With summer just around the corner, a lot of people are counting down the days to some fun in the sun. As temperatures rise, it is time to start thinking about ways on how you can improve airflow ventilation within your equestrian facilities during the summer months. More specifically, having a well-ventilated barn provides a healthier environment for your horses’ overall wellbeing.
Good ventilation is important for your horse’s health and comfort. Proper air flow helps keep your horses cool during the heat waves, but it also prevents humidity buildup and air contamination. Humid air can contribute to respiratory ailments, stiffness, and bacterial and fungal growth. Air contamination can be caused by ammonia fumes from decomposing urine and manure, dust particles from hay or bedding, mold and fungus spores, and bacteria which all can contribute to allergy and respiratory problems in both horses and humans. Foals are especially vulnerable to higher levels of ammonia and are subjected to higher concentrations because they live closer to the ground where ammonia tends to layer. Humid conditions can also cause condensation to collect in your tack and feed, additionally ruining insulation, rusting metal siding and rotting barn framing.
So, what are some ways to help prevent humidity buildup, air contamination, and improve barn ventilation?
A great way to help increase airflow in your facility is a proper design. Windows and doors that open will allow air to move through the barn, especially when they are placed on opposite sides of the building and have few solid walls between them. Cross ventilation is a popular method that makes the wind work to the barn owner’s fullest advantage. Cooler outside air is forced into the barn through inlets, while warmer inside air is funneled out through roof vents or windows. Inlets can include a variety of features, like interior ceiling baffles, wall louvers, a gable or simply an open window. It is important to make sure that the inlet and outlets are similar in size, so that there is roughly the amount of wind coming in as there is going out.
If mother nature isn’t able to provide critical airflow movement, electric fans can be a welcomed substitute. Horse stall fans placed in strategic locations inside the barn will help stimulate air circulation. By drawing the hot stagnant air out of the barn, the fans can simulate cross ventilation, thereby limiting humidity buildup and air contamination. An insulated barn combined with ventilation can further reduce heat buildup. Another great bonus to having fans is that they provide air flow to not only help keep your horses cool, but also to keep those pesky flies away! This is beneficial to not only your horse, but to yourself, your clients, and your barn’s overall cleanliness.
An important reminder, with summer heat comes fires – Be Prepared. Take the necessary precautions to clear vegetation far enough away from structures, have fire extinguishers ready, a reliable water source, and an evacuation plan in place.
Sterling Equine can help you create a barn that is well ventilated! From windows to fans, we have what you need to make your facility healthier for your horses. Get in touch today for a free quote and to learn more about how to improve your barn.