Ever browsed the internet for cheap storage units near you? Then you’ve probably come across the word “climate controlled”. What is climate controlled storage? And do you even need it? A climate controlled storage unit goes for 20-50% more than a non-climate controlled space. Since this could cost you hundreds of dollars, we’ll help you decide if you need a climate controlled storage unit.
What is Climate Controlled Storage?
But first, let’s understand what climate control actually means when it comes to storage units. Climate control means that the temperature and/or humidity of your storage space will stay at a constant level controlled by the facility. If storage just “temperature-controlled”, it likely doesn’t regulate humidity. The purpose of climate control is so that heat, cold, and humidity don’t damage your stored items.
Unfortunately there is no standard for what “climate controlled” actually means. Climate controlled storage units are typically kept between 55 and 85 degrees F and around 55% humidity. For context, the average air conditioned home is around 35 and 40% humidity. Either way, you’ll want to clarify with your facility manager. You can also check with your Neighbor host to understand the climate of their storage space.
Now that you know what it is, do you actually need a climate controlled storage space? Depends on what, where, and how long you’re storing.
What items need a climate controlled storage unit?
Any item that can discolor, warp, or crack in extreme temperatures or humidity should go in a climate controlled space. The list below isn’t comprehensive and some items may not experience damage.
- Cosmetics & toiletries
- Collectibles (e.g., art, wine, antiques)
- Metal, leather, wood, fabric/upholstery, and wicker goods or furniture (e.g., appliances, couches, tables, clothes)
- Books, documents and paperwork
- Electronics (e.g., computers, phones, TVs, cameras)
- Media (e.g., CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, film, photos)
- Medications and medical supplies
- Musical instruments (e.g., pianos, violins)
- Bedding and mattresses
Wood is at risk in extreme temperatures. I can warp and crack due to expansion and contraction.
Mold, mildew, and fungus can grow and stain papers and fabrics in hot temperatures and humid areas.
For specific guidance on temperature and humidity levels for sensitive items, check out storeEDGE’s list.
Remember to think about individual parts when choosing a storage unit. While the item as a whole may not need climate control, it may have parts that do. For example, if storing a bicycle in a non-climate controlled storage unit, consider removing the wheels or seat.
Are you storing somewhere with extreme temperatures or humidity?
Depending on your location and the time of year, temperature or humidity control might be essential. High humidity, for example, can result in increased risk of pests, rust and corrosion, and mold.
Climate controlled storage is critical in extreme colds like those of the northern US. It’s also a good idea for extreme heats in the southwest. You’ll also want climate controlled storage in areas like the southeast where the temperatures and humidity are high.
How long will you store the item?
If you are planning to use storage for only a short period of time, say under three months, maintaining a constant temperature and humidity may not be necessary. If you are storing for more than one year and you’re storing sensitive items in a location where temperature or humidity might be a concern, renting a storage space that is climate controlled is best.
For example, rust and corrosion won’t form on metal items if only stored in a humid storage space for a few weeks.
Do you actually need a climate controlled storage unit?
If you’re wondering whether you need a climate controlled storage unit, take yourself through this checklist.
- Am I storing anything that can discolor, warp, or crack with varying temperatures?
- Am I storing in a place with extreme heat, cold, or humidity?
- How long will I be storing the items for?
How do you find a storage unit with climate control?
When looking for a storage unit with climate control, never assume that an space is temperate or humidity controlled. Many traditional self storage units don’t have climate control. Many Neighbor storage listings are inside residential or commercial buildings. These naturally enjoy room temperatures and humidity between 35 and 40 percent that are great for items that need climate control.
Find the cheapest climate controlled storage near you.