Seasonal Checklists Provide Ventilation Maintenance Guidelines

Swine producers can review their ventilation system with these helpful checklists

July 14, 2023, 10:43 am | Brett Ramirez, Sherry Hoyer

AMES, Iowa – Properly functioning ventilation systems are vital to today’s pork production facilities, and following a regular process for maintaining their operation can pay big economic dividends. Two new ventilation checklists from the Iowa Pork Industry Center offer a seasonal approach to checking the various components in an easy-to-use checklist format.

Brett Ramirez, agriculture and biosystems engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, originally developed the checklists for use in ventilation workshops. He said the checklists, one for summer and one for winter, are intended to help guide and remind the person in charge of maintenance and/or ventilation management of necessary tasks and inspections. Mark Storlie, swine specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, assisted with the checklists.Swine facility with modern ventilation.

"These tasks are important steps in getting the barn and its ventilation system ready for upcoming changes in weather," Ramirez said. "The categories on the checklists are similar, although the items to be checked will be different depending on the season."

Typically, the summer checklist would be used around April to prepare for cooling season, and the winter checklist would be used around October for heating season.

The idea behind these checklists is simple, Ramirez said. Having a printed checklist that stays in the barn can be a useful tool to facilitate maintenance and ensure the proper equipment and components of the barn are being inspected.

"Some of the tasks and checkpoints listed might not be intuitive for everyone, so having a detailed list with place for notes is an excellent guide," he said. "Laminating a printed copy to keep in the barn also allows a person to mark what they found, and then easily clear it for the next year."

Ramirez cautioned producers that because each barn, each system and other contributing factors may be different, not all recommendations listed might be appropriate for every location.

These two-page pdf publications are available at no charge on the Extension store. Look for Summer Ventilation Checklist AE3553A and Winter Ventilation Checklist AE3553B.

Shareable photo: Swine facility with proper modern system.

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