6 Tips for Keeping Your Shipping Container Cool in the Summer
Jul 2021

6 Tips for Keeping Your Shipping Container Cool in the Summer

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The beauty of shipping containers is that you can do so much with them. Shipping containers are easily used as storage space, makeshift offices, and even homes. In fact, shipping container homes are gaining popularity as alternative spaces that can be incorporated into daily life. Some use shipping containers as an extra shed or garage, while others get creative with it and use them for camping purposes!

However you plan to use your container, an important point to consider is how you’ll keep it cool. With Ontario summers heating up, consider opting for a modified shipping container that will work well within the hotter temperatures. Most shipping containers are made of steel, meaning that the hot sun can turn the unit into an overheated, humid box. Unless you opt for a specifically refrigerated model, your unit can heat up to 100 degrees!

There are plenty of effortless and inexpensive ways to keep the contents of your container working in any weather. Read on for 6 tips for keeping your shipping container cool during the summer.

1.Install air units

Modified shipping containers are the way to go because you’ll be able to customize a standard model to fit your needs. Air vents are a great option to increase airflow and cool the interior. The following are some methods by which to keep your container cool by installing vents or ACs:

  1. AC units: Air conditioning is a surefire way to keep your unit cool. You’ll be able to hook up to an HVAC unit if you have access to a power source. The cooling capacity will depend on how big your unit is, but as a rule of thumb, a 12,000 BTU unit will suffice for a room smaller than 400 square feet.
  2. Cross ventilation through air vents: Through the use of louvered, fixed, or rooftop turbines, you will be able to increase airflow inside your shipping container significantly.
  3. Exhaust fans: Fans come in varying sizes between 10 to 36 inches. The benefit of adding a fan into your container is that it comes with different speed settings and doesn’t require much effort to install.
  4. Dehumidifier: The function of a humidifier is to suck all the moisture out of the air, which effectively brings down the heat. Perfect for humid Ontario summers, this is a great option if your shipping container is hooked up to a power source.

2. Install window shades

Window treatments can go a long way in clamping down the heat. If your shipping container is out in your yard, you’re going to face a lot of direct sun exposure. Blinds and blackout curtains are a great cost-effective solution to direct heat. Also, consider reflective treatments for your windows. This will bounce any light back from the glass, which will keep light from entering and heating up the interior space.

3. Utilize fluorescent lights

A simple but effective solution is to replace incandescent lighting with fluorescent lights. This is because incandescent lights emit higher heat, which can overpower a smaller modified shipping container. Instead, opting for fluorescent or LED lights will be better for overall cooling. As a bonus, this will also greatly cut down on your electric bill!

4. Heatproof the roof

It is the shipping container roof that contributes to the overheating of the unit. This is because the roof absorbs the outside heat. The metal roof then transfers this heat to the interior space. Many shipping containers also come painted in dark colours such as blue, green, or red, which conduct heat, thus leading to overheating during the summer months.

An alternative to this is to paint your shipping container a lighter colour that will prevent heat absorption, such as white, light gray, or yellow. White reflective paint is also a great solution to this problem.

5. Insulation

Another great addition to your modified shipping container is to fit it with insulation. While this solution requires a little bit more space within your unit, it does provide the great benefit of cooler summers and warmer winters. There are many ways to insulate a shipping container, but the main materials used are rigid mineral board, fiberglass, or spray foam insulation.

The benefits of spray foam are that it protects the unit from high humidity and sun glare. It also helps avoid energy loss. Spray insulation, on the other hand, is easily installed and so is ideal for those not wanting to make larger-scale structural changes to their unit.

6. Utilize the coolness of nighttime

Temperatures in Ontario drop during summer nights, which is helpful for the purpose of container cooling. It allows for the trapped heat to escape the unit. If you wish to speed up the cooling process, keep your windows open at night. This way, when you enter the unit in the morning, it will be cool and ready to use!

Another way to work with the natural cooling of the climate is to keep your fans switched on for some time during the night. This will increase airflow and allow for cross ventilation, thus pushing out warm air and letting the cool night breeze in.

Interested in container modifications? Contact Sigma Container

There you have it: 6 ways to keep your container cool during the summer months. Following these easy tips will have your container ready for use all summer long. If you’re looking for upgrades and modifications to your containers to make them more usable, reach out to us at Sigma Container. We have options for containers of all sizes and for users with all kinds of needs.

To learn more about modified shipping containers in Ontario, call Sigma Container Corporation at 1-877-225-7762 or contact us here.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at