Ventilation in your Farm’s Human Spaces
While most farmers are aware of the importance of barn ventilation, many overlook the ventilation needs of the utility and equipment rooms, and human spaces. Many barns have connected spaces with free-flowing air, so lack of ventilation in any one area can have adverse impacts on other spaces. This could lead to serious consequences for the health of both your employees and your machines.
The ventilation needs of mechanical rooms differ according to the level of heat produced by the equipment. The usual rate of ventilation that experts recommend for utility rooms in summer is one air change per minute. This is needed to get rid of the heat produced by the compressor. The rate can, of course, be lowered in winter. Mechanical rooms can also be supplied with fresh air from the outside.
It’s good to understand that air tends to flow from spaces with high pressure to those with low pressure. For meeting, locker, and laundry rooms, and offices this means that fresh air – cold air in summer and hot air in winter – should be routed in from the outside. The recommended rate of ventilation for such spaces is five cubic feet per minute per person.
Restrooms are another area often overlooked in barns when it comes to ventilation. The recommended rate of ventilation is 50 cubic feet per minute. Barn owners must ensure that the exhaust fans from the restrooms do not release air close to any inlets that may draw it back inside.
If the ventilation system is not comprehensive, or if it’s uneven, dirty air from any one area becomes a threat to spaces everywhere. Although its effect on human beings may not be immediate, it’s beneficial to make improvements as soon as possible.
Questions on how you improve ventilation on your farm? Let us know here!