Updated on 5/11/17 from an article originally published 3/25/2013.
You may have decided to rent a self storage unit, but the harder question then becomes — do I need climate controlled storage? Are the benefits of climate controlled storage worth the added cost? Climate controlled storage units maintain a consistent temperature all year round. Some units even offer enhanced humidity control. While these options may be more expensive, they can offer more peace of mind when storing certain valuables.
Basic self storage is sufficient for a lot of different household, business, or yard items. However, climate controlled storage is necessary and highly recommended for sensitive items like antiques, musical instruments, electronics, or fine art. If you’re going to be placing items like these in storage, you’ll want to consider all the advantages of a climate controlled unit, a humidity controlled unit, or a unit with both features.
Here are some benefits of climate controlled storage that will help you make the right decision for your storage situation.
1. Protection from Extreme Temperature
In many parts of the country, temperatures can climb above 100 degrees in the summer and drop below freezing in the winter. If you live in a climate that experiences drastic temperature changes, you may want to protect your items from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures.
Sensitive items like wood furniture, antiques, and musical instruments can suffer from warping, splitting, or cracking due to the constant change in temperature. Additionally, items like fine art, books, or business records can also be damaged due to the highs and lows of temperature change.
Climate controlled storage units are kept at a consistent temperature that is above freezing and below 80 or 90 degrees.
Items that would benefit from a climate controlled environment:
- Antiques, especially wood furniture
- Musical instruments
- Books and magazines
- Important documents
- Upholstered furniture
2. Most Climate Controlled Units Have Great Air Quality
It’s common to overlook air quality when shopping for storage units. A standard storage unit isn’t sealed the same way an indoor climate controlled unit is. Because climate controlled storage facilities continuously circulate the air, the air remains clean. This prevents you from needing to open your unit just to get some fresh air inside.
For the storage of sensitive electronics or documents, air quality should be high on the priority list.
3. There’s an Additional Barrier from Dust and Debris
Climate controlled storage units are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. As a result, these units are less susceptible to minor flooding or tracked in dirt, and because they’re indoors, there isn’t as much chance for rodents or insects to make a home in your stored things.
Another benefit here is you’ll have less dust and debris always making its way into your unit. You’ll find your items just the way you left them, whether you store them for a week, a year, or a decade.
4. Pay a Little Extra for Added Peace of Mind
Climate controlled storage usually costs more than traditional storage. This added cost is often insignificant and usually overshadowed by the peace of mind you’re given knowing you’ve protected your items from harsh seasonal changes and weather-related mishaps.
However, if you’re storing items that aren’t valuable for a short period, traditional storage is often adequate.
5. Choose Humidity Control for Even More Protection
Some climate controlled storage spaces feature humidity control. This may not seem that significant until you consider natural fluctuations in outdoor humidity. With the change of season comes a sometimes drastic change in humidity.
Be sure to ask if the climate controlled unit you’re looking at also offers humidity control. These units usually keep the base humidity around 55% by manually removing excess moisture from the air.
Humidity control is especially important for antique furniture. If there’s too much moisture in the air items may warp, crack, or rot.
Likewise, units that don’t have humidity control may remain damp during the entire fall and spring seasons which can promote mildew growth. It doesn’t matter what you’re storing at that point. If items are stored long enough in a humid environment without any circulation in the air, everything could smell like you’ve kept it stored in a basement.
Moisture isn’t the only problem. Not having enough humidity in the air can also wreak havoc on wood, causing it to dry out, craze, and splinter. In the height of summer and winter, dryness in the air could damage your valuables like musical instruments, electronics, and wine.
Storage Unit Tip: If you can’t afford humidity controlled storage and will be storing during damp months, be sure to access your unit regularly. Opening the doors will allow fresh air into the unit and will circulate out built up humidity and odors.
*Note: Some humidity controlled storage units are available without climate control.
Life Storage Climate Controlled Options
Life Storage offers a variety of climate controlled storage options to choose from, each with varying benefits depending on your particular situation. In addition to standard storage units, learn more about:
- Temperature Controlled Storage Units
- Humidity Controlled Storage Units
- Heated Storage Units
- Air Cooled Storage Units
- Air Conditioned Storage Units
Scroll to the bottom of our climate control page to access our Storage Climate Recommendation Widget. Here, you will see a list of common items people store with our recommendations on whether you should use a standard, temperature, or humidity controlled storage unit.
We hope this helped! If you have any general questions, let us know in the comments below.