 37W, which makes this fan very cost-efficient and can help you save a lot of money in energy bills. Furthermore, this fan is made from lightweight paint coated steel which makes it both small, as well as very silent, albeit a bit flimsy compared to the rest.


6-Inch Inline Fan Buying Guide

Alright, now that we know why ventilation is so important, the need to purchase an inline fan should be clear as day. However, there are many types of inline fans available for purchase on the market, which can make choosing the best one a challenging endeavor, especially if you’re a newcomer to the business. If you are looking for something smaller, check out my picks for the top 4-inch inline fans. Fortunately, there are not too many variables you will need to consider when it comes to inline fans. So, regardless of the wide selection of products available for this purpose, choosing an appropriate fan is actually more simple than it looks.

In this section, we’ll be going over the elements you need to keep in mind when browsing the market for an inline fan suited to your requirements.

Cubic Feet Per Minutes

As we mentioned above, CFM is the unit used to measure how much cubic feet of air an inline fan can circulate every minute. CFM is a key element in determining any given fan’s airflow efficiency. Airflow efficiency is the CFM of any given fan, divided by the amount of energy it uses to run at its highest speed. In this regard, an inline fan could be used to move lots of air, but with a high power usage, making said fan inefficient. The fans you should be looking for are those that can offer a decent CFM measure at low power usage. In any case, since inline fans are usually small and are used to circulate air within an enclosed system, the CFM needs to be suited to the requirements of the growing room.

In order to pinpoint the exact amount of CFM your growing room will require, we’ll first need to make some calculations:

First, we’ll need to figure out the volume of the room we’re trying to ventilate. In order to obtain this figure, we’ll need to multiply the room’s height x width x length. For example, a small growing tent of 7’ x 7’ x 6’ will have a volume of 294 cu./ft.

Now that we know the volume of the growing environment, we’ll need to convert that number to CFM. Your fan should be able to circulate enough air to cover your whole room in 2 minutes. Those that are struggling with heat issues will need a fan that is able to circulate air through the whole room in 1 minute tops. However, assuming that we’re not having any type of heating issues in your room, we’ll need to divide the cubic feet of your room (294 cubic feet) between 2 minutes, like so: 294/2 = 147. So, for our hypothetical room, we’ll need an inline fan that can provide 147 CFM at the very minimum, in order to keep our growing room ventilated and fresh.

There are other variables that can influence the amount of ventilation your room requires:
If you use air-cooled lighting, add an extra 5% to your CFM requirements. If you don’t have air-cooled lights, add an extra 15%.

Rooms that use CO2 enrichment should add an extra 5% to their CFM requirements.
If you’re using any type of carbon filter, add an extra 20% to your CFM requirements.
​Finally, those that live in hot climates (southern Cali, Arizona) should add an extra 25% to their CFM requirements. Meanwhile, those that live in hot AND humid climates should add an extra 40%.​

So, assuming the worst-case scenario of the variables listed above, your small 294 cu./ft. room would need an inline fan that can provide at least 265 CFM.

As a general rule of thumb, a single 6-inch inline fan is generally good to dissipate air from one 1000w HID light. So, depending on the setup of your system, you might need to purchase several 6-inch inline fans to keep your environment cool and to avoid humidity from building up on the leaves of your crops. Growers that use LED lights for growing purposes won’t have to deal with as many heat issues than those who use HID lights. So you’ll need to keep this in mind when purchasing inline fans.

If you need more assistance in picking out a fan or blower for your growing room, please feel free to consult this guide for an in-depth step-by-step guide.

Size

The size of every inline fan usually refers to the diameter of their duct. If you’re going to be using your inline fans by directly installing them into your ducts, you’ll need to consider the size of said ducts, or else you might run the risk of having to replace the ducts to accommodate the diameter of the inline fans.

Material

If you’re going to invest in a good inline fan then you’ll need to make sure that they’re built to withstand the conditions of your growing room. For this reason it’s better to invest in fans that are made out of sturdy materials, such as those that feature solid steel construction. These will not only provide the best performance, but they will also save you valuable money in the long run because they won’t have to be replaced as often as their flimsier counterparts.

How Can Proper Ventilation Benefit My Crops’ Growth?

Do you know that feeling you get when sitting in a car with the windows rolled up for more than a few minutes, with no air conditioning to keep you fresh? Your skin will start to perspire, your palms will get clammy and sweaty, you will feel your body temperature building, and eventually you’ll have trouble catching your breath. This is what it’s like for your plants when your growing room doesn’t have the equipment necessary to keep air circulating and guarantee a constant supply of fresh air. The devices you use, and the way your system is set up are basically the most important factors to achieving an optimal space for your plants to grow. Among the myriads of issues that can arise from failure to provide proper ventilation are heat issues, pests issues, failure to regulate moisture levels, the proliferation of stagnant air, and failure to mitigate mold and bacteria levels.

In most cases, growing rooms will struggle with keeping fresh and cool. This is partly due to the lighting system, which, besides providing valuable sustenance to your plants, also adds heat to the surrounding environment. We know that excessive heat can burn your crops, so mitigation becomes imperative for their survival. If the grower opts to use CO2 burners as part of the setup as well, then there will be a lot more heat to dissipate as a consequence. In these cases it’s very important to have proper systems in place which could help supply fresh, cool air to the plants while removing the hot air from the environment. A good airflow can also guarantee the removal of stagnant air, as well as keep pests and bacteria from settling on your plants. In outside growing, the presence of fresh air is vital for the plant’s survival, so it’s only obvious that it would be equally as important when trying to grow them in a hydroponic environment.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a vital element for plant growth. CO2 plays a fundamental role in the plant’s metabolic processes that involves growing and fruit production. During daytime, when there is a lot of light, plants absorb CO2 from the air and uses it for these processes. When you circulate fresh air into your growing room with help of your inline fans, you’re also introducing fresh CO2. At nighttime plants don’t require CO2, as they are mostly using their roots to breathe oxygen (O2). It is not recommended to keep pumping CO2 in the night since plants require only O2. If there is less O2 than CO2 at night, then the roots won’t be able to perform their job optimally and may begin to suffocate, if the O2 deficiency is high enough. In short, the smart use of fans and other types of ventilation can ensure that your crops receive all the aerial nutrients they require to grow strong and healthy.

On a much smaller level (microscopic), ventilation becomes a much more vital component of any growing room. The air surrounding your plants’ leaves create a sort of “microclimate” on a much smaller level. Said microclimates can have varying levels of humidity, temperature, and even atmospheric conditions that often vary from the ones in the growing room as a whole. The condition of these microclimates is vital for the plant’s metabolic processes and, if there’s not enough ventilation, the excess humidity and oxygen within these microclimates won’t be able to move away from the plant. Ventilation is vital to help reduce the size of these microclimates and to reduce the plant’s exposure to these conditions.​



6-Inch Inline Fan Wrap Up

Before you get started on your growing operation, it really pays off to research the exact type of equipment you’ll need in order to get started. While you could always err on the expensive side when it comes to ventilation, a smaller fan - adequate to your needs - will always be able to provide just the amount of ventilation required by your plants, while helping you to save on energy bills. Nevertheless, what you always need to keep in mind is that, by investing in a proper ventilation system, you will be able to avoid future issues altogether. A good system can help you keep your plants strong, the air clean, and the pests out of your growing room.

If anything, by investing on a good inline fan will save you plenty of pain and money in the long run.​

All images sourced from Amazon.com
Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Durable black Inline Fan, 6-Inch, Part # IF6
Author Rating
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Naomi

Join me as I document my gardening journey and share my tips, tricks, and techniques on how to have a blast while growing the plants you love. I hope this resource can be a great reference for you!

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