Here are three money-saving tips to help keep your livestock warm and your energy use down this winter—and none of them involve putting pigs in a blanket.
1. Seal the Exterior
According the Prairie Swine Centre, at least 30% of all heat loss in a swine facility is through the building envelope. Be sure to consider the walls, ceiling and floor of the facility when crafting an efficiency plan for the season. Seal exterior doors with weather stripping. Check for cracks in walls. Evaluate the insulation values of building materials to ensure rodents or other pests have not compromised them.
2. Maintain Ventilation Equipment
According to veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Greiner, “Dirty fans can decrease air flow up to 40%, leading to poorer air quality and potentially sick pigs.” The Prairie Swine Centre recommends checking and cleaning fans daily. Additionally, fan covers should be installed on fans not utilized during the winter months. These covers will prevent back drafting of cold air into the facility.
3. Heat Strategically
According to extension.org, while baby swine facilities are usually engineered to precise temperature and humidity regulations, there are additional energy saving options. Consider that creep pads for swine are more efficient than heat lamps. Radiant heaters help to heat larger areas without directly heating the air. And because hydronic floor heating produces microclimate near the floor, it reduces the need to heat the whole volume of air in the building.
Contact your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative for more advice! As experts on energy in your rural community we are here to help agriculture’s bottom line. Together we are re-energizing efficiency.