The Best Barn Fans
Growing up, I would always hang box fans using bungee cords and baling twine (do not recommend!) to keep my horses cool during the hot, summer months. Little did I know, this makeshift fan contraption was not a good idea.
Picking the right barn fan can keep your horses cool and free from flies and gnats in the summer, but they also help prevent respiratory illness and diseases. Having proper ventilation in your barn is a key element in keeping your horses happy and healthy.
When it comes to buying the right fan for your barn, there are a lot of different design and safety features that you need to consider first. Let’s start with the essential elements of a barn fan.
1. Enclosed Motors. This is one of the most crucial features of a barn fan. Horse stalls are dusty and dirty, so if you want to protect your investment and ensure that this equipment will last, then make sure the motor is fully enclosed and protected.
If dirt and debris get into a fan’s motor, it not only will break the fan over time, but it is also an extreme safety concern as it can cause the motor to catch on fire. Hay, dust, or other materials can enter an exposed fan motor, causing a significant fire hazard to horse barns. Look for fans with a motor that is rated for outdoor use or includes the term “sealed” or “enclosed" when describing the motor.
Fans with enclosed motors are more expensive; however, you will save money in the long run, because they are much more efficient and will last longer than a fan with an exposed motor.
2. Commercial Grade. Like a lot of other products, fan manufacturers make commercial and residential grade models. Commercial grade fans are more expensive, but they have a heavier, more durable exterior. However, the main feature you need to focus on is the internal components of the fan (i.e. the motor) and there are plenty of residential models that are weatherproof and have an enclosed motor. When it comes to picking the right fans for your barn, I do not think a commercial-grade model is required, but it does have its pros.
3. Fan Speed. Look for an airflow rating of 2,000 cubic feet per minute. This will provide proper airflow without creating a full-blown dust storm in your stalls. I also like a fan that has multiple speed settings for when you need more or less airflow.
4. Fused Plug. This is another feature that you can look for in a fan that provides an added layer of protection. Fans with a fused plug will disable the fan if there is an electrical short or overload.
If you are starting from scratch and running electrical to your barn for the first time, be sure to have your electrician install Waterproof and Dust Proof Power Outlets with In-Use Covers.
Now that you know what features to look for, let’s discuss the different types of fans and their placement.
Wall-mounted fans are ideal for stalls. When deciding where to place your wall-mount fan there are a few basic things to consider. First, it should be installed high enough to circulate air without blowing shavings around the stall, ~12 feet high.
It is also important to mount it in a way where your horse will not be able to access the electrical cord or outlet. We used metal cable staples to secure the fans' electrical cords.
Another thing to consider is size and the oscillation feature. We have 24 in. fans in our stalls (stalls are 12x12), and I have found that this is a perfect size. Other popular sizes are 18 in. and 30 in. Another feature you will need to decide on is whether or not to get an oscillating fan. In my opinion, it’s always nice to have options. An oscillating fan with help with overall airflow in the stall, but if you have a horse that likes to park it in front of the fan to cool off, a stationary fan might be a better fit.
Floor fans are also popular to have in barns. Floor fans are ideal for barn aisles, and they often come with wheels, so it is easy to roll them out of the way when you’re not using it.
Here are some great fans to choose from!
When it comes to picking the best fan for your barn, you have several different options, but it is imperative that you make sure they check all the safety boxes first.
The Amazon product links on this page are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.