Cattle barns are very hot, damp, buggy places without proper ventilation systems and airflow. Therefore, livestock fans are a crucial need.  Livestock fans are not a luxury item; they are an absolute necessity.  Thus, it is essential that producers take the time to make cattle comfortable and content.  Happier cows yield better production, which equals a better bottom line. Unquestionably, that will make everyone happy…including the cows. 

MacroAir Knows Livestock

In 1998 Walter & Eddie Boyd invented the first High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fan to help make dairy cows more comfortable so they’d produce more milk. With this first success in the agriculture industry, the Boyd’s were the pioneers who helped spin the HVLS category into existence. Their invention grew into a successful multi-generational family business known today as MacroAir. While the fan designs are often imitated, only the Boyd’s can say that their fan blades were first engineered based on NASA designed technology and that they were the pioneers in the HVLS market.  They understand the value of keeping your cattle comfortable and productive. They truly are the trailblazers of large commercial fans for livestock, thus making MacroAir THE credible voice when it comes to your farm fan needs.

Six Reasons Why Your Livestock Need HVLS Fans:

Six reasons why your livestock need HVLS fans

Reason 1: Improve Air Quality 

The slow air movement helps to reduce stale/stagnant air from the environment, minimizing mold, mildew, dust, and pollen.  Livestock fans will also reduce moisture and keep the area dry. 

Reason 2: Reverse Operation

In colder months, HVLS fans move the rising hot air down to the colder floor air, thus reducing heat costs and keeping cows more comfortable. 

Reason 3: Energy Efficiency

One big fan replaces up to 50 box fans, and costs about $1 a day to operate. Therefore, HVLS livestock fans are very cost-efficient. 

 Reason 4: Quiet Operation

Large cattle fans offer less noise to irritate cows/livestock. Furthermore, large amounts of noise can be a major irritant for cows. In turn, milk production will be affected if the farm fan is loud. 

Reason 5: Cattle Heat Stress 

Extreme temperatures can lead to cattle heat stress. This can happen even if the temperature and/or heat index is over 80 degrees. Heat stress can cause a lack of production and breeding, and even death. Because cows produce little sweat, they are not able to effectively get rid of their own body heat, so it is up to the farmers to help them cool off.  

Reason 6: Better Air Circulation

Pesky insects are a major nuisance to cows. Livestock fans can chase the flies away and keep cattle happy. Proper air circulation also creates better ventilation and air quality. This will keep cows healthier and more comfortable. Additionally, dairy cows have far better respiration rates in hot temperatures with the use of livestock fans.

Livestock fan options

Livestock fan options

What types of fans are available?

There are a vast variety of fans for your barn depending on what you need. Many facilities require a combination of a few options, as there is generally not an HVAC system in a barn. 

Some available fans include: 

  • HVLS ceiling fans
  • Misting fans
  • Aisle fans 
  • Wall mount fans (oscillating and non-oscillating)
  • Exhaust fans (shutter fans) 

Things to consider when buying a livestock fan

When picking a fan for your barn, consider the quality of air delivery, energy efficiency, service, reliability, suitability, safety, and cost (this should not be the only consideration).

  • Enclosed motor 

An enclosed motor will add longevity to the life of the fan. Just think of all the dust, dirt, weather, and moisture to which the livestock fans will be exposed.  

  • Outdoor rated    

The barn cooling fan should be made with outdoor conditions in mind. Unlike indoor fans, outdoor rated fans are adaptable to damp and wet areas. They were built with finishes meant to withstand humidity, moisture, and rain while all the while preventing corrosion and rust. 

  • Commercial grade fans   

The durability of a commercial grade fan is worth the extra cost. Additionally, the lifespan of the fan is much longer.     

  • Wall Mount Placement 

Be careful when placing your barn fans.  Mount wall fans (oscillating and non oscillating) high enough to not disturb the surroundings. If placed too low, they are annoying to the animals and kick up dirt and dust. Keep wall mount fans out of reach for animals and make sure no cords are exposed.

  • Exhaust Fan Shutters

Exhaust fans often have shutters covering them, which can reduce fan performance from 10-25%. Consequently, if shutters are in place, it is crucial that they are clear of dust and dirt.  Dirty shutters can reduce barn fan performance up to 40%.

  • Thermal Stratification 

High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) barn fans are great for areas that experience thermal stratification. Thermal stratification occurs when floor to ceiling air becomes differentiated (hot air on top, and cool air on bottom). MacroAir’s fan finder offers powerful livestock fans perfect for your space that will effectively de-stratify, and then redistribute large amounts of that altered air precisely, keeping animals and caretakers comfortable. Rather than forcing in heat that will be trapped in the rafters, HVLS fans thermally equalize the air and break up the heat layers. This simple act of mixing the air efficiently balances the ceiling to floor differential and optimizes comfort at ground level. In addition, HVLS fans are virtually maintenance free and very energy efficient. 

Wesleyan College Equestrian Center’s success story

Livestock fan testimonial

Source: Wesleyan College Equestrian Center, Macon, GA.


The Wesleyan College Equestrian Center, in Macon, Georgia, contains a 24-stall barn “home” for the center’s horses. It’s extremely hot in Georgia, and triple-digit, humid days are not rare. Therefore, keeping the horses comfortable is a struggle.

Furthermore, the center was originally using box fans to cool the horses – one fan strapped to each stall. But the box fans were not enough, plus there were extension cords everywhere. It really was a fire waiting to happen. In addition, the box fans also kicked up dirt, which irritated the horses.

livestock fan mistake

Because of these shortcomings, the center decided to replace their box fans with large ceiling mounted fans. Since installing four MacroAir fans, the Wesleyan College Equestrian Center has enjoyed:

  • Airflow throughout the stalls
  • Fewer flies landing and biting the horses
  • Safety with permanent installation

In effect, large livestock fans are an ideal way to deliver comfort to horses and their caretakers. Today, the Wesleyan College Equestrian Center is the home of many happy horses!

Livestock fan testimonial


One thing is for sure – proper airflow is crucial for keeping a barn in a favorable and healthy state for your livestock. As previously noted, barn cooling fans are not luxury items; they are an essential addition to any facility. In short, livestock fans make animals comfortable, and comfortable animals yield better production. Join the ever growing number of farms and farmers experiencing the savings and comfort livestock fans offer to their livestock and barns today. Find your specific barn fan needs now using the MacroAir’s fan finder.


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