Tips for Cooling and Heating Your Metal Building| Comprehensive Guide

If you have an older metal building, you may have noticed that your interior temperature begins to rise in the heat of summer. In areas with cold winters or sweltering summers, your metal building may need different heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building.

While some metal facilities may require the bare minimum when it comes to heating and cooling based on their location, you’ll most likely be investing in quality insulation and a good HVAC system to keep your space both efficient and comfortable.

A key component to controlling the temperature in any building lies in that building’s insulation. Still, you can also take advantage of your landscape structure and ventilation to get all of the benefits of adequate cooling and heating in your metal building.

Do Metal Wall Panels Have Insulation?

You can find various metal wall panels that have insulation already installed (often referred to as insulated metal panels, or IMPs). 

These panels come in multiple shapes and colors, while also being known for:

  • Quick installation
  • Weather-resistance
  • Impressive thermal characteristics
  • Moisture blocking 

Some IMPS and their features are outlined in the following chart:

Architectural– Stucco-embossed face- Flushed seams- Commonly used for architectural application
CF Flute– Vivid, vertical lines- Has an industrial look- Exceptional thermal abilities
Striated– Has a polyurethane core- Bare, flat wall panels
7.2 Insul-Rib– Includes concealed clips- Easy installation- Weather-resistant- Can use both indoors and outdoors- Variety of color and designs available
CF Santa Fe– Rigid, vertical lines- Stucco texture gives panels a southwestern appeal- Easy installation- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
LS-36– Variety of design options- Quick and easy installation process- Energy efficient
Tuff Wall– Variety of design and color options- Durable- Resistant to impact and scratches- Fast installation
Tuff-Cast– Durable- Resistant to scratches and impacts- Includes concealed clips – Protects against thermal short circuits- Easy installation
ThermalSafe– Fire-resistant- Sound absorption- Panels are reusable- Easy installation- Weather-resistant material
HPCI Barrier– Provides excellent protection against condensation, water, and thermal effects- Easy installation- Energy efficient

Metal Garages – Insulated

Living and work areas aren’t the only facilities that benefit from insulation. By insulating your metal garage, you cut down the chances of water damage, and you can also preserve equipment in a weather-resistant facility.

Condensation can happen anywhere but increases in areas with high humidity levels or where the building’s interior remains cooler or warmer than the exterior temperature. Usually, warm air has a higher humidity level, while cold air remains dry. 

Interior spaces with poor insulation tend to suffer from condensation issues, which creates uncomfortable air conditions and can result in the following:

  • Corrosion- This is a slow process that starts to eat away at the metal, leaving the facility unstable and aesthetically unappealing. Decay can also lead to caving if not repaired.
  • Failed Insulation- Condensation and poor insulation work together to damage buildings. With condensation build-up, your insulation can gain moisture and will no longer effectively handle thermal energy. 
  • Pest Infestation- From small to large pests, damp conditions in your building can attract unwanted guests to your building.

Two ways to fight against condensation include proper ventilation and vapor retarders:

  • Ventilation helps the air in the building circulate. With proper airflow, condensation has a difficult time because there’s no “sitting” air.
  • Vapor retarders reduce condensation by preventing water vapor from traveling into your facility’s insulation.

How to Cool Down Your Metal Facility

There are several ways to keep your metal facility cool, such as:

  • Awning, Canopies, Overhangs- By adding some overhangs to your building, you benefit from shade. Direct Energy reports that summer air conditioning costs can decrease by around 3% for areas that have shade. Small changes can lead to considerable savings over time.
  • Landscaping- You can effectively use landscaping to cool down your metal building. By planting trees and bushes on the sides that receive more sun and using mulch for plant beds near the building, you have natural shade and a colder ground due to the mulch.
  • Upgrade your Insulation- For older buildings, you’ll benefit from checking the conditions of your insulation. Quality insulation will help cold air stay in during summer and keep warm air indoors during winter.

Keeping Your Metal Building Warm

Some ways to keep it warm inside your metal building include:

  • HVAC System- A capable air conditioning system will help regulate the temperatures in your metal facility. The type of building you have will determine the HVAC unit’s size that will provide you the most benefit.
  • Insulation, Insulation, Insulation- Before all else, your building’s insulation will help eliminate issues when it’s either too hot or too cold. If your insulation looks damp or old, it may be time to replace it.  Consider  spray foam insulation or high R- rated home insulation works well.  Exposed fiberglass is not recommended as fiberglass is flammable.  Also double bubble insulation acts as a moisture barrier.  

Wrap Up

Remember, condensation is your metal building’s worst enemy. To keep your building free of water damage and other significant problems, having an effective HVAC system teamed up with quality insulation will help your building’s climate control.

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