How to Keep Steel Structures Cool in the Summer

The scorching heat of the summer is often welcomed after a long winter. While a warm summer day can be enjoyed outdoors, when you’re inside, you want a cool place to seek refuge from the sun’s rays. 

If you work or live in a building that’s made from steel or other metals, the interior can be heated quickly with the rising temperatures outside. But, there are some key ways to keep these structures cool all summer long–without making your energy bills soar from constant A/C blasting. 

Why Do Steel Structures Heat Up in the Summer?

The reason steel structures heat up so quickly during the summer months is due to the principles of thermodynamics. Heat seeks out equilibrium. So, when it’s cooler inside than it is outside, the cold air wants to escape and the warm air enters the building to replace the lost cool air. 

The result is a warmer building any time someone opens the door to leave or enter the building, opens a window, or naturally through the pores in the building materials as the steel absorbs the heat from the sun and radiates through the air-conditioned building. 

So even though it can seem like a big task to keep a steel structure cool in the summer, metal buildings don’t have to get hotter than other types of structures this time of year. Check out the following tips to help you beat the heat. 

Add Insulation

You may think that insulation works to keep a building warm during the colder months. But, it works the same way to keep a building cooler in the summertime. 

Depending on the building, this can be more challenging to add after the fact. So, when the building is still in construction, make sure to prioritize the insulation of the structure–especially on the ceiling where the most heat will be absorbed by the sun! This will help you keep down your energy costs and keep all building inhabitants comfortable year-round. 

Seal the Building

You’ll want to inspect the building for air leaks to find out if the cool air is escaping the building and letting hot air undetected. To avoid this from happening, make sure the seals around all windows and doors are secure, and get them repaired if you notice a draft coming in. 

Use Energy-Efficient Lighting

If you haven’t already, swap energy-efficient light bulbs. Not only will they help you bring down your energy costs and consumption. But, they also put off much less heat than traditional lighting options. The larger your building is and the more lighting you have installed throughout, the more this swap will make a difference during the summer months. 

Install Reflective Film

Depending on the structure, the windows can make up a large part of the exterior, which makes it much easier for the heat to get absorbed into the building. Adding reflective film to the windows helps reflect the sun’s rays away from the structure, keeping the building cool and comfortable.

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