When building or remodeling a barn, ventilation might not be the first thing on your mind—but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. There are certainly plenty of quick fixes and gimmicks out there claiming to be the next best thing; but most quick fixes fall short. There are many factors to consider carefully when designing a ventilation system for any livestock facility and any one-size fits all system should instantly make you wary.
Is Your Ventilation System Working Properly?
Generally, pork producers see the effects of a bad ventilation system through measures such as air quality, air temperature, and humidity. If you have drafting in your barn, notice dead spots when walking around, or find areas that have high ammonia, these are all signs that your system needs some attention.
The Inlet Problem
There are hundreds of reasons why your ventilation system may not be working to its full potential. For a barn to be properly ventilated, you must take into account the height and width of the room, the impact of airflow, how ceiling heights change what air patterns can develop, and several other factors.
Some people look at a barn and assume if you let air in and you pull the air out, you’re going to be fine. In reality, there are actually many ways that air can be wasted or made more efficient. Air can move too fast or it can move too slow. There can be too many inlets or not enough. And regional differences cannot be overlooked. What works in one barn 500 miles away may not work at all in your barn. There are so many precise possibilities with airflow, which is why it is important for ventilation to be considered from day one.
How Can I Fix My Ventilation Issues?
The key to fixing inadequate ventilation is understanding the original ventilation design and trying to optimize what is existing. This optimization is sometimes enough to achieve better air quality, but some situations do require a ventilation revamp. That is one reason we are passionate about getting ventilation experts involved with projects from the very beginning of barn projects.
If you’re trying to fix ventilation in your barn it is important that you don’t solely focus on purchasing more efficient equipment, but on the whole scope of the project. Bring in a team of experienced professionals that understand your geographic area to evaluate your current flow and suggest improvements.
Whatever you decide, it is important your design and products work together. If you have the perfect setup, but don’t have a proper fan, you’re going to have problems. Similarly, though, an energy efficient fan is not going to solve your problems if you don’t have the correct airflow.