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Fans are essential in horse barns. Years ago, I tied box fans with hay string to the stall windows and increased air circulation for the horses because it was so hot out. Today there is no need to come up with your own makeshift contraption because there are these great fans you can install safely into your stalls.
My favorite horse barn fans are the iLiving wall mount fans for stalls and Air Kings Industrial-grade pivoting floor fans for aisles. These models have enclosed motors, which are essential for barn fans, to protect against dust; they also provide outstanding airflow and are easy to use.
There is a lot to choosing the right fan for your needs, and in this article, I cover the essential features of all good barn fans.
- 1 The best fans for your horse barn.
- 2 Choosing the right fan.
- 3 Types of barn fans
- 4 Why fans are essential in horse barns.
- 5 FAQ
The best fans for your horse barn.
You’ve got a lot of fans to choose from. Some are designed for a more specific use, but all need certain features before they’re worth your time and money. Fortunately, for those who need something small or large, there are plenty of models with different features available, so choosing one should be easy!
The iLiving wall mount is my top choice, even though the Global Industrial fan is likely the group’s highest quality and has higher CFMs. Both fans have enclosed motors and deliver sufficient CFM, but the iLiving is almost $100.00 cheaper.
The right barn fan can keep your horses cool and free from flying pests in the summer. But picking a model isn’t just about cooling and airflow; there are design factors you need to consider before buying one.
Choosing the right fan.
A horse barn is a place where horses spend a lot of time, and the air inside must be kept clean. The easiest way to do that while also maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance: high-quality fans!
You know that air quality is essential for horses, but do you also know it’s imperative to have the right equipment when cooling your horse? A fan will not only provide a breeze on those hot summer days and nights but can help with overall wellness. A small investment into an efficient machine could go a long way!
There are many different types of fans, the first thing you want to decide is what type of fan will be best for your application, and it’s essential to determine where you need to install one. In this article, I’ll explain how we use fans and why we place them where we do, but first, let’s discuss the essential elements of barn fans.
I list enclosed motors first because it is one of the most critical features that a barn fan should have – horse stalls are well-known for being dusty and dirty places, so if you want your investment in this equipment to last without breaking down, then make sure the motor is protected!
When fans suck dirt and debris into their motors, they can ruin the fan or set themselves on fire. An enclosed motor lasts longer because it’s protected against weather, dirt, and moisture.
We have a shedrow barn with fans attached to the front of the stalls. Because these types of barns are open, the fans are exposed to moisture, making an enclosed motor essential.
Fans with enclosed motors typically last much longer and are more expensive. However, they will save you money in the long term because they are more efficient and last longer.
Enclosed motors are also much safer. Hay and other flammable material can enter exposed fan motors, posing a significant fire hazard to horse barns. If the motor is rated for outdoor use or uses the term “sealed,” it should be suitable for your needs!
To learn more about the safety and installation of barn fans, watch the youtube video below. The person who made the video does a great job of stressing the importance of fan safety.
The airflow rating for a stall fan should be 2,000 cubic feet per minute (CF?M). This airspeed provides adequate airflow while not creating a dust storm. I also like to use a fan with a variable speed setting when I need less airflow.
As with most products, manufacturers make commercial and residential-grade models of the same product. From my experience, it’s not always worth the extra costs to pay for the heavier exterior of a fan with the same internal components.
However, that’s not always the case; you have to research each fan to find the differences between the manufacturers’ commercial model and their residential models.
Types of barn fans
There are many types of fans people use in their barns, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and circulation fans. We are going to focus on circulation fans, precisely two types, wall-mounted and aisle fans.
Powerful barn fans can be strategically mounted to ensure airflow in your barn, keep harmful insects off your animal and provide a cool breeze all day long.
In the photo above, you can see that by adding a board to mount our fan we were able to put it in the perfect place, over the stall gate. This helps keep our horse cool, covers a large stall, and prevents flies from bothering her.
The best wall-mounted model I found on Amazon is the 30 inches Global Industrial outdoor fan. It is an oscillating fan with 8,400 CFM. It is more expensive than other similar models made without an enclosed motor, but I think having an enclosed motor is worth the extra money.
However, as I stated above, the best value is the iLIVING Fan which also is wall-mounting and has an enclosed motor.
Wall-mounted fans are ideal for stalls and are preferred by most horse owners to circulate air and keep their animals cool. They’re a must-have in the summer months when temperatures are high.
It’s not only critical to choose the right type of fan, but it’s also essential to install the fan in a spot that provides good airflow and is safe.
Where you place your wall-mounted fan depends on the design of your barn. But there are basics you need to consider. First, the fan should be high enough to circulate the air without blowing shaving and dust around the stall.
Next, it should be out of reach of your animal, and no cords exposed that it could hit. If you place the fan outside of the stall and blow across your animal, it shouldn’t be so low that it lifts things off the ground.
A fan often gets the best air when mounted near a window; however, it’s not uncommon that fans close to the barn center can also be a good spot for mounting.
You need to experiment and place the fan in different locations to find the optimal spot for your horse. Note: you want to move fresh air across your horse without disturbing too much trash.
I use barrel fans to bring in fresh air for our horse barn and sometimes draw out stale air. We place the fans at the end of the aisle and blow in the outside air. These mobile fans are essential for removing moisture and circulating air.
They come with wheels to easily roll them out of the way when you are not using them. On scorching days they are invaluable. Here is a link to the MaxxAir fan on Amazon, a commercial-grade 30″ model that delivers 5,500 CFM.
Why fans are essential in horse barns.
Horse barns house many harmful airborne elements, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Fans introduce fresh air from outside and move contaminated inside air outside.
Barn fans help prevent respiratory illnesses.
Barns that lack proper ventilation force stabled animals to breathe in the contaminated air. Fresh air is especially vital to horses because of their sensitive respiratory systems.
Respiratory diseases, such as heaves, are not only harmful to your horse; treating the disease can be costly for owners. Heaves are a common respiratory illness horses contract by inhaling airborne irritants like dust and molds, similar to asthma in humans.
Barn fans keep insects off your horse.
The air movement created by fans can keep many insects off your horse. Like the bot fly, some fly species are so small and lightweight that they are easily blown away.
However, some more significant and more aggressive pests need strong air to keep them off your animal. Barn fans also cool your horse, and they sweat less, which attracts fewer horseflies.
Besides fans, it’s also critical you keep your horse stall clean. You want to take all the steps you can to reduce your horse’s exposure to insects because they transmit disease and cause intestinal worms. If you don’t have a fan available, then fly masks and boots are helpful to protect your animal.
Fans reduce humidity in barns.
Circulating fresh air reduces moisture in barns, which is critical to prevent bacteria growth and ammonia buildup. Humidity buildup also increases the stench of urine and is overall unsanitary.
Fans help cool the barn and horse.
Most of us cool our horses down before returning them to their stall; however, they benefit from air flowing across their body, reducing their body temperature, especially on hot days.
Overheated horses are prone to dehydration, so keep your animal cool and well-hydrated. And as mentioned earlier, cool horses with less sweat attract fewer insects.
Check out our YouTube video below to get some ideas for your barn.
Can horse stalls have concrete floors?
Yes, you can have concrete floors in horse stalls, but they need to be covered with pliable material. I wrote an article on this topic you may find helpful: Can Horse Stalls Have Concrete Floors? Why Or Why Not
How big should a horse stall be?
Standard horse stalls are 12 x 12; however, for larger horses, you may need more room. To learn more about the sizes of horse stalls, check out this article: How Big Does a Horse Stall Need to Be, and Why? 3 Examples
What’s the best bedding for horse stalls?
Wood shavings are my choice for stall bedding. There are various materials people use for stall bedding, including straw, wood pellets, sand, or even paper. To read a comparison of the different materials used for bedding, read this article: What’s the Best Stall Bedding for Your Horse Barn? 4 Options.
What’s the best flooring for a barn?
The best flooring for a horse barn is different in different areas of the barn. I like concrete in tack rooms, clay stall floors, and asphalt for the aisleways. Here is an article that explains the advantages of having the correct floor in your barn: What’s the Best Horse Barn Flooring: Stalls, Aisles, Tack Room
I love animals! Especially horses, I’ve been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. I have bought, sold, and broke racehorse yearlings. I have raised some winning horses and had some that didn’t make it as racehorses, so we trained them in other disciplines.