Barn Fans for Better Air Quality in any Season

Barn Fans for Better Air Quality in any Season We used to think barn fans were strictly for cooling the barn off and keeping the flies away on those sultry summer days---so when cooler days arrived we’d turn the fans off until spring. But, not so long ago I did a little research on air quality in horse barns. The news wasn’t good. In fact, studies show that the breathable air in our horse barns can get pretty toxic---and that includes even those barns that pass the white glove test. As it turns out, good ventilation is always in season.    

Ammonia, is the most dangerous culprit, but dust, pollens, and molds are common air pollutants in the barn as well.  One study measured ammonia levels at the floor in one competition barn at 220ppm (parts per million) or more. Yet, OSHA limits ammonia exposure levels for agricultural workers to just 35ppm! I found that pretty impressive. Worse yet, I know that our horses often have their noses (and their delicate respiratory systems) at or near the floor. 

We know that ammonia wreaks havoc on our horse’s small airway tissues and the delicate mucous membranes of his eyes. In fact, ammonia and other air toxins are the leading causes of chronic equine respiratory diseases like COPD, also known as heaves. Here at RAMM, we care about your horses. Our goal is to sell products that are durable, efficient, safe, and improve the lives of our customers and their horses. To that end, we did a lot of research before we chose our barn fans. Here’s what we found:

The barn environment presents several challenges. Even high quality organic material like hay and bedding contains mold, dust, and pollens. Differences in air temperature between night and day produce condensation that rests on walls---that’s a good environment for mold to grow-and the ammonia it contains is toxic to your horse and corrosive to most surfaces. In the past, we’ve installed individual box fans (not easy!) or went all out and purchased one or two of those large intake/exhaust fans. Those work adequately well for cooling, but they’re noisy and because they can only move air vertically, they can’t get into the corners. We found that on their own, intake/exhaust fans do little to improve ventilation.

At RAMM, we knew there had to be a better solution. The Agrifan ceiling fans are the result of that search—they accomplish everything we were looking for in ventilation for the horse barn environment. These ceiling fans move air horizontally, essentially homogenizing the air; they cool our horses in summer, warm them in winter (when switched to the reverse position) and easily get into those dead pockets where stale, stagnant air can hide or bacteria-filled moisture rests. 

If you’ve shopped barn fans, you know there’s so much choice on the market. It’s hard to know, especially from a catalogue photo, whether the system is functional and durable. Let’s take a look at what you should look for and how to find it:

A quality system:
pushes stale air out of the environment 
evaporates moisture to reduce mold spores, especially on stall walls
keeps flies and mosquitoes from landing on our horses
gets into corners and other places where stagnant air hides
is reversible for winter use 
is horse and fire safe 
is easy to install 
energy efficient
offered by a company that values customer satisfaction

At RAMM, we’re committed to providing our customers with quality products that are safe to use in our barns and perform the job they promise to do with minimum fuss. We’re excited to share our industry-proven Agrifans with our customers. These are the safest, most durable, and most efficient fans on the market today. Field tested in agriculture for more than 25 years now—they’re built rugged with interior moisture, dust, and heat resistant components. Each fan boasts extreme heat-resistant bearings, designed to withstand the temperatures found at or near the ceiling in a  horse barn. 

Our fans are UL Waterspray tested and approved, boast a heavy duty all metal composition (no plastic parts!), and a thermo protected motor fully encased in cast iron. We use aluminum blades that are not only esthetically pleasing, but they’re also quiet and promote a calm, peaceful environment. We include a 10” down-rod for maximum height adjustment and a one-way condensation relief plug to prevent moisture build-up. These fans are easy to install from ceiling beams or cross-braces.

Each fan covers approximately a 2100sq. ft. area and is reversible for winter use. We offer an optional 5-Fan Speed Control Switch that allows you to get the most out of your system. With just one switch you can control direction and/or speed on up to five fans. 

What do they cost to run? Are you sitting down? Next to nothing. Our fans use less energy than a single 100- watt light bulb. They pay for themselves in under 12 months in energy savings alone. 

We’re offering a full three-year manufacturer warranty. And, because Ramm has been taking care of our customers for well over 25 years, you can rest assured we’ll be here to answer all your questions.

Click HERE to view our full line of horse barn ceiling fans and accessories.   

Debbie Disbrow and freelance writer Karen Baril ( have teamed up to write this article. If you have any comments, questions or ideas, we welcome them. Email us

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