Shipping containers are more than just a big metal box. They can withstand the turbulence of the open ocean and handle anything thrown at them, such as harsh physical environments, strong gusts of wind, and extreme weather.
A shipping container is built to be airtight to provide insulation. However, it’s important to have proper ventilation. Lack of ventilation can lead to problems such as mold, rust, diseases, and unpleasant odors.
We’ll address the importance of ventilation and how to install these ventilation systems into your shipping container to provide some air flow.
Do Shipping Containers Need Ventilation?
Although most of these shipping containers include a small opening to breathe, it’s not enough for functional ventilation. If water or other moisture finds its way inside of the container, it won’t get out.
Sufficient ventilation is essential in containers, especially if you’re storing moisture-sensitive items or in an environment where climate changes. When humidity is high, consider using a dehumidifier product in your shipping container home.
Problems Caused By Poor Ventilation in Shipping Container
One reason that a shipping container home will require a ventilation system because it may overheat, and moisture-sensitive goods can be damaged.
Most shipping containers will have built-in holes to act as ventilation. But the problem is that these holes aren’t enough for this situation. It’s best to install a ventilation system such as having intake vents, louver vents, or even a window.
There are many reasons that a lack of ventilation in containers can be problematic, especially for temperature changes.
Explosion or fire
As temperatures continue to rise, it’s not long before fire or explosion may occur.
Severe health risks such as air poisoning and human diseases
If you’re storing toxic or hazardous chemicals such as paints and thinners, a lack of ventilation in containers will cause air poisoning or fumes. This could lead to all of your goods, hardware, and people at risk.
Reducing temperatures can help, but installing airflow ventilation like air conditioning can go a long way. Many human diseases may occur without proper ventilation, such as nausea, dry eyes, asthma, respiratory diseases, and pneumonia.
Moisture can damage stock and stored goods
Plants, food items, spoil paper, and other perishables can grow mold and mildew from condensation. Rust can happen when water gets onto your electronics. Condensation is the primary factor for mold. This occurs when moist air comes into contact with a cold surface.
Even a small amount of water vapor can turn into liquid on the surface, otherwise known as condensation.
Steel containers will rust
Humidity can cause a buildup in condensation that leads to your container rusting. The repair in metalwork will be costly and very time-consuming. Poor ventilation in shipping containers will cause musty odors that are unpleasant to work in.
What to Know About Shipping Container Venting
Determine whether or not your circumstances requires a ventilation and which option is available to you.
Should I get a roof vent or a side vent?
If you’re utilizing the shipping container as a livable space, then you should find ways to get air to flow into the container. This can be done through roof and side vents. Have vents to the side is the cheapest option to go, and it’s an easy way to bring fresh air into the container.
A roof vent, otherwise known as whirly bird or turbine vents, is typically installed on the roof of containers.
How important is a roof vent?
For some people, the one vent that is pre-installed into the container may suffice to promote airflow. Also, a container vent typically has a triple-layered screen to block the entry of insects. Some areas have climates with low humidity, which means you might not need any type of intake vents.
But how many vents would you need? This depends on your space in the container. Each addition of vent will help to provide more air inside.
Should I hire professionals or install myself?
There are two options when installing a vent to your container. You can either try to go through the installation instructions by yourself if you opt for the DIY route. Increase the odds of success by hiring professionals to get the job done and complete the modifications.
How to Install Vents on Shipping Containers
Now that you’ve decided to install vents inside of your storage container, now it’s time to begin making modifications to your container to suit your needs.
Steps on How to Install Ventilation
- Based on the climates and conditions, decide the location you want the vent. Line it up from the outside walls. If you choose to install the vent on the roof, check that the vent’s bottom end is elevated to the exterior.
- Wear your safety gear likes gloves and goggles, for this project. Use the angle grinder and cut the opening on the walls to fit your ventilation frame.
- Make sure the edges are straight and that the opening is a perfect square.
- Place it inside of the opening line it up exactly with the wall panel. Use the ball hammer in order to securely lock in the vent on end.
- Utilize a welding tool to attach the ventilation frame part in place to the opening.
- Seal the frame from the inside of the container.
Best Shipping Container Vents
Here is a list of the best vent products to help with the issue of heat and moisture issues for containers.
The shipping container vent kit by CON-VENTS is an effective product for preventing moisture from building up. It comes with two vents that are designed to each end for cross ventilation. This product itself is designed to cover a 20 feet container.
It can be placed anywhere, such as the side doors or windows. If you’re worried about an insect problem, there is a perforated screen for protection against bugs.
- Vents are 12″ high and 6″ wide
- Screens are dense and made with perforated aluminum sheet
- Mounting products such as screws and other applications
- The screen keeps out bugs and rodents
- Removes excessive condensation from windows
- Provides better air circulation even without wind
- Won’t be able to attach to roof or ceiling
- May need more vents depending on the level of sun exposure
The solar roofblaster is specifically designed for Conex shipping containers and be powered by a 3W solar power panel. Most vents are plastic, which can easily break over time. The roofblaster is a metal vent that is made to last.
When cool air comes into the intake vents, it’ll flow out of the roofblaster vents.
- 8″ metal can roof vent
- Rated for 50,000 hours
- 39cfm fan and 2700 rpm
- 3W solar panel attached to the top
- Design for durability
- Provides uniform air movement
- The fan removes excess heat for storage goods
- The fan does not include an on and off switch or thermostat
For customers who have spent the time looking for side ventilation, the Big Air 45 is incredibly useful. It’s made of a laser-cut aluminum frame to prevent rush and is equipped with UV-resistant polypropylene. There’s also a bug screen to prevent insects from coming in.
This vent solves the issue of bugs flying in and excessive condensation.
- It uses a laser-cut aluminum frame
- 9″ x 14″ opening
- 45 square inch in a net free area
- Ideal for tropical weather such as wind and rain
- The aluminum frame is rust-free
- UV resistant for direct sunlight
- All parts include and can be installed anywhere like a door or sides container
- More pricey compared to others
If you’re looking for roof ventilation designed for the country, check out the Four Seasons ventilation. It’s solar-powered with 10W and harnesses the sun’s energy to pull out water and heat while promoting air circulation.
Furthermore, it includes hundreds of openings that cool up to 500 square feet.
- Ten-year warranty
- Includes a 10W monocrystalline solar panel
- Quiet and brushless DC motor
- Designed for roof application on containers
- Able to use under low light conditions
- It doesn’t require electrical wiring or other power hookups
- More expensive than other ones
This shipping container vent is a small silicone ventilation designed to let cool air in. The product includes a gasket to prevent leaks, meaning no silicone is required. The dimensions are 2 5/8″ by 8 1/16.” They are relatively small and are great if you need ventilation in one specific space only.
- gasket included preventing leaks in containers
- weighs 3.19 ounces
- Very affordable price
- Easy to install
- Effective in cooling the container
- Relatively small and made of plastic
- Requires a lot of vents for a 40 feet container
Adding a vent system is crucial to increase airflow to your shipping container home and protect the contents inside. Ultimately, a lack of ventilation will cause things to rot and ruin the condition of goods in containers.
As a result, it’ll cost you lots of money for repair and re-installing. It’s never worth leaving the circumstance to chance. We found that most vents are the solution to overheating and condensation buildup in shipping containers.
We also offered our list of ventilation recommendations, so you can find one that suits your circumstance. Professionals provide a great experience by supplying panels and parts and completing the installation process to help with your needs.
In addition to installing vents, you’ll need a dehumidifier and fans or a turbine to bring in some air to keep things cool, especially in warm climates. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments!