Give Your Barn a Ventilation Checkup This Fall

September 19, 2013

1 Min Read
Give Your Barn a Ventilation Checkup This Fall

Just as humans suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), where the airways to the lungs become congested, restricting air exchange, so too do swine production facilities across the Midwest have this same disease, according to a recent blog from Mike Brumm.

Brumm writes a blog for Minnesota Pork Producers Association called “Brumm Speaks Out,” at

In his blog of Sept. 13, Brumm suggests that  “a very large number of production facilities” have major restrictions in their ventilation systems causing higher electrical expense, curtain hang up and doors slamming due to very high static pressures, improper curtain operation, etc.

A major cause of this facility “disease” is incorrect attic inlets, usually at the soffit. “If you can’t get air into an attic efficiently, how do you expect to draw it from the attic through ceiling inlets?” he asks.

Common causes of attic inlet restrictions include:

  • Soffit sizing

  • Installation of punched metal or house soffit materials

  • Soffits plugged with debris

  • Ridge vents as the only attic inlet.

  • As the weather cools, building curtains are closed and producers will be relying more on ceiling inlets for ventilation, Brumm says.


Before moving ahead with fall harvest plans, give your ventilation system a checkup to reduce the impact of COPD on your facility.  Clean soffit screens, verify soffit opening dimensions (one square foot of attic inlet per 400 cfm of fan/ceiling inlet capacity) and clean/repair fan shutters.

Brumm cautions if you are relying on ridge ventilators for attic (and ceiling) inlet capacity, and the wind blows across the roof ridge line, air is restricted due to the increase in uplift pressure from the venture effect of the wind at the ridge.

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