0000 4 Ways to Ventilate Your Pole Barn: Why Air Circulation is Important
4 Ways to Ventilate Your Pole Barn: Why Air Circulation is Important
Cori Lane

By: Cori Lane on June 10th, 2019

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4 Ways to Ventilate Your Pole Barn: Why Air Circulation is Important

Posts  |  Building Features

Building a pole barn is a complex construction project. It’s relatively easy to get caught up in the nitty gritty details of planning and designing your post frame structure. In fact, we bet the following questions run rampant in your mind:

  • What type of building do I want? A spacious tool shed for my boat or RV? Maybe a durable hobby shop for my craftsmanship tools? Or, is it time to finally put up an additional tractor storage building that I keep putting on hold?
  • What size pole barn will I need? 30 x 40? 60 x 80? 80 x 120?
  • What color combination should I select for my post frame building? Earthy browns such as Clay and Terratone? Or the classic Autumn Red and Regal White? Which colors best match my pre-existing buildings and house?

While those details are essential, you don’t want to forget about airflow and condensation. During the spring and summer months, you’ll want to make sure you give proper pole barn ventilation your undivided attention.

With any structure, moisture can cause the following damage:

  • Mold growth
  • Lumber decay
  • Poor human/animal health
  • Discoloring of equipment and furniture

As a result, ventilation works to minimize the temperature difference between indoor and outdoor air. How so? By drawing in fresh air and exhausting stale air.

Pole Barn Condensation Tips_Blog CTA

How should I ventilate my pole barn?

Ventilation goes a long way towards accomplishing condensation control. The post frame construction saying goes, “Your IN is only as good as your OUT.” In other words, your airflow is only as good as its ability to escape your pole barn.

There are four ways to ventilate your pole barn properly:


1) OverhangsOverhangs

Air moves upwards as it warms and rises. Having 1’ or 2’ overhangs with vented soffits on the sides of your building will draw air inside. At the peak of the roof, ridge vents work to release the warm, humid air.

Please note that overhangs on the ends of your building are simply for aesthetic reasons. A solid soffit will prevent air from entering your building.

If your building design doesn’t include overhangs, you can always install an eave vent to regulate airflow. An eave vent is a vent mounted under the eave of your pole barn that lets air enter your roof space. Again, the air will exit through the ridge vent. Although eave vents are a cheaper alternative to overhangs, they’re less effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Overall, vented overhangs, ridge vent, and eave vents enable a building to breathe and stay drier.


2) CupolasFBi_Cupolas_Pole_Barn_Ventilation

Often added for aesthetic purposes, cupolas can help with ventilation. If installed to be functional, cupola fans require electric.

Adding a cupola to your building will allow a way for trapped heat to escape through the fan and side vents. For a personalized touch, you can top it off with a weathervane.

Cupolas are a great ventilation feature if you’re building a horse barn. Moisture from manure will be able to rise and exit the structure. Thus, improving the indoor air quality for you and your horses. Say goodbye to musty air!


3) Doors & WindowsDoors_Windows

It seems evident, but doors and windows are standard building features that encourage air movement.

During the summer, do you find yourself opening all the windows or screen doors to let a breeze into your house? If we had to guess, the open doors and windows are located on the east and west side of your house. Here’s why…

Typically, the wind blows in a west to east direction. Placement of this ventilation system depends on your building’s location and use. Whichever way the wind blows will determine the doors and windows you’ll want to open for the best ventilation. Also, we recommend evenly distributed doors and windows for better results.

Need help envisioning the right spot for your doors and windows? Check out our new and improved online 3D design tool.


4) Mechanical VentilationFBi_Big_Ass_Fan_Pole_Barn_Ventilation

Opposite of natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation controls the air movement by using one or more fans. It isn’t commonly used for post frame buildings because it increases initial, operating, and maintenance costs.

Mechanical ventilation is used when natural ventilation isn’t enough. In this case, you’ll want to consider installing the following interior items:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Portable fans
  • Larger, installed fan units
  • Or a combination of any listed above

Looking for a reliable fan manufacturer? Our customers love their Global Industrial and Big Ass Fans (yes, that really is their brand name) products.

However, we recommend passive ventilation compared to active from a cost-effective perspective.


Final Thoughts

If you’re going to spend a significant amount of money on your dream pole barn, then you’ll want to invest in proper ventilation. Multiple features will protect your building from moisture damage. For more information, check out our “Condensation Control Guide.”

Pole Barn Condensation Tips_Blog CTA

Have more questions about pole barn ventilation not covered in this article? Please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you’re ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our sales team will call you.

About Cori Lane

Cori grew up on her family's small grain and livestock operation in Northwest Indiana. In 2018, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Marketing from Marian University Indianapolis. Having shown beef cattle for 12 years at the county, state, and national level, Cori chose to pursue a career in the agriculture field. Today, she serves as the Marketing Content Creator on the FBi team. In her free time, Cori enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, listening to music, and traveling.