Give Your Swine Barn a Ventilation Checkup

Even with warmer weather, swine barn ventilation maintenance is a year-round activity. Kevin Rath, AP District Manager, says keeping the ventilation system in good working order can make all the difference.

“Good ventilation is imperative for creating an ideal environment for the pigs. The appropriate amount of airflow, particularly in hot weather, is a necessity. So, we want to keep those pigs from being heat stressed, which is going to be detrimental to their performance and productivity.”

Several components of the ventilation system need regular maintenance to make sure you get the most out of the system. Those components include fans and shutters, sidewall curtains, and the evaporative cooling system.

“Keeping your fans and your shutters clean, belt tensioners appropriate, and greasing all your components on your fans is going to be important to keep them performing optimally. A second area is your natural curtains. In a natural building, we want those curtains to be in order, allowing air in and out of the building. The third area, this time of the year, as we’re moving into hotter conditions, evaporative cooling systems can help keep temperatures cooler, but those pads need to be maintained. They need to be clean so air can pass through them and to be fully saturated and wet. Whenever the air is passing through the dry areas that are not getting wet will not perform and will actually damage the system.”

Controllers are the brains behind the ventilation system, so it’s important to make sure they’re working properly.

“Controllers are another important part of the network of the system’s ventilation system operating properly. So, we want to make sure that all the ventilation stages are appropriately set up, and that we move forward with air volumes, and continue to add more air as temperatures increase. And finally, the air inlets in a barn. We want to make sure those air inlets are even and uniform, that we have a consistent amount of air coming in equally through all of them is our goal, and as those percentages of open that they match up to the amount of fan power that we have to keep our static pressure a reasonable level of even airflow that’s not blocked or slowed in any way.”

For additional information about swine barn maintenance, producers can contact their AP dealer or visit