Proper management of furnace and ventilation controller settings in hog buildings can reduce propane and electricity costs. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach illustrates the impact controller settings can have on furnace run time and energy consumption in swine production facilities.

Managing swine ventilation controller settings to save energy” (PM 2089T) is available to download from the Extension Online Store,

“By managing on-off temperature settings for the system controller, energy consumption for a hog facility can often be reduced,” said Jay Harmon, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. “With proper adjustments, furnace run time can be minimized to avoid expending excessive energy from the building while still maintaining proper air quality.”

This publication summarizes furnace and ventilation controller terminology such as setpoint, offset and differential. It also illustrates a specific example for modifying the furnace offset to minimize furnace run time while still maintaining good air quality within the building.

For more tips on energy efficiency around the farmstead, visit or follow @ISU_Farm_Energy on Twitter.

The Farm Energy publications are part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the ISU Farm Energy Initiative. The purpose is to increase farmers’ awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers and utility providers to explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.