While the Groundhog may have predicted an early Spring, there is still plenty of cold winter left to get through. But with the following tips, you can keep your barn warm, even on the coldest winter days!
Start with Proper Construction and Insulation
The key to keeping your barn warm during the winter really starts with its construction. If your barn is airy, full of holes, and has end doors that don’t fully close, you’ll be fighting a lost battle in keeping it warm.
In some cases, you may be able to make repairs to make your barn a little more airtight. Proper insulation is also important, especially for rooms that are actively heated during the winter, like your tack room or viewing room. Good insulation will reduce your heating bills and pay for itself in the long run.
Choose Correctly Sized Barn End Doors
During the winter, you will want to be able to securely close up your barn. You will depend on your barn end doors to seal out the cold air, but they can only do this if they are appropriately sized. Check your barn end doors and make sure that they offer plenty of additional coverage, both from ground to ceiling and from side to side, so that there aren’t gaps even when the doors are fully closed.
Additionally, be sure to invest in quality barn end doors. Barn doors made of thin wood not only won’t insulate your barn, but they will likely need to be replaced in the matter of a few short years. Buying quality barn doors is a worthwhile investment.
Installing barn heaters will go a long way towards keeping your barn warm and comfortable during the winter. A heating system can add enough warmth to your barn to keep it comfortable for both horses and humans. Consider also adding heaters to your wash bays so that they may be used during the wintertime.
Though not recommended, If you’re not keen on installing permanent heaters, then look into portable options. The downside of portable heaters is that they can be fire hazards, so make sure to only use them in safe areas free of debris, hay, and shavings, and be sure that someone is always on hand to supervise their operation.
Keep Horses in Adjacent Stalls
If you are working in a large barn with multiple empty stalls, you can keep your barn warmer by moving the horses so that they are all in adjacent stalls. If a wing or portion of your barn is left empty, then consider closing it off for the winter. This method can help to concentrate heat in a smaller area, keeping your barn warmer.