Cleaning is key to cold weather ventilation check

Checking ventilation systems are working properly before the really cold weather sets in can be beneficial both in terms of operating efficiency and costs, according to ARM Buildings’ environmental specialist, Tim Miller.

“It is vitally important that fans, air inlets and outlets are all working efficiently at minimum ventilation rates so that the pigs have sufficient fresh air without heat being wasted,” said Mr Millar (pictured above).

“I’ve seen heated buildings where the minimum ventilation rate has been set too high and heat is simply being extracted and wasted. Monitoring has shown that this is very costly, amounting, on some units, to thousands of pounds through increased energy bills.”

Warning that a build-up of debris, such as caked-on meal on fan blades and back-draught shutters, can reduce their ability to move sufficient air at low speed, he said the solution was usually down to “simply cleaning the equipment thoroughly”.

“The minimum temperature should then be set before walking down the house to check that each fan is working properly at this low setting and that the inlets have the correct apertures,” he said.

“This can take time in a large building, but it may also highlight any mechanical problems which can be dealt with by a specialist, so the effort is well worth while.”

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