How To Ventilate A Shipping Container
How to Properly Install Ventilation in Shipping Containers?
Inherently, airtight shipping containers are used for various purposes. For one, they are used in transporting products across the ocean regardless of weather conditions. Because goods must not be exposed to corrosive saltwater when inside. Yet, the use of the hermetic sealing can cause some deteriorative effects.
Besides, using containers as living spaces is quite complicated, because they need to be ventilated. Containers are pretty much the same as buildings in this regard. Therefore, if you consider purchasing a container box, you should consider the installation of air systems in shipping containers.
Let’s look at some facts about how shipping container ventilation can help and why it’s that crucial.
Is Shipping Container Ventilation necessary?
Ventilation for shipping containers helps to maintain a suitable interior temperature by freeing it from fumes from fuel, paints, and other substances. It also removes moisture and condensation from the ceiling. Besides, installing vents in a storage container is the ideal solution to excessive condensation that forms inside the container during temperature fluctuations.
Basically, shipping container ventilation performs three essential functions: it enables the circulation of air, limits the effects of temperature fluctuation, and reduces the excessive humidity in air and condensation.
What happens without container ventilation?
Not venting a shipping container can result in the most unpleasant consequences. Here are the most nasty of them:
Condensation is simply the water vapor becoming liquid. It happens when temperature fluctuations rapidly increase the relative humidity in the air. Condensation is manifested as water drops.
Typically, condensation appears against the inside wall. This kind of moisture deteriorates packaging, and also causes an array of other negative effects listed below. These could simply be prevented by venting shipping containers.
It is one of the side effects of excessive condensation developing inside a shipping container. Moisture combined with high temperatures leads to the mold appearance that corrupts fabric, food, paper, packaging, and more.
This problem is of the outermost importance to prevent by implementing shipping container vents. Other interventions like treating surfaces with some sort of disinfectant have a very limited and temporary effect.
Surprisingly enough, most types of cargo may produce poisonous fumes. Not necessarily toxic substances like oil or chemicals can generate fumes. Simply heated plastic alone can produce enough gasses for them to be dangerous.
Ventilated shipping containers cope with fumes easily, but airtight ones without a conditioning system just do not allow any gasses to form inside. The main issue with gasses is a bad smell caused by different toxins. Once a container is opened, they can be released and affect the workers.
Shipping containers aren’t cheap. They are expected to last for years without any deterioration. Yet, rust is another issue that occurs frequently. It is closely connected to excess moisture and raises when metal is exposed to water drops for a prolonged time.
Rust corrupts most metals that are commonly used for container box fabrication. It causes cracks and may even corrupt the packaging of items itself. In the worst-case scenario, rust leads to holes in the surface of containers if neither prevented nor treated properly.
The steel is used to make the containers absorb heat. So, under direct sunlight, this unit can feel like inside an oven. Not even mentioning the usage of steel containers as homes, a box of heated metal is not a great storage area overall. All the sensitive types of cargo and even some comparatively durable items can be easily damaged if the temperature exceeds a certain level.
Additionally, flammable substances, such as petroleum or fuel oils, are often transported in containers. So you really need to know how to vent a shipping container to prevent those from exploding once the temperature inside breaches its flash point.
How Can Shipping Container Vents help?
Fortunately, there are several methods for reducing temperature and preventing moisture accumulation using natural airflow. Container ventilation systems can be installed by professionals or even by container owners themselves. The cooling effect of the system can be improved by insulating the entire container. Your options here include:
- Shipping container air vents. Vents operate best when installed on opposite sides of a container. This permits the wind to blow fresh, dry air into the unit while allowing hot air to exit through the air vent on the opposite wall, providing natural airflow and temperature reduction.
- Storage container vents. Storage container ventilation is imperative. The existing vents might suffice if you’re storing non-temperature sensitive equipment or products in a temperate climate. Keep in mind that these small vents only allow for a small amount of airflow.
- Conex container ventilation. Installing vents on your containers allows air to flow in and out easily. The most popular term for this is cross ventilation. You install vents on the side of your container to allow air to go through. Then you should put vents on the other side of your container.
Regardless of the chosen type, the end result is always the normal ventilation inside your shipping container. Natural air circulation will prevent or notably reduce all the negative effects listed above.
3 Easy Steps to Make Quality Ventilation System in Shipping Container
Let’s learn how to successfully construct a fully-fledged shipping container ventilation system with modifications:
Step 1: Install a New Vent
It’s the first and the most important thing to do. Basically, you may opt for either passive or active ventilation systems.
The first is the simplest and cheapest option. These kinds of vents vary from 4″x 4 to 6″x 6″, depending on the size of the container. They are normally placed onto walls, directly under the roof. They help to ventilate containers just by the wind. It’s commonly referred to as cross ventilation.
Active or mechanical vents are more like large fans. Exhaust-only mechanical ventilation or simply extractor fans ensure the circulation of a certain volume of air, such as 15 liters per second. They are also placed on walls, as high as possible and as far as possible from the door and windows, if there are any. There are also supply-only and balanced mechanical ventilation modifications.
Here are the steps on how to actually install a vent:
- Decide on the vent location. The best option is to set the vent under the roof and as far from the door as possible.
- Put on your safety gear and, with the help of a grinder, cut the opening in the wall to fit the ventilation frame. Make sure the edges are straight, and the opening forms a perfect square.
- Place the vent inside the opening line and secure its ends with the ball hammer.
- Utilize a welding tool and attach the frame part in place to the opening.
- Seal the frame.
Congratulations, you’ve installed a shipping container vent. Of course, depending on the air system chosen and its modification, the approach may be slightly different.
Step 2: Add Insulation
But there’s more that you can do to improve the microclimate inside your shipping container.
If you need to keep a more stable and moderate temperature and relative humidity inside, consider adding a layer of insulation. It will mitigate any temperature fluctuations.
Styrofoam or spray foam would both work well. As another benefit, none of them actually require framing.
Step 3: Add Climate Control
Finally, you may go a step further and add an air conditioning system. This may be an A/C or PTAC unit, a wall-mounted unit, or even a window unit. All of these would help to set and maintain exact levels of temperature and relative humidity inside a shipping container. Climate control units should be combined with insulation and vents perfectly.
Having different levels of climate control is especially beneficial when you need to transport sensitive types of cargo. For one, food, medications, and more.
Let’s make a custom-built container for maximum efficiency.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your container, you can ensure that a natural airflow occurs using skillfully fitted vents throughout the unit. This will aid in the creation of perfect conditions for keeping people comfortable and valuables protected. A ventilation system will make fresh air constantly flow in and out.
In case you need assistance in installing a proper ventilation system, consider contacting Pelican Containers — a leading provider of multipurpose new and used shipping containers. From small to large, our venting shipping containers can meet any of your requirements.
The workforce of Pelican Containers is fully capable of making any modifications as well. We can construct fully-fledged ventilation for shipping containers, add insulation, build reliable climate control, and many more.
Should you need a container solution, consider contacting Pelican Containers for a free quote.
What is the best way to vent a shipping container?
For the maximum outcomes, you should follow the comprehensive approach, including installing a vent, adding insulation, and building a climate control system.
How many vents should a shipping container have?
Normally, a 20ft container has either 2 or 4 built-in vents.
How do I vent a shipping container at an affordable cost?
Vents on the side are the cheapest option to go. You may also neglect insulation and a ventilation system, but only if the cargo is not that sensitive.