Do I Need a Climate Controlled Storage Unit?

July 5th, 2024

Do I Need a Climate Controlled Storage Unit?
When searching for self-storage solutions, you might come across numerous advertisements for climate-controlled storage units. These units tend to be pricier than standard storage options and may be available in fewer sizes. Despite this, they offer significant benefits, especially if you are storing certain types of items or plan to store your belongings for an extended period. They are particularly recommended for areas experiencing extreme heat, cold, or humidity.Understanding Climate Controlled StorageClimate-controlled storage, sometimes referred to as temperature-controlled storage, is specifically designed to maintain steady temperatures and humidity levels. Typically, the temperature within these units remains between 55 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. These units are most commonly found in facilities with indoor storage options, though some outdoor or drive-up storage facilities may also offer climate-controlled units. The primary goal of climate control is to protect your belongings from the damaging effects of fluctuating temperatures and humidity.Why Temperature and Humidity MatterTemperature and humidity are critical factors in preserving the condition of stored items. Moisture buildup, extreme heat, and cold can cause significant damage. High temperatures can cause items to expand and contract, leading to cracks or warping. Humidity, on the other hand, promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and rust. By maintaining a consistent climate, these storage units prevent moisture formation and protect your belongings from these risks.Items That Require Climate Controlled StorageWhile almost all stored items benefit from a controlled climate, certain items particularly need it to remain in good condition:
  • Furniture: Wood, metal, wicker, leather, and upholstered items can warp, crack, or develop mold.
  • Electronics: Moisture and extreme temperatures can damage components and render them unusable.
  • Media: DVDs, videos, and vinyl records can degrade with exposure to heat and humidity.
  • Artwork: Paintings and other art pieces are sensitive to temperature and moisture changes.
  • Clothing: Lace, leather, and fabric items stored in bags are susceptible to mold and mildew.
  • Documents and Photos: Paper items can disintegrate or become illegible.
  • Musical Instruments: Changes in temperature and humidity can warp wood and damage finishes.
  • Wine: Requires specific temperatures to preserve quality.
  • Antiques and Collectibles: Preserving value and condition is critical for these items.
Other Reasons to Choose Climate Controlled StorageBeyond protecting specific items, there are additional reasons to opt for climate-controlled storage:
  • Long-Term Storage: If you plan to store belongings for several months or longer, the outside temperature will likely vary significantly during that time. Climate control helps mitigate the effects of these changes.
  • Extreme Climates: High heat or humidity areas can seep into storage units, risking moisture damage. Climate control provides an extra layer of protection.
  • Valuables and Irreplaceable Items: For items of monetary or sentimental value, antiques, and collectibles, climate-controlled storage offers peace of mind.
Cost ConsiderationsClimate-controlled storage units generally cost 25% to 50% more than standard units. For example, if the average monthly cost of a standard unit is $88.85, expect to pay around $100 to $120 for a climate-controlled unit. This price variation depends on the facility and region. While more expensive, the benefits of protecting high-value or sensitive items often justify the additional cost. The higher price is due to the technology required to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, which involves special systems that must be installed, maintained, and powered.Making the DecisionTo determine if you need a climate-controlled storage unit, consider the following questions:
  • Can the item get mold or mildew?
  • Can it warp, crack, deteriorate, or become discolored from moisture?
  • Would high heat cause it to expand or contract?
  • Is it designed to be stored at a specific temperature?
  • Is it sensitive to extreme heat or cold?
  • Is it rare, sentimental, or valuable?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, renting a climate-controlled storage unit is likely in your best interest.ConclusionClimate-controlled storage units offer valuable protection against temperature and humidity fluctuations, preserving the condition of your belongings. Whether storing furniture, electronics, artwork, or valuables, these units provide peace of mind, ensuring your items remain in the same condition as when you stored them. Evaluate your storage needs carefully and consult with storage facility staff to make the best choice for your situation.