climate control

Climate Controlled Units: Worth It?

Do a search for self storage solutions and you’ll see a lot of companies advertising climate controlled units. Climate controlled storage units tend to be a bit pricier than standard storage units, and may only be available in a limited number of sizes. And yet, they have a lot of utility, especially if you are storing certain types of items or intend to store your belongings for a long period of time. They are also recommended if you are storing items in an area with extreme heat, cold, or humidity.

A lot can happen to your stuff while it’s sitting in storage. Moisture build up, extreme temperatures, and pests are the most common concerns, and rightfully so. How do you make sure your items are in the same condition when you pick them up as they were when you dropped them off? 

Climate control.

Below, we’ll go over the basics that you should know about climate controlled storage. 

What is Climate Controlled Storage?

Climate controlled storage, sometimes referred to as temperature controlled storage, is a type of storage unit that is specially designed to maintain steady temperatures and humidity levels. Typically, the temperature will remain stagnant at between 55 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate controlled storage is most often found at storage facilities with indoor storage units, though it is worth asking an outdoor or drive-up storage facility if they have climate controlled options.

Temperature and humidity are important metrics when it comes to optimizing the climate in a space because they work together to create moisture. More heat and more humidity equal more moisture; meanwhile, more humidity means more heat in the air (and less humidity means less heat in the air). Keeping both temperature and humidity controlled and steady means that moisture can’t form and your items stay protected.

Items That Require Climate Control

Pretty much all items in storage will benefit from climate control, but some truly need it. These are the big ones.

  • Furniture (anything made of or containing wood, metal, wicker, leather, or upholstery)
  • Other items made out of the materials listed above
  • Electronics
  • Media (DVDs, videos, vinyl records, etc.)
  • Artwork
  • Clothing, particularly if it’s lace or leather, or if it’s going to be stored in bags
  • Important documents
  • Photographs
  • Musical instruments
  • Wine
  • Antiques
  • Collectibles (stamps, coins, comic books, etc.)
  • Medical supplies and medications
  • Makeup and toiletries
  • Household appliances
  • Sports equipment
  • Bicycles with leather seats

These items require climate controlled storage because of how they react with moisture. Wood, for example, can become warped, cracked, or rotted from moisture exposure, while leather can become discolored and is susceptible to mold and mildew. Electronics, on the other hand, can become cracked or rusted, rendering them unusable or dangerous to use later on. And paper items (including photographs) can actually disintegrate, or become otherwise illegible.

When trying to decide if an item should be stored in a climate controlled unit, ask yourself the following questions about it:

  • Can it get mold or mildew?
  • Can it warp, crack, deteriorate, or become discolored from interactions with moisture?
  • Would high heat cause it to expand or contract?
  • Is it designed to be stored at a certain temperature (for example, wine or artwork)?
  • Is it sensitive to extreme heat or cold?
  • Is it rare, sentimental, and/or valuable?

If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then it is going to be in your best interest to rent a climate controlled storage unit.

Other Reasons to Rent a Climate Controlled Unit

If you’re going to be storing your things in the unit for a long time. If you intend to store your belongings for several months, a year, or longer, then chances are that the temperature outside is going to vary quite widely in that time. Just because it’s 50 degrees and dry outside in the present doesn’t mean it will be like that later on, so take into consideration what temperature and humidity shifts might occur and, if they’ll be extreme, go for the climate controlled option.

If you live in a high heat or high humidity climate. If you are storing your items somewhere that is already prone to high heat and humidity, then it’s best to mitigate those factors if you can. Outside elements have a sneaky way of getting inside of your unit, so you will almost definitely be exposing your belongings to moisture unless you do something specific to protect them.

If you are storing collectibles, valuables, antiques, irreplaceable items. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your most precious belongings. Things of monetary or sentimental value, as well as items that are antique, irreplaceable, or part of a collection, are all best stored in climate controlled units.

How Much is Climate Controlled Storage?

Wondering why climate controlled storage units are more expensive? It comes down to the technology. Accurately and appropriately regulating the temperature and humidity levels in a storage unit require special systems that have to be installed, maintained, and powered. So while you may be paying a premium, it’s easy to understand the reasoning behind the additional fees.

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