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7 Ways to Keep Your Shipping Container Cool in the Summer

Whether you rent or own a shipping container, when summer comes around it can get mighty hot in there. Depending on the contents you have stored in your shipping container, the scorching weather could damage your items, causing you major costs and inconvenience.

Tips to keep your shipping container cool in the summer

Since shipping containers are made out of steel, they absorb heat from the sun and in the summertime, high temperatures can wreak damage to the interior of the shipping container. 

To keep your shipping container cool during the summer, it’s important to prepare it for the hot months ahead and we’re here to help. Let’s take a closer look at seven ways to keep your shipping container cool in the summer. 

1. Install shipping container vents

The cross-ventilation method works well for shipping containers. By installing a vent at each end of the shipping container, a steady airflow is created within the interior to keep all your items dry.  

Which type of vents should you choose for your shipping container? The most common vent models are louvre, fixed and rooftop turbines. If you want to make a large investment, louvred vents are the most expensive from fixed and rooftop turbines. The benefit of louvred vents is that you can adjust the flaps to adjust the airflow.  

Fixed vents are the basic model but you cannot adjust the flaps to alter the airflow. Unlike louvred and fixed vents, rooftop turbine vents are installed on the roof of the shipping container and effectively provide adequate airflow to keep the items in your shipping container dry. 

2. Get a heat-proof roof 

The roof of a shipping container absorbs most of the heat from the sun’s rays and that heat spreads throughout your shipping container’s interior. In most cases, your shipping container comes with a coloured roof such as red, green or blue. The darker your shipping container’s roof, the hotter it gets.

An easy solution for keeping your shipping container cool in the summer is to paint the roof in a light colour such as white or light gray. To maximize the light paint’s effectiveness, instead of using a basic white paint, choose a white reflective paint that will help repel the sun’s rays. 

3. Install insulation

If you own a shipping container and plan to keep it for years to come, it’s a good idea to invest the time and effort to install insulation. The only drawback with insulating your shipping container is you lose some space in the interior due to the insulation taking up space in the walls. But the overall benefit of insulating your shipping container is that you get year-round warm winters and cool summers. The three most common types of insulation are rigid mineral board, spray foam insulation or fibreglass. 

4. Get air conditioning

If you want to kick it up a notch from vents, installing a portable HVAC air-conditioning unit will certainly make your shipping container cool during the summer. However, the essential thing you need in your shipping container is a power source for plugging in the HVAC air-conditioner.  

Another factor to keep in mind when choosing an HVAC air-conditioner for your shipping container is to base it on the size of your container’s interior. For instance, a portable air-conditioning unit with 12,000 BTU can cool a shipping container that is up to 400 square feet.  If your container is situated in a location with blazing hot summers or is larger than 400 square feet, you should choose a more powerful commercial HVAC system.

5. Use a dehumidifier

If air conditioning isn’t your thing, getting a dehumidifier is another option if you have a power source in your shipping container. Dehumidifiers pull the moisture out of the air to control the levels of humidity inside the container. If you decide to use a dehumidifier, adding a discharge line helps by getting rid of condensed water that builds up in the dehumidifier tank. 

6. Keep the doors shut

The most common moving parts of a shipping container are the doors. Over time they can naturally wear down due to constant opening and closing. Before the hot summer temperatures arrive, conduct a thorough inspection of the doors and hinges on your container to ensure the heat doesn’t seep in.

Here are some tips for maintaining the doors on your shipping container: 

  • Clean the rust and dirt off the door hinges 
  • Inspect the door seals and check if they are intact 
  • Check the rubber gasket seals, hinges and door latches on each door and use a spray lubricant on them for easy closing and opening 

By regularly maintaining the doors on your container, it keeps the heat out, especially if you have vents, air-conditioning or insulation installed inside.   

7. Position the shipping container in the shade

Another effective strategy to keep your shipping container cool in the summer is to place it in the shade away from direct sunlight. Once you have found a spot in the shade, put four 6-inch pressure-treated blocks (corner blocks) on solid ground or gravel, and place the container on top of them to improve air circulation.

By placing the container on top of corner blocks it reduces the chance of water accumulating underneath the container. As we all know, water and heat create dampness, humidity and mildew inside a container. You want to avoid this from happening during the summertime as it can damage the contents in your container. 

Contact Secure Container

We hope these tips have helped you think about the best ways you can keep your shipping container cool in the summer. If you apply some of these before the weather gets hot, you’ll be able to regulate the temperature in your container and keep your contents damage-free. 

At Secure Container Solutions, we have a variety of storage bin rentals in different sizes for sale and for rent. For more information on how to maintain your shipping container during the summertime, contact Secure Container Solutions at 416-817-3216 or contact us here.

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