Shipping container homes are trendy, affordable, and unique. They are also made from metal, which may lead you to wonder whether shipping container homes get hot during the summer.
Are shipping container homes hot?
A shipping container home can get very hot during warm weather without adequate insulation. Most container homes are comprised of metal shipping containers with metal siding and roofing. Metal is not a good insulator, which allows heat from outside to easily warm the interior.
If you have lived in a standard house that lacks insulation, you know that the interior can become quite warm during the summer. While you can cool the interior with an air conditioner and fans, a home needs insulation to keep the cool air inside and hot air outside. This is especially true for shipping container homes and other metal buildings.
With the right design options, you can ensure that your shipping container home stays cool. In fact, you can likely cool your container home more efficiently compared to a standard home.
Why Do Shipping Container Homes Get Hot?
During warm weather, metal buildings may heat faster compared to homes with wood frames. The increase in temperature is mostly due to the following three forms of heat transfer:
Shipping container homes are first affected by heat radiation. This occurs when rays from the sun heat the metal roofing and siding. Metal cannot store as much heat as wood. After absorbing heat, the metal exterior transfers the heat inside through conduction.
The hot air inside the home also rises through heat convection. If your container home includes multiple floors, the upper floors are likely to get hotter.
On top of the three forms of heat transfer discussed, all types of buildings continually lose cool air. Cool air escapes through walls and roofing without proper insulation. The cool air is replaced by hot air from outside, increasing the temperature inside.
Traditional residential homes are made with wood frames and have vinyl or aluminum siding. These materials transfer less heat compared to metal.
How to Keep Your Shipping Container Home Cool
As with a metal shed, a bare shipping container home can quickly heat up and stay hot during the summer months. Luckily, you can make your container home cooler and more energy efficient with the following steps:
- Choose the right insulation
- Install heat-resistant roofing
- Optimize the ventilation systems
Taking the time to choose the right materials can help keep cool air inside and block the hot air from outside. Along with helping keep temperatures stable, the steps listed above keep you from constantly running your AC.
Use Extra Insulation to Cool Your Container Home
The frame of a shipping container home is modified to create a fully finished interior with drywall on the walls and ceiling. The design typically includes slightly deeper wall cavities compared to a standard home with a wood stud frame.
You have a little extra space for adding extra insulation. Insulation is needed in the walls and ceiling for increased thermal protection. Some types of insulation also provide higher insulating values.
The insulating value of a product is listed as the “R-value” per inch:
- Batting (standard rolls of blanket insulation) – 3.1 to 3.4
- Blown-in fiberglass insulation – 3.7 to 4.3
- Blown-in mineral wool – 3.1 to 4.0
- Blown-in cellulose – 3.2 to 3.9
- Rigid insulation boards – 3.8 to 6.5
- Open-cell spray foam – 3.5 to 3.6
- Closed-cell spray foam – 6.0 to 6.5
Closed-cell spray foam offers the most insulation per inch. Unlike blown-in insulation, it also maintains coverage. Blown-in insulation tends to settle in wall cavities, keeping it from insulating the upper portions of the walls after several years. Rigid boards or rolls of insulation are often used under the roof.
Install Heat-Resistant Roofing to Reflect Heat
Along with insulation in the roof, consider installing heat-resistant roofing. The sun constantly beats down on the roof throughout the day, transferring heat into your container home. Choosing a roof with a light color or a reflective coating can reflect more heat and keep your home cooler.
Some of the latest metal roofing products can reflect over 70% of the sun’s rays. The typical asphalt roof only reflects about 30% of solar rays. Reflecting more heat helps cut energy costs and increases the lifespan of your roof.
Optimize Ventilation Systems to Improve Airflow
Keeping your container home cool depends on the airflow inside your home. The placement of vents, windows, and doors should be optimized to avoid blocking the flow of air.
Allowing air from the vents to pass through the home unrestricted makes it easier to cool during the summer and heat during the winter.
You may also want to consider installing energy-efficient appliances. For example, choosing a multi-stage air conditioner unit instead of a single-stage AC unit allows it to run at lower speeds and gradually cool your home instead of constantly running at full speed.
Conclusion: Are Shipping Container Homes Hot?
If you’re planning on a container home and still wonder ‘are shipping container homes hot? Shipping container homes can heat quickly if you do not include enough insulation. Consider using spray foam insulation to help keep the cool air inside. You can also install heat-reflective roofing to reflect more heat from the outside and optimize your ventilation systems to improve airflow.