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Tips To Improve Energy Efficiency In Hog Buildings

Tips To Improve Energy Efficiency In Hog Buildings

New publication from Iowa State University Extension offers advice and information for evaluating minimum ventilation to improve energy efficiency of hog buildings.

Wasted heating energy due to excessive ventilation is a costly problem for hog producers during the winter months. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension illustrates examples for evaluating minimum ventilation to improve energy efficiency in hog buildings.

"Sizing Minimum Ventilation to Save Heating Energy in Swine Housing," PM 2089J, is available to download from the Extension Online Store at

From 80% to 90% of heat loss in swine housing during the winter months is due to over-ventilation, says Jay Harmon, ISU professor of ag and biosystems engineering. "Unfortunately, over-ventilation during the winter months is more common than you would think," he says. "In particular, wean-to-finish buildings present one of the greatest challenges to efficient winter heating and proper ventilation."

Proper sizing of minimum ventilation and use of variable speed fans can improve overall energy efficiency. This publication addresses recommendations regarding air flow, fan speed and wind protection. It also describes factors that affect fan performance.

Series of publications to help farmers save energy and money

"Weather conditions this fall have allowed farmers to catch up on many outdoor projects that may have fallen through the cracks in years past," notes Dana Petersen, ISU Extension program coordinator for the Farm Energy initiative in Iowa. "Investing time to winterize livestock buildings can improve efficiency and conserve energy during the coming months."

This publication is part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency educational initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to increase farmers' awareness of farm energy conservation practices. Sponsored by a grant from the Iowa Energy Center, it is also helping farmers explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve their farms' overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.

To find other publications in the series, go to the ISU Extension Online Store,, and search for farm energy.

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