Building ventilation focus needed to cope with record temperatures

Pig building ventilation systems should be keeping the housing at no more than 2C to 4C above the external air temperature, despite the record high temperatures being experienced across the UK at present, says AHDB Pork’s environment team leader. Thomas Burling.

Noting that ventilation systems of all types are being “pushed to the limit” at present, Mr Burling urged producers to make sure they are “getting the basics right” in their approach to the current extreme conditions.

“A cooling system, such as a high pressure water vapouriser, can really help reduce the incoming air temperature so it is an option for producers to consider,” he said. “Heat from the pigs and any manure or slurry, plus the solar gain on walls and roofs, also has to be extracted to limit elevation of internal temperatures.

“For this reason, air has to be moved sufficiently through the building and this is the most crucial time to ensure that everything is in the best condition possible and correctly sized.”

While moving air will provide comfort, the most important thing is to check that it’s actually moving at pig level, without giving a draught.

“We’re aware that some naturally ventilated buildings are proving difficult to manage and for this reason we’re looking at a number of options to improve air flow,” added Mr Burling. “However, it’s still a matter of getting the basics right first.”

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