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9 things to consider if you are looking for a ventilation and cooling solution.

You're drowning in a sea of information and EVERYONE is telling you their system is the best. It’s annoying and confusing. We get it. You want a system that works with your ventilation system. Simple, automated, low-maintenance and keeps your cows cool and comfortable. Spending a bunch of money and time on a cooling system that just seems to make matters worse is costly and frustrating.

Imagine being able to

          1.  Walk into your barn on a hot summer day and see all your cows lying in their beds instead of                standing under the feed alley soakers.

          2. Invest in a complete cooling and ventilation system that is providing your cows with superior                      comfort and environment 365 days a year.


Here are 9 import features you should consider when shopping for a cooling system that is part of your ventilation system so the two complement each other instead of working against it.

1. Get air flowing through the stalls/beds/cubicles.
Focus on the cow. Where does she spend most of her time? In her bed or eating. Make sure you have your highest airspeeds in those two places. Who cares what the airspeed is in the feed lane/alley, scrape alley, or anywhere else? Look for a fan that offers focused air.

Have you ever walked down the feed alley in a barn and watched the feed being blown or sucked down the alley? Yeah, sure they have great airspeed but the cow isn’t benefiting from it. Cows want airspeed in the beds and along the bunk. Get in the stalls, and take airspeed measurements where she would be laying down, that’s where it matters. You want a minimum of 5mph in every stall.  

Air is like water, it will take the path of least resistance, you need a system that focuses the air over the beds where we need those cows spending 10 to 14 hours a day.


2. Control the climate around your cows.

Imagine wearing a leather coat from sun up to sun down while you performed your jobs on the farm.

In the morning when it’s 10°C you would be comfortable, but as the day warmed you would get warmer and warmer. That’s how your cow feels. At 22°C she starts to be heat stressed. As the day continues to heat up so does she.

Choose a system that offers variable speed set to the temperature and humidity (THI) in the barn. This feature is crucial in the spring and fall.

On cooler days single-speed fans are running at 100% power and wasting huge amounts of electricity producing airspeed your cows don’t need.  Worse yet, they are turned off, causing you to worry. Forcing you to stop what you are doing run back to the barn and change the settings before cow comfort and health suffers. A fully automated system set to the THI in your barn means that the fan speed is adjusted intuitively according to the temperature in your barn. Providing your cows precisely the speed required to maintain core body temperature, giving them the consistent cool feeling they crave, and maximizing their performance.


3.Eliminate the worry with unlimited fan speed control.

Variable speed often causes concern about stray voltage. Look for a system with electronic speed control built into the fan motor. This feature eliminates the need for a variable frequency drive, which when incorrectly installed can significantly increase the risk of stray voltage. A motor that is electronically commutated has the ability to set the fan speed from 10% to 100% with up to 1,200 speeds, meaning you are able to minutely control the airspeed to your cows. Keeping them in their comfort zone regardless of fluctuating temperatures.

As an added bonus an EC (electronically commutated) motor has the ability to deal with “dirty power” so if your farm is subject to power fluctuations or surges, the EC motor has built-in protection safeguarding your investment.


4. Airspeed and distance matter.

The focus of your system should be on the cow. What is best for her?– In order to achieve cooling fans need to achieve at least 5mph of effective air movement in every stall.  It’s important to take this into consideration when pricing a ventilation and cooling solution. To even the playing field between all your choices make every system you are considering require a minimum of 5 mph of effective airspeed in the stall and along the feed bunk. Those fans you think are an inexpensive option could end up costing you more than you can imagine because they need to put on 12ft centers to achieve 5 mph in every stall.

Calculate the energy consumption, maintenance and the noise before you purchase.


5. Don’t be dazzled by big CFM numbers.

Did you know that CFM means virtually nothing in most barn styles? Oh yes, salespeople love to throw numbers at you and dazzle you with specifications and stats but make sure they are relevant to your cows.  Focus on effective air movement, what is the airspeed in the stall, where the cow is laying down?

Don’t let salespeople blind you with big numbers and lofty claims of CFM because that won’t translate into effective cooling or cow comfort. Who cares if the CFM is 23,900 but the airspeed at 20ft is 2mph? You would need to put those fans at 10ft spacings to achieve anywhere close to enough airspeed to cool your cows in the heat of the summer. That means more day-to-day costs, more maintenance, and, more electricity.

6. Take the face mask off your systemLet your system breathe.

You have to have good Air Intake and Exhaust – In order for any system to be effective, this point can not be overlooked. Air Intake focuses on bringing in copious amounts of fresh, clean, dry air, critical to success in any ventilation cooling system begins. You can have a barn full of fans but if you are starving them for air they will be ineffective. Air Exhaust focuses on getting that, hot, stale, humid air out of the barn. Both are critical to keeping the air quality as good as possible.

Ever walk into a barn and get hit in the face with that stale ammonia smell? No one wants to work in that environment and we sure don’t want our cows living in it. Air intake and exhaust should be key components of your system.


7. Decrease maintenance costs.

Please don’t forget to consider Labour, Maintenance, and Repair, when researching and purchasing your system. Find a system that is direct drive. This feature alone will save you both labor and maintenance costs. Some ventilation systems feature fans that need to be continuously maintained. Belts need tightening or replacement, bearing need to be greased, and lightweight fan blades get broken off. All these issues and more take time, labor, and money to fix. Your fans are the most important part of your ventilation system. If 1 of them goes out the entire barn is compromised so keeping them all in tip-top shape needs to be a priority.


8. Let’s help your cows get their sweat on.

Evaporative Cooling – Fans alone can’t cool on really warm days, water has to be added to the equation for cooling to be achieved. Many operations choose to do that with bunk/Feed lane soaker systems. Soakers can work against your system by enticing cows to spend long hours standing at the bunk trying to cool off. Laying time impacts production and cow comfort. Focus on the cow and provide cooling in the stall. Choose a system that includes evaporative cooling directly over the cubicles/beds or stalls. This keeps cows comfortable while lying down. As an added bonus water consumption is significantly reduced because these systems are low-pressure and low-volume. 

How much water do those high-pressure, high-volume system use? Traditionally soaking the cow with some kind of soaker system that uses huge amounts of water has been the only choice for cooling producers had. Causing cows to stand for long hours to be cool during the heat of day, increasing lameness issues and decreasing production and reproduction. What would the financial and cow comfort benefit to your operation be in a system that cools cows using a fraction of the water and promotes more lying time?


9. Slash your energy bills.

Be sure to check out the Amps draw per unit. The power consumption of some fans out there today can be crippling. This information can be found on the fan specification sheet. Check the Amp usage and the kWh (kilowatt hours) most are running 5-7Amps and some as high as 12Amps! You can do quick power consumption calculations using the information provided in fan specifications. 

Amps x Volts = KW.

Multiply by 1000 for kWh.

Multiply kWh by your cost/kWh.

Then multiply by the number of run-time hours/day.

Finally, multiply by the number of fans needed.

Look for a system that is powered by an EC motor. The newest motor technology offers significant savings. Sometimes a system can pay for itself in less than 2 years in energy savings alone. With rising power costs, and a lack of power coming from the grid, power consumption can have a huge impact on the performance of a system when you need it the most.


When you are getting a ventilation and cooling system quoted consider these 9 points before you make your decision.

Ask yourself and your sales representative,

1. How does this system benefit my cow?

2. How does it increase cow comfort and my operation’s profitability?

Remember, the least expensive option up front may end up costing you dearly in the long run. Investing in a system that focuses on the cow, her comfort, and well-being as well as looks after your bottom line in energy savings, maintenance, and labor savings you have a win-win situation.
Happy cows = Happy Farmer


A Core Cool System ticks all the boxes and can easily be integrated into your existing ventilation system. You will be able to provide your cows with a consistent, cool comfortable environment every day. Core Cool Systems is a capital investment in your operation that will pay itself off in a short time. Saving you power, water, and time. Visit corecoolsystems.com to learn more or email nancy@corecoolsystems.com

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