The Importance Of Airflow In Barns

“Do I need barn ventilation?”

That’s a question not every livestock owner asks — but they should. Airflow is every bit as important to animal health as it is to human health. Without proper airflow, barn air can get pretty unpleasant. But it’s not just a matter of aesthetics. Improper barn ventilation can damage the structure of the building as well as create significant health and safety hazards for animals and humans alike.

Why is airflow in barns important?

Without proper airflow, air in a barn can become stale and stuffy in a hurry. To make matters worse, good airflow is needed to vent excess moisture from the barn’s interior, so improper ventilation can also lead to condensation and moisture buildup. Here are just a few of the consequences that have been traced to inadequate barn ventilation.

  • Mold growth — Stale, moist air is a perfect environment for mold. Once established, mold is difficult to eradicate. It can cause ill health in animals and humans, ruin tack, feed and other items stored in barns, and even cause damage to the structure of the barn.
  • Respiratory irritation — Urine and manure emit gases as they decompose, including hydrogen sulfide, methane and ammonia. Not only are these fumes unpleasant to smell, they are unhealthy to breathe for both animals and the people who work with them. Animal waste fumes can also irritate skin and eyes. In an inadequately ventilated barn, even a small amount of animal waste can result in accumulation of these fumes to unhealthy levels — an effect made even worse when humidity is high. Even in the cleanest barn, poor ventilation can also result in dusty air, which is a very common cause of respiratory distress, lung disease and allergies.
  • Condensation-related problems — Condensation resulting from poor barn ventilation can cause any number of health and safety issues, including: foot and hoof problems, rust damage to equipment, slip hazards, and animal stress due to dripping ceilings.
  • Poor productivity and performance — When an animal’s health and well-being is compromised, so is its performance. Even when an animal seems in perfect health, minor distress caused by any of the above issues can lead to problems such as low milk production, low or slow weight gain, and poor horse performance.

Many barn owners rely on natural ventilation such as opening windows and doors, or ventilation through the eaves or roof vents. However, natural ventilation is often inadequate because it can be inconsistent, difficult to control, and may not reach all areas of the barn.

Alternatively, some barns employ box fans to provide airflow. These, too, are less than ideal. They are noisy, which can stress the animals. They often throw a lot of dust into the air — and they are expensive to run.

HVLS Fans: The Ideal Barn Ventilation Solution

HVLS fans were invented specifically to address ventilation issues in dairy barns. No wonder animal owners of all types are turning to them more and more to solve their barn airflow and moisture issues!

Our HVLS fans are the perfect barn fan solution for the following reasons:

  • Large coverage area — One Z-Tech™ fan covers up to 40,000 square feet.
  • Gentle airflow — HVLS fans move large volumes of air slowly, avoiding harsh breezes that can disturb animals and stir up dust.
  • Quiet operation — No more anxious animals due to fan noise.
  • Cooling and heating applications — Our HVLS fans help keep livestock and people comfortable by regulating air temperature all year.
  • Energy efficient — The extremely low (3.15 amp) power consumption of these fans keeps energy costs low and your ROI high

Want to know more about how our HVLS fans can help keep your barn safe and comfortable for both animals and humans? Call us at 847-648-4920, or contact us here to request a quote.