For those who own a racing horse farm like me, they all understand that taking care of their horse is very important. On, chilly days of 9, 10 degrees, horses always want to be warmed. And to bring the best conditions for them, I have learned and tried many types of barn heater. However, until the end, there are only 5 best barn heaters that I like the most. I also discovered that these heaters could use heat pole barns, milking barns, and my garage.
And now, I want to share my experiences over the past three years. Let’s see it!
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Barn Heaters on the Market of 2020
- In-depth 5 Top rated Barn Heaters Reviews
- Things to consider before buying a barn heater
- How to heat a barn?
- Things to notice before heating a barn
Top 5 Best Barn Heaters on the Market of 2020
In-depth 5 Top rated Barn Heaters Reviews
I will begin my best barn heater reviews with the Mr. Heater Corporation F299720 Vent. What I like about this product is the wide-area heating.
To be honest, my barn is quite large (600 square feet). And although I stand outside of the barn, I can still feel the heat provided by this device.
As the seller told me that this product could work for a long time, I decided to try its limitation. And the result is, the machine can heat up the barn for more than 20 hours at its max BTU of 20,000! Isn’t it amazing?
The second heater that I have used in my horse barn is the NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater.
In spite of the fact that this heater is normally mounted on the wall or to the ceiling, I can still modify its direction in order to focus the heat on a specific area. That is all thanks to the adjustable louvers attached to the device.
At the very beginning, I worried quite much that the device would burn my horses with its high heat! But luckily, the machine has not done that. Because the heater has an automatic heat control system, it can modify the temperature in order to keep the animals warm without overheating.
When it is about 41°F in winter, going outside to change the barn temperature is surely a difficult task! Due to this reason, I required a heater that allows me to control the heat from a far distance. And at the end, the Heat Stork HS-1500-PHX-WIFI has met my needs.
Designed with Smart Wireless Connection technology, the device gives me permission to control it with my phone! All I have to do is download an application, connect this app with the heater through the Internet, and do any command as I desire.
Among five products on my list, this Comfort Zone CZ220 is the best barn heater that can make sure for me about horse safety.
More specifically, the Comfort Zone company has added a sensor to the machine. This sensor can know when the heater provides too much heat and shut down the device if that case happens.
To know whether the product is on or off, I have to look at the indicator light. When the machine is shut down due to overheating, the light will go off. Really easy to use, right?
Most recently, I have tested the Stiebel Eltron 074058 mounted electric fan heater. And you know what? This machine has satisfied me with its silent operation.
As I have read from the instruction, this machine is made of galvanized steel. This material works to reduce the operating noise of the device to only 49.7 DB. In the very first place, I have not believed this thing much. But since the heater began to work, I had to think again.
Of course, low noise does not mean low heat. In fact, this product can provide much heat to bring comfort to my horses. With a thermostat temperature range from 41°F to 86°F, I just have to adjust the heat to maximal to protect my animals in the cold days.
Things to consider before buying a barn heater
With the experiences I have so far, I can list here 4 factors you should consider when choosing a heater for your own barn.
1. Size, Attachment, Installation
Sometimes, your barn space can affect the heater size you will choose. And, where to attach or put the heater is also a problem.
If your barn can’t afford a big, powerful heater which stands on the floor, you can choose the alternative which mounted onto the ceiling or the wall.
However, a standalone heater is easily installed as you only need plugging into an electrical outlet, then it goes straight. Meanwhile, a heater mounted onto the wall or ceiling needs more complicated installation in hard wiring or cabling.
2. Heat rating and Barn size
According to your barn size and whether you already have another heating system or not, you will choose a heater with a suitable heat rating.
Normally, the standalone heaters are smaller and designed to add an extra heat source. If your purpose is to avoid freezing in an area of the barn, a standalone heater is a good choice.
Other types mounted onto ceiling or wall are often bigger, which are perfect for a larger heating space.
As I know, there are various types of heater to choose: electric, propane gas, natural gas, kerosene, recycled oil, and infrared heaters. Of course, each of them comes with its own advantages or disadvantages, strong heat or weaker heat, costly or cheaper price, etc. that is up to your choice.
Keep reading below for detailed information about types of the heater in accordance with your purpose of heating.
The last factor to consider is the safety of a heater – yes, last but not least. To be honest, leaving the animals or equipment unattended with the heating source days and nights make a bit worry in me.
So, let choose a heater that is guaranteed with safety checks and produce no smoke. You can do this by checking the safety ratings (the customers’ reviews) on your potential heater, or find whether there are any features of extra protection.
How to heat a barn?
1. Make it insulated
To heat a barn, the best thing you can do is to make it insulated properly.
A major of standard American barns are constructed from steel, a material that has no insulation it’s own. Besides, steel can get wide range of temperatures from very hot to very cold, which increases the condensation build-up.
As you may know, condensation and humidity can badly affect your barn infrastructure and animals’ health over time. Your tools and supplies can rust because of the humidity.
To prevent these unwanted things, the indoor temperature of your barn should be steady. That’s why you need to insulate it, keep it warmer when the temperature gets down.
One method that is common for steel-sided barns is spraying foam insulation. It is arguably 50% more effective in steadying the inside temperature.
Depending on how harsh the winter is, you apply the suitable thickness for the foam. Usually, 4” to 6” thickness is fine.
If the winter in your area is not really cold, this layer insulation can be enough to get through to the warm weather. But if it is colder, you might need a supplement heat source like a heater for your barn.
Pole barns are built with wooden posts. They are buried directly into the ground. The floor of a pole barn can be concrete or just dirt which is different from a standard barn.
Typically, this type of barn is used for storing equipment (like tractors, mowers, etc). Sometimes, it is made for workshops.
Similar to the standard one, a pole barn does not have insulation. Hence, it also needs to be insulated.
Some methods to be used are using fiberglass, foam, or cellulose. You can add more heat sources by using barn heaters as well.
2. Choose the correct heater size
As mentioned above, a heater size depends on the barn space.
Heater size is determined by the BTU rating. The larger the heated space is, the higher the BTU rating is needed.
Normally, a heater of 10,000 – 30,000 BTUs can accommodate a barn of 300 – 1,000 square feet in size. For over 1,000 square feet barn, heaters with 30,000 – 400,000 BTUs are better.
A heater with a higher BTU rating can heat larger space, but it will cost you more and use more energy. So, you should calculate your heating space accurately to minimize the cost.
Here is the way to calculate your barn.
- Measure the area height, width, length
- Multiply 3 above measurements, you have the Cubic feet
- Multiply the Cubic feet by 0.133, then multiply by the desired heat increase
Then you have BTUs required.
Things to notice before heating a barn
1. Your barn keeps livestock
If your barn keeps livestock, you should know that the reaction to temperatures of different animals is not the same. Some livestock is quite resistant to cold temperatures, so their health might be worse when more heat is added.
Hence, you need to consider the average winter temperature in your area and the temperature that your animals need.
Horses, cows, sheep, pigs, and mules are just fine in cold weather, but if the temperature is below 30 to 35ºF, they will need heaters.
Other animals such as chickens, rabbits, etc, who are smaller, should be added more heat when the temperature dips to below 40ºF.
2. Your barn keeps equipment
Don’t think that a barn keeping equipment has no need for a heater. Well, even the equipment is not an alive thing, it still can be damaged or cracked if the temperature goes too low.
Some tools can need more time to get started or can be strained if used without enough time to heat up.
Adding more heat to the barn can also make you comfortable whenever you work here.
3. Legal restrictions
Last but not least, you have to ensure what type of heaters is legally used for barns in your area.
If you have a mistake, you might receive fines and the cost of removing and replacing the heaters that you have installed.
1. How warm should I keep my barn?
Depending on each horse’s coat, their most comfortable temperature ranges from 18° to 59° F. So, you shouldn’t keep warm your barn more than 59° F.
If you keep your barn too warm, your horses may not grow their winter coat. And that leads troubles when they are out in the cold weather.
2. How cold is too cold for horses?
Horses can tolerate temperature at 0° F or slightly below 0° F if there is no wind and moisture.
If they have a shelter, they can tolerate temperature at -40° F. So, below -40° F will be too cold for horses.
3. Are heated barns bad for horses?
If your barn is heated properly, you are making a better situation for your horses.
But if you do it wrong, the humidity may increase which leads to the development of bacteria. Remember good ventilation is as important as enough heat in the barn.
4. Do horses get cold in the snow?
Horses can handle in cold weather but not in harsh cold weather since they are mammals. They can survive in the snow but chomping the snow and ice will not prevent them from dehydrating. Hence, remember to provide them clean water and fresh food.
All five types of products on the list are very good and popular on the market today. However, in my opinion, the NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater is a perfect choice. I love the heating ability of this device as well as the extremely convenient Wifi software. Moreover, for a horse barn like mine, I think this is the best barn heater!
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And now, thank you for reading!