A horse that cannot breathe well, cannot live well.  Therefore, good ventilation in your barn is crucial to the health and longevity of your horses. Today’s blog will cover the different types of ventilation options that can increase fresh airflow.

Ceilings: Horses require at least 1,600 square feet of air space so high ceilings allow hot air to rise. Hot air can be expelled by a fan, louver, or ridge vent. High ceilings keep the horses cool and create an open, airy environment.

Barn Doors: Properly placed barn doors allow for natural cross-ventilation. Especially during the summers, cross-ventilations can allow cool breezes to enter your barn and cool off your horses.

Stall Doors: Dutch stalls doors, stall guards, or stall doors with yolks or fold down features can greatly increase the amount of circulation. The problem with solid stall doors is that they block the flow of fresh air.2015-10-08 11.40.24

Windows: Windows also have the potential to allow natural cross-ventilation but can also create drafts. To prevent drafts, windows must be placed high, about 4-5 feet above the floor. Windows must also open at the top or be louvered.

Ridge Vents: Ridge vents are openings that are installed into the ridge of the roof. Ridge vents allow any stale or hot air to easily escape.

Exhaust Fans: Exhaust fans require electricity and can be expensive. Yet they drive out hot air and create a pressure difference that increases airflow. Exhaust fans also remove humidity. During the winter months when moisture levels are high, exhaust fans are valuable.

Stall Fans: When placed on each individual stall, they are useful on very hot days. They keep flies off your horses and create horizontal circulation. They must be placed cautiously so your horse cannot play with the fan or the electric cord.

Louvers: Louvers are slats that can be angled either horizontally or vertically within a frame. They can be installed in a variety of ways. They are commonly installed into walls, gables or eaves. They are beneficial because they direct incoming air upwards. Louvers also allow stale air to exit.

These are the most basic ventilation options. There are more complex, high-tech ventilation systems that are very interesting as well!


Article by Anna Hellman

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