Prepare barn heaters for winter

Getting the hog barn ready for winter means checking heaters and curtains, and it’s essential for protecting animal health, experts say.

Maintaining the proper environment in swine barns is essential for protecting animal health and promoting productivity. Austin Zimmerman, sales engineer for AP (Automated Production Systems) offers the following recommendations to prepare barn heaters before winter arrives.

• Blow dust and debris out of heaters with compressed air or a leaf blower tool. This will help promote efficient as well as safe operation of the units.

• Make sure the ignitor, sail switch and flame sensor are not covered with carbon or dust. Carbon can build up as a byproduct of the burner.

• Move the flame probe ground wire to the burner to ensure the heater functions properly.

• Activate the heater from the room ventilation controller, which is important to make certain that the controller is communicating correctly.

• Watch the heater with the service door open to confirm the proper start-up sequence: The fan motor starts and sail switch engages; the ignitor starts and glows red hot; the flame ignites when the gas value opens; and the ignitor turns off.

“If any part of the start-up sequence does not successfully complete, producers should troubleshoot the failure or if necessary, contact their dealer,” Zimmerman said.

In addition to heaters, he recommends producers check barn curtains to make sure they are in good physical condition and that the curtains reset to their open or closed position to properly calibrate the curtain machine. Zimmerman also reminds producers to update their environmental control systems with the latest software so they can access new enhancements and maintain optimal conditions within their barns.

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