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Barn Blog

September 25, 2015

How to Ventilate a Pole Barn to Be Used as an Animal Shelter

 If you raise livestock on your farm, you want to keep them healthy. Properly ventilating a pole barn that is used as an animal shelter can allow fresh air to circulate and keep your animals safe and comfortable, which can prolong their lives. Here are some tips to help you ventilate your pole barn animal shelter.

You need to keep your animal shelter clean. Not doing so can be detrimental to the air quality and your livestock’s health. Design your pole barn in a way that will make it easy to move cleaning equipment in and out.

Natural Ventilation:

The least expensive way to ventilate your pole barn is to do it naturally. This does not require any fans or tunnels. Natural ventilation is typically used in northern climates with mild summers and cold winters. Even if winters are harsh, if you insulate your pole barn and use waste management effectively, it should retain enough heat to keep your animals comfortable.

Create paths for air to flow through the entrance and sides of your pole barn. Use doors, windows, curtains, and eave and ridge vents.

If your pole barn has a high roof pitch, stale air will be exhausted through the peak and fresh air will enter through the eaves. Use a 4/12 or 5/12 pitch.

Include overhangs in your pole barn design. This will allow you to use vented eaves, which will allow fresh air in, and keep rainwater and snow away from the pole barn. If moisture gets into your pole barn, it can affect the indoor air quality.

Try to place your pole barn in an area with strong prevailing winds. Winds prevail from the southwest in the summer and the northwest in the winter.

Insulation can protect the interior of your pole barn from extreme temperatures. You should also insulate the roofline.

Power Ventilation:

If you decide to use mechanical ventilation, you will have better control over internal air quality. This can improve your animals’ health, especially if you live in an area with hot, humid summers.

You have several options when it comes to power ventilation. You can install tunnel ventilation controlled by a thermostat and timing controls, intermittent fans in the peak or along a side wall, and intake shutters that are operated mechanically. Ask your builder which combination would be best for your climate.

Intermittent baffles keep air at a low elevation and make tunnel-ventilated pole barns more efficient. This can place air where you want it to keep your animals cool and remove moisture.

Hybrid Ventilation

A hybrid ventilation system uses both natural and power design elements. In some cases, natural ventilation is used part of the year and mechanical systems are used in the summer.

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