Many prospective tenants often ask me about climate controlled storage: “What’s the difference?”, “What are the benefits?”, “Why should I pay more than a standard storage unit?” and “Should I store my things there?” Here, I will answer these questions and give you the general overview of climate controlled storage plus the benefits and the guidelines to help you decide if temperature control is the right choice for you.
Overview of Climate Controlled Storage
To start, climate controlled storage is described as a facility housing storage units that are cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. Keeping storage units at a consistent temperature within a range of 55 degrees and 80 degrees year-round helps protect your possessions from the extremes of both summer and winter. Sensitive items like antique wooden furniture can swell and warp if the temperatures hit extreme highs and lows. Using temperature control storage is one way to prevent that from happening and keep your furniture in the best shape you can while storing it over long periods of time.
Standard storage units, whether drive-up or interior, are typically non-insulated. And, they don’t have air ducts to produce even air flow and keep temperatures consistent. As an example: think about the dog days of summer when it’s in the 80s and 90s outside and you get into your car to go somewhere. The heat inside the vehicle is multiplied due to lack of air flow, and the temperature inside can soar to the 100s very quickly. Everyone knows you shouldn’t let kids or pets sit inside a car when it is hot outside, even with the windows cracked, because of the extreme heat that gets trapped inside and makes it quite dangerous. Granted, your furniture isn’t going to get sick or suffer the same type of trauma as living things can, but damage can most certainly occur when the temperatures rise.
Now, think about winter, and that same car you need to climb into that is sitting outside. Most likely it is somewhat “warmer” inside the vehicle than standing outside beside it. But, you probably can’t call it warm in there. Then you see the water bottle on the seat that you forgot in the car the day before, frozen solid and expanded so the bottle has cracked. You think, “Guess I should have brought bottle inside,” and, “I could really use an automatic starter so the car is already warm when I am ready to leave!” Your same piece of antique wooden furniture that went through the extreme heat of summer probably isn’t going to expand noticeably like that water bottle in the midst of the winter cold. But, wooden items do hold moisture from the air…and summer heat and humidity is a good place to find moisture. So it will likely expand a bit as the temperatures drop. Depending on how old that antique furniture is, how hot it was outside all summer, and the physical shape the furniture is in can really determine how much damage it will take on as the temperatures swing from one extreme to the other – so why would you risk it?
In a self storage facility that offers climate controlled units, the temperature remains consistent within a range of 55 degrees and 80 degrees all year long regardless of what the temperature is outside. Air ducts run throughout the building dispersing warm or cool air and the units are typically “vented”, meaning there is a small gap between the top of the unit and the ceiling to allow the air to pass into each unit and circulate throughout the entire building. This process allows the warm and cool air to be distributed directly and evenly to each unit, keeping the contents cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.
Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage
The benefits of climate control are fairly obvious when compared to standard storage.
First of all, having peace of mind that your possessions will not be exposed to extreme temperatures at any time while in storage is priceless. The temperatures are carefully monitored and controlled by a state-of-the-art system that never allows the temperatures inside to drop or rise beyond a set parameter. Climate controlled units are usually housed indoors, thus adding an extra barrier between your possessions and the elements.
Personal comfort when accessing your storage unit is also a plus. It’s never fun to sweat in the summer, freeze in the winter or get soaked during a downpour when you access your stuff – especially if you plan to access it frequently and all year long. In addition to that, you never have to rush to get back in the heat or air conditioning. You can take your time and be just as comfortable as if you were at home.
Climate Controlled Storage Unit vs. Standard Storage Unit
Now it comes down to making the decision. By giving you some general guidelines, we can help you make the best choice for you and the items you want to place in storage.
If you plan to store something of great value to you, such as heirloom furniture, antiques, old books, collectibles, electronics and clothing, you may want to consider temperature control. These items can be very susceptible to extreme temperature shifts, and you need to protect them.
If your possessions have already been stored in an attic, garage or basement, you have already subjected your things to extreme temperatures and therefore would be fine choosing a standard storage unit.
If you have kept your things inside a home with air conditioning and heat and plan to move them to storage, you would definitely want to consider climate controlled storage. Wooden furniture can warp and crack under extreme temperatures, fabrics are more susceptible to mold and mildew, and electronics have components that can melt under extreme heat.
Climate controlled self storage units typically have slightly higher rental rates than standard storage. You are paying for the extra protection of consistent temperatures all year so your belongings well kept, just like you would in your home. In my opinion, it is well worth the extra few bucks to prevent unnecessary damage that temperature shifts can cause.
Moving your belongings to self storage can seem stressful, but we are here to help! Choosing the best storage unit is the first step. By choosing wisely, you can minimize troubles such as mold, mildew and pests and keep them away from your property. Read our tips on how to store your items correctly and be sure to talk to the friendly property manager on site to get answers to your questions or contact us today. Happy storing!