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University of Minnesota Extension

Ventilation systems for horse barns

Quick facts

  • Horse barns need air exchange to remove moisture, prevent condensation and provide fresh air.

  • Naturally-ventilated systems are less costly, but have limited control of air flow and distribution.

  • Mechanically-ventilated barns are designed for year round conditions.

  • Well spread out air inlets eliminate air spaces in mechanically ventilated barns.

  • Insulation keeps buildings warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer and prevents moisture build up.

Why do horse barns need air exchange? 

Air exchange in horse barns is key to:

  • Controlling and removing moisture

  • Preventing condensation on surfaces

  • Maintaining good air quality

    • Removes dust, pathogens, ammonia, fumes and other compounds in the air

  • Removing heat and keeping barns cool during the warm conditions

How do you accomplish air exchange?


Keys to air exchange


Authors: Larry Jacobson, Extension emeritus engineer and Chuck Clanton, professor of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences

Reviewed in 2021

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