When I was a boy, my dad told me a story about a grain silo explosion. He was a farmhand at the time, long before he had a family of his own, and the grain container at the ranch went up in a ball of fire. He explained to me how all the grain dust sort of hovers in the air, getting more and more tightly packed. All it takes is one little spark, a flash of flame, and all that dust ignites so rapidly it makes the whole building explode. I think about this a lot, now that I live in an old grain silo. The story was why I spent so much money installing a top of the line ventilation system, along with an HVAC system housed outside the building. Just in case there was still a grain dust deposit somewhere in there, I didn’t want a spark from the AC or the pilot light for the water heater to cause a firestorm. The HVAC company that came out had actually worked on grain silos before, so they did a full inspection of the air quality before they even started working. They first installed a series of air vents every ten feet around the base of the silo, each one fitted with a strong air filter inside of it. These multiple air vents would ensure a constant air flow through the space, because no matter where the wind blows there is a vent to catch it.  I need to check the air filters each week to see if any grain dust shows up in them.

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