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View Full Version : How to get heat relief for barn



trail blazer
Jun. 10, 2010, 07:43 PM
I am looking to find the best way to fight off the stifling heat in the barn. When we get a breeze it is bearable, but this is definitely the year to do more. We have commercial ceiling fans and box fans on the stalls. I'm wondering whether to add ventilation fans on the ends to draw the air through and or possibly adding something like the Tek Foil under the roof. Or maybe even spray foam?

What have you found works the best? I need to do something quick before we all melt!

Mr.GMan
Jun. 11, 2010, 07:00 AM
The place across the street from me has a huge commercial fan sitting off to one side of the aisle and has it going full blast in the summer time. Each horse also has a stall fan too. I believe there is a ventilation fan in the barn as well, but for me, I loved the air flow from the big fan in the aisleway. The barn was always somewhat cooler than outside.

fivehorses
Jun. 11, 2010, 09:52 AM
Is your roof insulated? I would start with that. Otherwise, you are just drawing heat down with your ceiling fans.

If you can't get a breeze going with your fans, I'd add more.

I also bought some 9.95 cobra mister's at Home Depot in Aiken...cheap and they help bring the temps down some. There was a thread recently about misters...mine are just cheap things I bought to see how I'd like a misting fan.

For fans, I find the 24" fans work best...the round kind. Don't get a cyclone by Lasko...no good.
Also, the large TSC don't work as well either.

KnKShowmom
Jun. 11, 2010, 09:55 AM
Add a ridge vent if you don't already have one - makes a huge difference.

MistyBlue
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:10 AM
I had vent fans installed in the roof of my barn a few years ago.
They make an enormous difference in the interior temps in the barn. They draw the hot air out from under the roof, pull in cooler moving air through the doors and windows and completely "recycle" all the air in the barn every 60-90 seconds. It's always moving air in there, and never stale air or air that's been sitting around getting hotter.
On a dry heat day it can lower the temp inside my barn almost 20 degrees.
They also make using stall fans much more effective because the stall fans are blowing circulated air and not hot stale air.
I don't have the underside of the roof insulated yet. I have the insulation but I'm not good on high ladders. I also need to have the insulation covered because I can't stand animals/birds getting into it and having bits falling all over. And it's not easy to hold the sheets of plywood up and nail them on when you're only one person standing on a tall ladder. (with shaking knees, LOL)

Here's the fans I had installed:
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/MistyBlue5105/000_0230.jpg

Two were suggested by the electrician for the size of the barn I have. 24x40.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/MistyBlue5105/000_0229.jpg

Here's an interior view right after they were installed. I've since put up a screen barrier to cover the moving blades to keep my barn swallows from accidentally getting minced:
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y172/MistyBlue5105/000_0224.jpg

They're thermostat controlled. I have them set at 75 degrees...when the air temp near the ridge gets to 75 degrees the fans turn themselves on. When the temp up there drop below 75 degrees, they turn themselves off again.

The cost of the fans and the installation by a couple of electricians was around $1200. The fans weren't expensive, it was the labor/electrician costs that were higher.

But they were worth every single penny of that cost IMO. The vet and farrier gush about them in summer, saying they've never been in such a cool/fresh air barn before. When they're on if you stand in the barn you can feel the cooler air blowing past you as the fans suck it in from outside and keep all the air in the barn moving. Every bit of air in the barn is sucked out and replaced by constant movement every minute/minute and a half.

paintjumper
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:20 AM
I have a huge floor fan on wheels with 2 misters that I put on the front of the fan.
Hook up to the water hose and you get a much cooler air flow down the barn hall.
I also have ceiling fans, and box fans on each stall. After a while the water will puddle but even that helps as the fan blows across the water and my stalls are concrete with mats and shavings too, so the water just eventually dries after the misters are turned off.

theoldgreymare
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:52 AM
We have ridge vents and large exhaust fans up in the loft. It works for us, the barn is actually cooler than the house!

baysngreys
Jun. 11, 2010, 12:00 PM
Heat rises and you have to give it somewhere to go or else you're just drawing it back down with fans.

Add a working Cupola to the roof, cut a hole so the heat can escape.

Attic fans work great in barn roofs too. Add one at each end of the roof, the automatic ones are great, they come on when the heat increases.

Ridge vents, gable vents, you-name-it vents!

Keeping the air moving will also help cut down on flies, they like it where the air is still.

MistyBlue
Jun. 11, 2010, 12:53 PM
*sigh* I miss having an attic fan in this house. My first house had one and the house I grew up in had one.
Even though we have central air, I still want an attic/whole house fan for the house. Hubby doesn't get why I want one with central air, but they're heavenly to have. Even if only used to destink your house after sauteing (why does that look wrong?) garlic or making fish for dinner. :winkgrin:

But then hubby and I are a "mixed marriage." He's a 100% AC and windows sealed year round guy and I much prefer windows open and fans blasting. Year round. (yep, even in winter my bedroom window is cracked for fresh cold air) ;)

KnKShowmom
Jun. 11, 2010, 01:22 PM
Misty Blue, you have my vote on that debate -

Grew up in the NE, had an whole house attic fan for the summers and cracked the windows in the winter - tons of blankets to burrow under!

Moved to the SE, married a man whose parents keep the ac at about 65 :eek:, and about 15 years ago, when DD was born and my GSD was getting old, I caved and put in a heat pump for AC. Don't use it until we get to the upper 80 - 90's and the nights stay above 70 - just can't cool the house down enough.

Maybe if we had an attic fan.....

2DogsFarm
Jun. 11, 2010, 01:23 PM
[quote=MistyBlue;4918492But then hubby and I are a "mixed marriage." He's a 100% AC and windows sealed year round guy and I much prefer windows open and fans blasting. Year round. (yep, even in winter my bedroom window is cracked for fresh cold air) ;)[/quote]

:sadsmile: I was part of one of those too. Until he passed, DH & I had an annual It Is/Is NOT Time to Put Window Units In! argument every Summer.
Now I get my way all the time and AC stays off until there's a stretch of 90+ days.
I'd rather have the windows open and a fan blowing on me.

HIJACK!
Is the purpose of a ridge vent totally defeated if the %!$* starlings have stuffed it full of hay & are raising their families up there? :mad:
And is it possible to evict them without going out onto the roof?

trail blazer
Jun. 11, 2010, 01:24 PM
Thanks for these great ideas. We intended to put in the cupolas but the expense for 3 of them had us put them off. I think if I can figure out the right size of exhaust fans or attic vents that would be a huge help. I love the idea of having it come on automatically. I'm looking at the Farm Tek catalog....is that the best source or do you think locals can help?

I am definitely going to check into what it would cost to modify the metal roof and add a ridge vent.

MistyBlue
Jun. 11, 2010, 03:29 PM
Check both locals and farmtek. Price shop. Of course if you can do the work yourselves or hire a handy friend to do it, it will be cheaper than hiring a pro out of the yellow pages. Labor alone can more than double the cost of the materials on some things.

But with electricity make sure it's done right for safety reasons.

Insulating a metal roof would make a big difference by itself. No only do you have heat rising inside the barn and getting trapped, the metal heats up and adds more heat. Insulating will also muffle rain noises too. There's a few different ways to insulating a metal roof, hopefully someone with experience will chime in and let you know what worked best for them. But I do agree with checking into attic/vent fans. They have to cut holes in the roof or eaves for those anyways to vent the hot air out, so if having holes cut into the roof adding fans would really make a big difference in interior temp and air quality. :yes: The fans themselves weren't expensive. IIRC mine are either 18" or 20" fans, thermostat controlled, they come with the outside caps and I think they cost aboout $200 each. The huge bulk of the cost of getting them in was the installation, not the materials.

2Dogs and KnK...it's not easy being a fresh air person married to a canned air prson, is it? :winkgrin: :lol: To be totally honest...I love having central air. I never was bothered by heat or humidity for most of my life until I hit about 38 years old/the change. Now I have zero tolerance for that type of weather. So I'm more than happy now to put the AC on if it gets nasty outside. Say 85 with humidity and over. But...Mr Blue will close up the windows in any weather. If it's 65 and dry outside, he'll close all the windows and put the AC on. :confused: :eek: And he gets cold easy. :confused: Even on gorgeous days we argue in the car because he's always closing the windows and I'm always opening them. :lol:

MunchkinsMom
Jun. 11, 2010, 06:16 PM
I'm going to look into solar attic vent fans, no electric to install, and a 30% tax incentive to boot. So far prices are running around $500 per fan, but if I can get it cooler in the barn and not jack up our already astronomical electric bill (two whole house A/C units, a pool filter, freezer, and uncountable number of electronics running in this damned house) here in Florida, it might just be worth running a balance on the credit card to pay for them.

LauraKY
Jun. 11, 2010, 08:25 PM
The easiest and cheapest method to really lower the temp is to close the barn doors facing the sun. We close our back doors in the morning, front after 12:00. Front faces southwest.

One of my boarders moved her horse to our farm in August. She told me she drove up and saw the barn doors closed and thought that it would be stifling inside. She was very surprised that it was quite a bit cooler than just outside the barn.

We do the same with the house. Close the blinds on the side where the sun is. Really helps the air conditioning.

We have planted trees (previous owner must have been a tree hater), but they will take a while. In the meantime it's closed doors and fans.

MistyBlue
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:15 PM
Good point LauraKY. I recently bought thermal blinds for my kitchen because from 10:30 am until the sun goes down in summer my kitchen broils from all the windows letting in light. So far massive difference in how cool the house feels and how often the AC kicks on.

I have been thinking of putting a "porch" overhang on the front of my barn to shade the front barn doors and keep the sun from slanting in. It can also act as a wind barrier/shelter too in other weather. But since I'm not that handy not sure what it would cost me to do. I can't close up barn doors in hot weather to block sun because I don't have a center aisle barn and closing the doors cuts off too much ventilation and also blocks the horses' access to the aisle that doubles as a run in.

Chall
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:30 PM
MB, do those fans leak water in when it rains heavily? I see those on houses and all I can think is people are crazy to deliberately put holes in their roof.

MistyBlue
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:35 PM
LOL...that was my same freak out when they were getting installed Chall. :yes:
But the exterior is shaped like a mushroom. The base on the outside of the roof is weatherproofed and sealed all around and has a "stem" that comes up about 6-8" high off the roof. The stem is a wind tunnel, like a short pipe. It's open on the top and the cap part covers that...overlapping and coming down the sides a few inches.

Even in high winds with torrential downpours not a drop comes in to the barn or even on the fans.

But I did drive the installers bananas with a billion questions worrying it would get wet in my barn or soak the fans in windy rain and short them out. :D

MunchkinsMom
Jun. 11, 2010, 10:55 PM
I have been thinking of putting a "porch" overhang on the front of my barn to shade the front barn doors and keep the sun from slanting in. It can also act as a wind barrier/shelter too in other weather. But since I'm not that handy not sure what it would cost me to do. I can't close up barn doors in hot weather to block sun because I don't have a center aisle barn and closing the doors cuts off too much ventilation and also blocks the horses' access to the aisle that doubles as a run in.

Same here, my horses are out 24x7 with free access to the center aisle barn and stalls with box fans. I just got a quote to put nice overhangs on both ends of my center aisle barn to provide sun/rain protection, and what I designed (so that it looks nice) I just got a quote for about 4K to put them on (36 feet long, 4 feet wide, modified hip style roof to blend with the existing roof). Well, that is not in the budget, so I am back to building more models to come up with plan B to show the builder to get a new (and hopefully lower) price. Unfortunately it will also be smaller, and I need to run some tests with lighting angles to see how much shade it will provide based on the angle of the barn in relation to the sun.

trail blazer
Jun. 12, 2010, 04:12 PM
"Insulating a metal roof would make a big difference by itself. No only do you have heat rising inside the barn and getting trapped, the metal heats up and adds more heat. Insulating will also muffle rain noises too. There's a few different ways to insulating a metal roof, hopefully someone with experience will chime in and let you know what worked best for them. "


Bumping up to see if anyone can share their experiences for insulating the roof?

StGermain
Jun. 12, 2010, 05:21 PM
trail blazer - I was at my local Sam's Club and they had solar powered attic fans for $200. They go on automatically when the temp hits 85 degrees.

StG

MistyBlue
Jun. 12, 2010, 08:00 PM
StGermain...that sounds like a good price!

MMom...yeah, the cost worries me too. Mostly because every time you turn around on a farm there's something that needs fixing, replacing, expanding, modifying or just for you to stand around throwing cash at it for no good reason. :lol:

I swear every season of every year I have some sort of large outlay of income. I wonder if I'll ever be "done" and then mentally smack myself thinking a horse property can ever be finished. :winkgrin:

I'd also want my overhang to look nice too. Busted my butt getting my place just so...don't want to Trailer Park it up now. :cool:

A-n-d yesterday I decided that instead of waiting another lifetime to ever get my flipping riding ring finished I'm going to use the round pen I have (that I've never used as an actual round pen, LOL) and add more panels and just get footing for that so I have groomed footing to ride in instead of up and down driveways and around paddock and on trails and across my yard. I'm thinking an 80' round pen should be decent sized enough, I hope. And the footing for that will be hella lot cheaper than the 100x200 ring I'm trying to finish.

Money money money...it's never ending. :no:

MunchkinsMom
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:22 AM
I hear you - it is always something. I finished my model barn (made from index cards) so I could see what the "plan B" overhangs would look like, they look pretty good actually, and my neighbors agreed that it looked pretty nice (and the husband is on our neighborhood ARB), so I will ask the builder to get me a quote for that, and ask him how much he woud charge to install the attic fans.

It has been unbelievably hot this week, even for Florida. Pretty sad when I think it is cooling down when the temps get down to 90.

trail blazer
Jun. 14, 2010, 09:04 AM
trail blazer - I was at my local Sam's Club and they had solar powered attic fans for $200. They go on automatically when the temp hits 85 degrees.

StG


StG - Thanks for the tip!!! I try to stay away from Sam's because I always end up buying more than I need. But I will skip on over and check this out while i'm making calls to find someone who can install them. Maybe relief is in sight.

KingsCross
Jun. 15, 2010, 12:19 PM
FarmTek has some solar powered fans that look similar to MistyBlue's---They are on page 113 of the most recent catalog. Around $250 each, if I recall, plus a little more for the thermostat controller. I am getting a price to have either a couple of these or a ridge vent installed, later this week.

There really are some wonderful ideas on this thread---thank you all!

GraceLikeRain
Jun. 15, 2010, 09:56 PM
NO experience with insulating roofs but a simple thing we do to help out a bit is to wet down the aisle and place a large fan on one end. We also hose everyone down (dogs included) around lunch and let them camp out in front of their fans.

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 19, 2010, 12:46 AM
My neighbors barn has a metal roof and has insulation. Its that metal foil looking stuff that looks like styrofoam inside. The barn was built before either of us moved to the area so we dont know the specifics but it is CONSIDERABLY cooler inside her barn than mine (and hers is a totally enclosed center aisle barn and mine is a shed row with lots of circulation).

(kind of like this stuff: http://www.insulation4less.com/ )

I have a ridge cap the length of my tin roof but when it rains REALLY bad and the wind blows, misty rain does sometimes come in. Of course at that point, if mist is coming in, the rain is also blowing in from the aisle 10' sideways so it kind of negates the ridge cap issue.

I have thought about misters for the fans but when its already 90% humidity, how well does that really help?

Right now Im investigating either attic fans like mentioned above or making our own cupola. But considering cost as well, the insulation may be the first thing we do. I also was thinking about those big, flat fans that are on the end of barns/green houses that are up under the roof line but are perpendicular to the roof that pull the hot air out of the trusses. My barn doesnt have a ceiling, its just open to the trusses and then the tin roof is right on top of that. The people who built this place did not leave ANY room for a ceiling fan without major concern for a horse hitting their head on it.

Gryhnd
Jun. 20, 2010, 12:56 PM
Just had a handyman/roofer here making some repairs to our home's roof, so asked him to take a look at the barn (unfortunately he must have taken a break during the house project and ran over there, because I didn't get a chance to go over with him).

In any case, the barn has been really hot lately, other years I felt it was cooler, but not this year. If it's 95 outside, it's 95 in there. Small barn with a corrugated metal roof.

He said best option would be 750 aluminum roof vents. He doesn't recommend a ridge vent in our situation. He said these will lower the temp, said perhaps 15-25 degrees. Suggested 3 or 4 of them (I think the barn is about 23' x 40', - it was an existing barn, not a barn built for horses).

He did start to mention another, more expensive option (power) but I cut him off there, just don't really have the money and don't think it is needed as long as these will get some of the heat out.

I meant to ask him about insulating the roof, but I would imagine that would be more costly also.

He quoted $140 per vent (including materials).