As horse owners, we can agree that airflow and ventilation is always top of mind in our barns. That applies to all barns whether they are located in South Florida or in Vermont.
We – horse people – emphasize ventilation because it is essential to a healthy barn. Ample airflow ensures that there high-quality air for our horses and their lung health. This is even more important in foaling barns where new babies need ample access to airflow.
Proper ventilation also helps with overall odor management of a barn. We have all been to a barn which retains a less-than-desired odor. That is often because ammonia and other heavy gasses have settled into the horse stalls. Mindful ventilation helps turn these gasses into visitors in your barn – simply passing in and out of your barn. Lastly, proper ventilation regulates the temperature inside your barn to keep it nice and cool.
In this article, we’d like to share 3 ways to improve ventilation in your barn – whether you are reading this in the Summer or in the middle of Winter. This list will begin with the most simple (and) cost-effective option and end with suggestions that require more planning.
SUGGESTION #1: Install Horse Stall Fans
To begin, we recommend to all clients to install high-quality stall fans to their horse stalls. This applies to all horse barns whether you have a private backyard barn or run a large thoroughbred farm operations.
This is a no brainer, but a high-quality stall fan will:
- Improve air movement in your barn
- Provide superior cooling to your horses
- Operate with less noise
- Reduce heat stress in your horses
- Improve air quality in the barn
When shopping for horse stall fans, we recommend against the traditional box fan. Box fans are inexpensive and versatile, but these fans are not approved for use in horse barns by national electric codes. These traditional box fans utilize an “open” motor construction and design. This particular design presents a serious fire hazard for barns. This is why we recommend to purchase a stall fan with a closed motor design.
When we work with our clients, we routinely recommend our PureCOOL 12″ Stall Fans. These fans are quiet, include a “closed” motor design, and include a deep-guard design that is safe and effective. They are also available in various sizes including 12″, 18″, and 24.”
SUGGESTION #2: Add Stalls with Mesh Bottoms
Aside from a stall fan, the addition of a mesh bottom is a great option for your stall doors. Although mesh is expensive, it provides invaluable benefits to your barn. We believe that the additional cost is justified both in the immediate and long run. You can read about the benefits of mesh here, but here is a condensed list of its benefits:
- Airflow & Ventilation: Mesh allows for more airflow to flow into the horse stall and out of the horse stall
- Visibility: Mesh increases visibility into the stall. This allows you to save time during barn checks, but also have more peace of mind.
- Odor Management: Mesh bottoms (on stall doors and stall fronts) help flush out odors that tend to linger in the bottom of a horse stall.
For Existing Stalls and Barns – If your existing horse stalls are in good condition, we recommend customers to simply add our Stall Gates. This can be installed right behind your existing sliding horse stall door. This allows our clients to leave their sliding stall door open – while our stall gate’s design promotes ventilation and socialization.
For New Stalls and Barn Builds – If you have the luxury of a new barn, we recommend to simply do it right. This means adding a mesh bottom or grilled bottom to your horse stall door’s bottom. This will be an upgrade for most horse stalls, but is an upgrade that will ensure happy, healthy horses.
SUGGESTION #3: Add Exterior Barn Doors and Barn Windows
In addition to interior upgrades, exterior components are one of the quickest ways to add ventilation. Exterior products include everything from Dutch Doors to Sliding Paddock Doors to Barn Windows. These components ensure that your barn is ventilated – moving air in an efficient manner. Additionally, these additions can allow your horse to also access fresh air that is present outside.
SUGGESTION #4: Design Your Barn with High Ceilings
Last but not least, we always recommend clients to consider higher ceiling pitches in their barn construction. We make this recommendation whenever we connect with a new barn builder or an architect that does not have equine experience. Although this is the most “difficult” suggestion to implement, high ceilings will ensure that air is pulled and pushed in an efficient manner.
While this article covered 4 suggestions, this is far from a complete list. If you are looking to make improvements to your horse barn, we encourage you to give our team a call or email. One of our design project managers would love to speak with you to see how we can help increase the safety and function of your barn. You can reach our sales and design team at (855) 957-8255.