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Complete Guide to Proper Shipping Container Ventilation

Is Shipping Container Ventilation Necessary?

East Coast Containers Importance of Proper Shipping Container Ventilation SystemShipping containers are built with airtight seals in order to protect goods from corrosive weather elements. However, the use of hermetic sealing can cause deteriorative effects. Also, when used as living or working spaces, the containers need to be ventilated. Ventilation in a shipping container is necessary to maintain interior temperatures, release excess condensation and keep the air clean from paint and fuel fumes. Shipping container ventilation performs three essential functions:

  1. Enables the circulation of air
  2. Limits the effects of temperature fluctuation
  3. Reduces excess humidity in air and condensation

What Happens without Proper Ventilation in a Shipping Container?

A lack of ventilation can result in unpleasant consequences for the goods stored inside and the people entering/exiting the container.

Condensation: Condensation happens when temperatures fluctuate rapidly and increases the humidity inside the container, which manifests as water drops. This kind of moisture can deteriorate goods, documents and cause many negative problems listed below. Ventilation is an easy way to prevent condensation.

Mold: Moisture combined with excess heat leads to mold that can ruin fabric, goods, paper, packaging and more. Disinfectant treatments will get rid of the mold, but it will continue to reappear without proper ventilation.

Fumes: Poisonous fumes are extremely dangerous for those working in and around the storage container. Ventilated shipping containers release any gases that may form inside.

Rust: Shipping containers are expected to last for many years without deterioration. Rust is the most common issue that occurs, and it’s almost always associated with the presence of excess moisture. Rust can cause cracks and holes in the container and may even damage the goods inside.

Heat: The steel used to construct shipping containers is meant to absorb heat. Under direct sunlight, the inside can feel like an oven. Sensitive types of cargo and even durable items can be damaged if the temperatures climb too high. Ventilation will regulate the interior temperature and make for a comfortable situation for people coming in and out of the unit. 

Read More: How to Keep Shipping Containers Cool all Summer

3 Steps to Install Quality Ventilation System in Storage Container

Once your shipping container is delivered, it is best to install security measures and a ventilation system immediately.

Step 1: Install a New Vent
There are two kinds of vent systems: passive or active.

Passive ventilation systems are a simple and inexpensive option. They are placed onto walls, directly under the roof. These help to ventilate the container by the wind and are commonly referred to as cross ventilation.

Active ventilation systems use large fans to keep a constant air flow.

Step 2: Add Insulation
To create stable and moderate temperatures and keep humidity low, add a layer of insulation to help mitigate temperature fluctuations. Styrofoam or spray foam both work well.

Step 3: Add Climate Control
If you want to take your ventilation to the next level, consider adding an air conditioning system. This can be an A/C unit, PTAC unit, wall mounted or a window unit. This option should be combined with vents and insulation.

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