7 Ways to Insulate Your Shipping Container Home for Winter
If you live in a shipping container home, when winter arrives, it can get extremely cold inside for you and your loved ones. As well, the cold winter temperatures can destroy your valuables, which could create great financial loss and irreplaceable damages.
To protect your loved ones and valuables from the cold, it’s essential to perform shipping container modifications to prepare for the winter season. Gearing up for the winter might seem like a big task, but we’re here to guide you with 7 ways on how to insulate your shipping container home for the cold season:
1. Install insulation
The key to surviving the winter in a shipping container home is to invest the time and effort to install insulation. The only disadvantage with insulating your shipping container is losing some interior room, as the insulation takes up space in the walls. Here are the common types of insulation for shipping container home owners to consider:
- Spray foam. This is a quick way to insulate your home. All you need to do is spray the material directly on your container’s exterior and interior walls.
- Cotton. Made from recycled cotton items such as denim, this natural insulation gives you similar protection to fibreglass insulation. Furthermore, since cotton insulation is manufactured with boric acid, it acts as a fire retardant. Unlike spray foam that is easy to install, though, cotton insulation needs to be inserted with a vapour barrier. If not, it could get wet, and its properties can deteriorate.
- Cork. Similar to cotton, cork is a natural insulation made from biodegradable materials taken from the bark of cork trees. Not only is cork insulation environmentally friendly, but when it’s placed in interior and exterior metal walls, it acts as a sound insulator.
- Wool. Just like cotton and cork, wool is a natural insulation taken from sheep wool. It features an R-value of 3.5 per inch, thus making it one of the best insulation types.
2. Install double-glazed windows
In the winter, cold winds can get through windows even if they are shut and locked. If your shipping container home is located in a remote area without other buildings around, installing double-glazed windows can help seal in the heat. Since they are energy efficient, they provide good insulation and decrease heat loss. Having double-glazed windows installed therefore keeps more heat indoors during the winter.
3. Shut doors to unused rooms
All doors in a shipping container home are constantly moving, so the warm air that flows inside will generate throughout the whole space. That’s why during the winter, it’s good practice to close the doors to the rooms you’re not actively using, and the heat continues to flow within the main parts of the home you’re constantly in. For instance, lock the doors to the bedrooms throughout the day. Then, about an hour before bedtime, open the bedroom doors and let the heat circulate from the other parts of the home into your bedrooms. This will let some of the heat into the bedrooms and warm them up.
4. Fix the flooring
In the winter, shipping container homes with wooden flooring can make the interior cold. A good solution is to cover it with thick area rugs during the cold season to retain some heat. The convenience of using rugs is that you can get creative and decorate during the winter by using different kinds of rugs and runners made out of wool and faux fur. Not only will they warm up your shipping container home, but they feel comfortable walking on.
5. Seal doors and windows
If you decide to get double-glazed windows, you can take it up a notch by sealing your windows and doors with silicone caulk. Inspect each of your windows and doors, and look for any gaps where air escapes out of them. These are the areas that need sealing, which you can do yourself, as it’s a quick DIY project.
6. Use a wood burner
In a typical house, you would have a fireplace. In a shipping container home, you can get a wood burner and it will quickly warm up the interior. The benefit of having a wood burner is it only takes a few minutes after lighting it to provide heat in your living space.
7. Use a portable heater
If a wood burner is a big investment or you don’t have enough space, then a portable heater is a perfect alternative. They are affordable and compact, so you can buy a couple of them and place them around your shipping container home and heat your unit quickly.
Contact Sigma Container
There are many ways to heat up your shipping container home. Let’s recap the 7 ways on how to insulate your shipping container home for winter:
- Install insulation. Spray foam, cotton, cork, and wool are the most common types of insulation to insulate your container home during the winter.
- Install double-glazed windows. Since double-glazed windows are energy efficient, they can help seal in heat throughout your shipping container home.
- Shut doors to unused rooms. Close the doors to the rooms you’re not actively using, and let the warm air that flows inside the most active rooms (such as the living room and kitchen) generate throughout the whole space. Open the doors to your unused rooms and let the warm air circulate.
- Fix the flooring. The use of area rugs and runners made out of wool and faux fur are great to place on hardwood floors in your container home. This will secure some heat in each room.
- Seal the doors and windows. Inspect all the windows and doors. Look for gaps where the air comes out, and then seal them with silicone caulk.
- Use a wood burner. Similar to a fireplace, a wood burner can quickly warm up the interior. Since shipping container homes are compact, a wood burner is an efficient method for warming up your container.
- Use a portable heater. An alternative to a wood burner are portable heaters. They are small and inexpensive, and when placed in a few rooms, they spread heat quickly throughout your container home.