Keeping the average home cool in summer is a challenge. Cooling a steel-framed metal building is often even tougher. Metal frames attract and retain heat more than wood. Meanwhile, most metal buildings are large sheds and warehouses. That means their metal walls and panels are also attracting excess heat.
Ensuring everyone inside is cool and comfortable is of the utmost importance. You want the best possible HVAC system to keep a metal building cool. To help you find the right system, Jim’s Air-Conditioning has shared their most important tips.
Understand the Building’s Layout
The kind of HVAC system you install depends on the overall layout of your metal building. A large warehouse has incredibly different needs than a small steel framed house.
There will be certain aspects of the building influencing your choice. One such factor is the height of the ceiling. Large angled roofs in warehouses will trap warm air that rises to the top in winter, for example. And although that sounds good in summer, let’s not forget that the steel frames and metal walls quickly conduct heat.
It will be easier to mitigate those risks in a smaller space as you can control airflow better. But in a large, open room, you need air conditioning to be placed at points of high traffic. The retention of cool air is important.
You can also sometimes skip on air conditioning throughout the entire building. Offices and major work stations should always be cooled. Areas of minimal traffic could rely on an individual split, rather than a full ducted HVAC system.
Look for a Versatile HVAC System
Your metal framed building is going to feel the extremes. Large warehouses experience the highs and lows of temperature fluctuation. The average home does too, just on a smaller scale. Heat is retained in metal and brickwork, providing little respite at times.
Therefore, you want a versatile HVAC system that can cater for all conditions. A reverse cycle system is the perfect answer. Central heating and cooling means you can control the climate from the same set of controls. You don’t have to worry about firing up a separate furnace to heat the building. It’s all-in-one which will save you money and time.
Think About Climate Zones
One of the most beneficial features of air conditioning is your ability to control it. Nothing’s worse than a system that has one temperature for all. No. You want to be able to enjoy something that can be tailored to suit various rooms and spaces.
Central HVAC systems typically include zone controls. That means in a house you can choose what rooms need to be cooled, or not. There’s also some temperature variance to help keep everyone happy at the same time.
Meanwhile the same could be said for a larger metal building such as a shed or warehouse. You don’t have to have the whole space cooled at once if there are certain areas out of use.
A Couple of Bonus Tips for Cooling your Steel Framed Building
Install Ceiling Fans and Insulation
A high-powered air conditioner is a great way to produce cool, comforting air. But it’s not going to help if there’s warm external air mingling with it. That’s why insulation in a metal building is crucial for pairing. Not only will a well-insulated steel framed building keep the warm air out, but it keeps the cool in.
You have an additional barrier against unwanted conditions. In winter it works well in reverse, keeping the cold out and the warm inside. This means your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard.
Additionally, look into ceiling fans. They’ll help to create a comforting air flow during stuffy summers while ensuring beneficial cold currents are pushed down to where people are.
Apply Cool Coatings and Use Natural Cooling
Dark colours naturally attract more sunlight and heat than lighter colours. That’s why you can use a lighter coloured building material, or coating, to keep everything naturally cooler.
You can either go straight to pre-engineered and have lighter roof sheets, tiles or shingles installed. Likewise, opt for lighter bricks on a house or lighter metal sheets and panels on sheds and metal buildings.
You can also turn to paints and external coatings perfect for heat reflection. Light greys and white tones will keep your steel building that little bit cooler.
You can also take advantage of window shades and night time ventilation. In winter, perfectly angled windows will absorb heat and light. In summer, the blinds will reflect the heat. You can also install gravity vents or fans that will use cooler nighttime conditions to bring in chilled air. That will steadily lower the temperature of any metal framed building.