Ventilation is by far the largest source of heating energy loss in swine facilities. While it is essential to provide proper minimum ventilation, it’s also important to avoid expelling excess energy from the building.

A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach shows how controller settings can reduce energy consumption and expenses in your swine barns. The free publication, “Managing swine ventilation controller settings to save energy,” is available to download from Iowa State’s online store.

“By managing on/off temperature settings for the system controller, energy consumption for a hog facility can often be reduced,” says Jay Harmon, Iowa State Extension agricultural engineer. Harmon explains that with proper controller adjustments, furnace run-time can be minimized to avoid expelling excessive energy from the building while still maintaining proper air quality.

The publication summarizes furnace and ventilation controller terminology such as set-point, offset and differential. It also illustrates a specific example for modifying the furnace offset to minimize furnace run-time while still maintaining the building’s air quality.

Harmon says the publication will help pork producers explore ways to reduce farm energy demand and to improve overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.

You can download the publication at For more tips on energy efficiency around the farmstead, visit