Beat the Heat: Airflow in Livestock Barns


Livestock barns vary in shapes, sizes and material, but it is always important to take airflow and circulation into consideration when creating an environment for your animals to thrive.

During hot weather, getting the air moving is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep livestock and exhibitors cool. Livestock facilities require both ventilation and circulation of air year-round. Ventilation is the exchange of interior and exterior air, whereas circulation is the mixing of air within a space to prevent stagnant conditions.

Why is Air Circulation Important?

  • Consistent circulation helps reduce temperatures, causes less stress on animals and keeps their performance levels steady
  • Dry, cool environments are less likely to attract pests and will reduce the risk or spread of fungus
  • Control heat & humidity and reduce odor

Ways to achieve optimal airflow:

  1. Ventilation: A ventilation system ensures that the warm, dusty, humid and odiferous barn air is continually replaced by fresh outside air. A well-ventilated barn should not have issues with humidity or odors.Ventilation systems can include natural elements, such as operable windows and ridge vents, along with mechanized elements, such as exhaust fans.
  2. Circulation: Within the barn, air circulation is equally important. Allowing air to become stagnant can lead to issues with ammonia and condensation, as well as it feeling stuffy, making it more difficult to breathe.Large-diameter, low-speed overhead fans slowly and gently mix the air throughout a space, creating consistent temperatures from ceiling to floor. Because these fans use their large size–up to 24 feet in diameter–rather than speed to move massive amounts of air, they are an energy-efficient approach to comprehensive air movement.For smaller barns needing more budget friendly solutions, small box fans or oscillating fans placed slightly above each pen or animal is also a great way to ensure good circulation.
  3. Insulation. While this is not a way to create airflow, it is certainly a way to make the most of your efforts in creating the perfect environment for your livestock. Insulating both the ceiling and walls will keep your barn warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer heat. Depending on your barn and materials, there are multitudes of ways to achieve insulating your facilities.

Learn more about options to cool your barn:;ft_cooling_fans.html
Creating Optimal Airflow in Livestock Barns

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