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We receive emails from people all over the world and one of the most popular questions we receive is which climates are suitable for shipping container homes. Most people do consider the local climate before deciding whether to build a shipping container home. Today, we will look at how to prepare containers for both hot and cold climates.
We've previously detailed how to keep your container hot during the colder months. Here, we will focus on how to design shipping containers for hot climates.
The best way to keep your container cool is to keep the heat out of your home in the first place. One of the most effective ways to do this is to keep the majority of your home in the shade. This will stop the sun from shining directly on your containers, which can increase the temperature of your home through solar radiation.
To keep your containers in the shade, plant trees or shrubs if you have the space.
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If the sun is shining through your shade plants, the next best thing you can do is to make sure your roof reflects rather than absorbs the heat. If the current color is dark, an easy step is to paint the roof white. White does a better job of reflecting light and heat away from your container.
Unfortunately, at some point ambient heat will inevitably enter your container. When it does, your container needs to be ready to vent the heat and stay cool.
Make sure your home is very good at dissipating heat. Otherwise, you'll feel like you're living in a sauna 24/7. You can take advantage of natural breezes, vents, and extractor fans.
In hot climates, we try to keep heat out, while in cold climates the opposite is true. We want the heat to stay inside the container to keep it warm.
If your location does not have adequate or proper insulation, you will have a hard time keeping your containers warm and you will spend too much on heating.
There are three main insulation options for your container: spray foam, panel or blanket insulation. When we talk to other container homeowners, spray foam insulation is the most commonly recommended.
Heat dissipation through the roof is one of the most common ways to dissipate heat in a home. The best way to prevent this from happening and prepare containers for cold weather is to completely isolate the roof space.
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Again, to insulate your attic, you can use spray foam, panels or blanket insulation. If cost is an issue, blanket insulation would be a good choice, but you need to carefully consider how you will handle potential condensation. However, if cost is not a concern, spray foam insulation is the best choice.
The last key thing you need to keep in mind when building a container home in a cold climate is window size and placement. Windows can lose so much heat. If you must have windows, consider adding insulated curtains or drapes to minimize the amount of heat lost through the windows.
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