Technical Standards and Safety Authority Compliance – Unvented Heaters in Livestock Facilities
September 10, 2015
Unvented gas heaters are used by farmers to ensure adequate heat to their poultry and livestock especially with newborn and young livestock. Some heaters may include vented and unvented infrared tube heaters, unvented direct-fired box heaters and unvented infrared brooder heaters, certified to the CSA 2.20 brooder standard. Moisture, ammonia and carbon dioxide gases created by the animals must be kept within acceptable levels and in order to achieve this, require adequate ventilation to ensure quality of air to livestock and ensure prevention of combustion within the facility. These facilities require ventilation systems that address the requirements of the propane and natural gas heaters and to provide healthy environment within the facility. This ventilation should allow for fresh air to be provided at all times, with adequate distribution within the barn; monitoring of room temperature, as well as the removal of gases, odours and moisture created by the animals. In order to provide an optimum environment for poultry and livestock to grow in, adequate ventilation is key.
On August 1, 2014, the most recent amendment to the Gaseous Fuels Code Adoption Document included specific requirements for unvented natural gas or propane heating appliances in livestock and poultry barns. This revised standard requires that, as of October 1, 2014, all new barns with unvented heaters must meet minimum ventilation requirements and must not exceed a maximum BTUH/cubic foot of barn space. Existing facilities have until January 1, 2016, to be in compliance.
If your barns are required to be in compliance, you will need to have an Engineer (licensed as a professional engineering in Ontario, pursuant to the Professional Engineers Act) to complete a TSSA Ventilation Review of your facility to satisfy these newly amended requirements.
The Engineer should provide you with a questionnaire to complete, requesting information regarding your facilities, the existing heating system as well as the ventilation system and your minimum ventilation settings. In order to determine compliance, verification of both the minimum ventilation/BTUH heat energy and the maximum BTUH heat energy/cubic foot will be required. The Engineer must then determine if your current arrangement is satisfactory and provide recommendations, if required. The Engineer should also visit each facility to verify your system. Once completed, the Engineer should provide a summary of TSSA Ventilation Calculations which should be displayed prominently in the entrance area to the barn.