Climate-Controlled Storage Units
Chances are, there's a saying in your neck of the woods that goes something like this: "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes."
While humans can adapt by throwing on another coat or taking the sweater off, some of your possessions aren't as resilient. Weather extremes, as well as high heat and humidity, can be the bane of many items such as furniture, electronics and natural items including fabrics, and more. If you're planning on using a storage unit for any length of time and you're in a region with unstable weather, climate control might be the way to go.
|What is Climate Control?||These Items Need Climate Control|
|Maintained Temperature||Do NOT Store these Items|
|How is the Climate Controlled?||How to Properly Store Items|
|Do You Need Climate Control?||Rent a Climate Controlled Unit|
What is Climate Controlled Storage?
Climate-controlled storage consists of units within a storage facility that are kept from getting too hot or too cold throughout the year by circulating heated or cooled air throughout the building. These are also called temperature-controlled storage units.
Many sensitive items can be affected by extreme temperatures and humidity. By controlling the temperature in these units, the damaging effects of heat, cold and humidity on sensitive items can be largely mitigated.
Storage facilities might have all climate-controlled units or a select number of units, based on multiple factors, including the local environment, available real estate and consumer demand.
You can rent affordable climate-controlled storage units in a wide range of sizes and configurations at many Store Space facilities across the country. Most climate-controlled storage units are in an enclosed building, offering visitors added protection from the elements plus enhanced security. Some facilities also offer drive-up climate-controlled units.
Even though most climate-control units are on the inside of storage facilities, move-in is always easy. There are often covered or truck-accessible unloading areas and interior hallways are wide and accommodating. Upper floor units are accessed via large elevators and we always have handcarts available to ease your load.
All Store Space facilities offer state-of-the-art security, including fenced and gated exteriors, access-controlled entry points, 24/7 video surveillance and well-lighted spaces. Click here to find the Store Space location nearest you to check on the availability of climate-controlled storage or call us at 833-786-7366 to talk with our storage professionals.
What Temperature is Maintained in these Units?
The industry standard for climate-controlled storage units is between 55 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Store Space adheres to this standard at its facilities with climate-controlled storage units.
How do Storage Units Control the Climate?
The goal of climate control is to keep your stored possessions from exposure to extreme heat, cold or excessive humidity. This is accomplished by lowering or raising the temperature in the climate-controlled building opposite to the outside air.
- Excessive heat can damage many different types of media, such as vinyl records, tapes, CDs, photographs and more. Furniture and items made of wood can also be affected by heat, which causes wood to expand and possibly warp.
- Excessive cold can also damage furniture, as it causes wood to naturally shrink and crack. Similarly, any items that might retain moisture can freeze and crack, causing damage.
- Humidity can also cause issues with all different types of items such as electronics, media, antiques, furniture, fabrics and more. Humidity can also lead to mold and mildew growth.
While most climate-controlled units are not humidity-controlled, reducing or increasing the building’s temperature relative to the outside creates a similar effect by lowering or increasing the relative humidity throughout the building.
Read more about the types of items that can benefit from climate-controlled storage further down in this guide.
The majority of climate-controlled storage units in most regions of the United States are both heated and cooled. This is especially true in regions that have high humidity year-round and fluctuate between very hot summers and very cold winters.
Parts of the country that get very hot during the summer but have mild winters (no lengthy periods cooler than 50 F) might have air-cooled storage facilities that are cooled during summer but not heated in the winter.
Areas of the country that get very cold during the winter but have mild summers (no lengthy periods warmer than 85 F) are more likely to offer storage units that are heated during the winter but not cooled during the summer.
Do You Need Climate Controlled Storage?
Before answering this question, you should ask yourself some important questions:
Is climate-controlled storage available in my region? Chances are, there’s a storage facility offering climate-controlled units near you. Once limited to urban areas, more and more suburban facilities are including climate-controlled storage options in their inventory.
That said, there are parts of the country where temperature-controlled storage is not as critical, so if you can’t find any, don’t panic. Check with your local store manager to see if there is climate-controlled storage available at a facility near you.
What types of items are you going to be storing? If your plans include storing anything that might be considered “sensitive” such as electronics or media, wood or items that retain moisture (see a more complete list below), then climate-controlled storage is an important consideration.
How long are you going to need to rent a storage unit? The national average rental duration is 14 months, which means that your stored possessions would be exposed to at least two extreme seasons.
If your answer is “not long,” then it’s probably not as critical to have climate-controlled storage for the duration of your rental. If you need to increase your rental term, ask your store manager about upgrading to a climate-controlled unit.
Does climate-controlled storage fit in my budget? Climate-controlled storage is considered a premium feature, so it’s important to factor this into your budget.
Many of our customers weigh the cost of replacing the items they’re storing against the added cost of a climate-controlled unit. If the items you’re storing are family heirlooms or collector’s items, it may be virtually impossible to replace them at any cost.
Advantages of Climate Control
The advantages of storing in a climate-controlled unit are clear: they help mitigate damage to your most sensitive possessions by reducing heat in the unit in the summer, cold in the winter and humidity throughout the year.
Since most climate-controlled storage units are enclosed in a secure building, they also help protect visitors from the elements. Some facilities also offer outdoor or indoor drive-up climate-controlled units for car-side loading and unloading.
Items that Should be Kept in Climate Control
- Records and New Media – Record collectors know that leaving a vinyl LP out in the sun is a bad idea, since the heat can lead to warping. Excessive cold can cause brittleness. The same holds true for newer types of media, like CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays and so on.
- Photos and Film – Constant temperature fluctuation can cause photographs to become brittle and crack and even lead to the separation of the image from the paper. Heat can cause discoloration in film.
- Books, Magazines and Paper – Paper products can wear and fade over time when exposed to heat and humidity. They can also absorb moisture in overly humid environments, which can lead to mold and mildew.
- Electronics and Appliances – High heat can start to break down solid-state componentry, but other items like a display screen, plastics and even the glue used to hold electronics together can start to fail. Metal can start to corrode in high humidity. Batteries can drain more quickly and charge less efficiently in high heat or in cold conditions.
- Furniture – As previously mentioned, wood is very sensitive to changes in temperature and excess humidity. Warping, swelling, splitting, even glue failure can occur if not kept at moderate temperatures.
- Pharmaceuticals – Drug reps and other sales reps frequently rent climate-controlled storage units to keep their products stable.
- Fabrics – Fragile fabrics are temperature-sensitive and extra care should be taken when storing them. Sturdy fabrics can absorb moisture and be subject to mold and mildew.
- Collectibles – Paper-based items like sports cards and comic books can be affected by humidity. Mold and mildew can form, especially if encased in plastic. Inks can fade in high heat.
- Automobiles – Car collectors are usually the first to snap up the largest drive-up climate-controlled storage units. These can help prevent freezing, which can deplete the battery and cause plastics to become brittle. Heat can cause paint to fade and vinyl and other plastics to melt.
- Check out our full guide to determine whether you need climate control and 50 items that need climate-controlled storage.
Items that Do NOT Need Climate Control
Depending on the length of time you plan to rent a storage unit and/or the overall climate you live in, a climate-controlled storage unit might not be necessary. Similarly, following some basic storage tips (below) can help keep your items protected if climate control is not an option.
There are items that cannot be kept in a storage unit whether it’s climate-controlled or not, such as fur coats, fuel, perishables, toxic materials or firearms. Keep in mind that other items may also be restricted by state or local laws, so be sure to check with your store manager if you’re not sure.
How to Properly Store Items in Climate Controlled Storage
Renting a climate-controlled storage unit goes a long way toward protecting your items from the environment. Whether you’re storing in a temperature-controlled unit or a standard unit, follow these additional tips to ward off dampness in any unit you rent.
- Elevate any temperature- or humidity-sensitive property off the ground, using pallets, shelves or other boxes that aren’t susceptible.
- Store your most sensitive and valuable items near the back, away from the door to avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations that may damage them.
- Promote airflow between your items by leaving space between them.
- Place moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packs or moisture absorbers around your unit to assist in dehumidification and damage prevention.
- Make sure to drain any moisture from appliances to further safeguard against freezing and mildew.
Q: How do you store furniture in climate-controlled storage?
A: Store furniture up against walls or raised off the ground to maximize protection. It’s also a good idea to clean and wax exposed wood. Wrap them in sheets or drop cloths, then secure them with tape, ensuring that the tape isn’t applied to the wood itself. Use furniture pads to further protect the wood from damage.
Q: Is climate-controlled storage more expensive?
A: In many markets, climate-controlled storage is a premium feature and costs 15% or more than traditional non-temperature-controlled storage.
Q: Do (non-climate-controlled) storage units get hot?
A: Traditional storage units, especially those in standalone buildings exposed to the direct sun, can get significantly hotter than climate-controlled units.
Q: Is it worth getting a climate-controlled storage unit?
A: The short answer is yes. It’s important to weigh all the factors outlined on this page to make the decision that works for you: budget, cost of replacement, length of rental, and type of items being stored.
Rent a Climate Controlled Storage Unit
If you’ve made up your mind to rent a climate-controlled storage unit, find your nearest Store Space location or call our storage professionals at 833-786-7366.
Our stores are stocked with all the packing and moving materials you’ll need, including boxes, tape, padding and more. We also carry items mentioned in this post, such as moisture absorbents, silica packs, and mattress covers.
In addition to climate-controlled storage, many of our storage facilities offer features like convenient drive-up storage units, indoor storage units, plus a wide range of vehicle storage options from motorcycles to fifth wheels and everything in between.
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