A Guide to Climate Controlled Storage

Climate controlled building fan

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?  Since this could cost you hundreds of dollars, we’ll help you understand everything there is to know about climate controlled storage and help you consider if it’s they type of storage unit you actually need.

What is Climate Controlled Storage?

Climate controlled storage is a type of storage option where the temperature and/or humidity of the storage space is fixed at a constant level set by management. Not to be confused, a “temperature-controlled” storage unit doesn’t automatically mean it’s also “humidity controlled,” and vice versa. The purpose of climate controlled storage is to ensure your stored items are protected against damaging heat, cold, and humidity.

Renting a climate controlled storage unit usually costs about 20-50% more than a non-climate controlled storage unit. Use our Average Monthly Storage Unit Cost Guide to learn more depending on the size and type of storage space you need and how Neighbor is the more affordable solution.

Average temperature in a climate controlled storage unit

Typically, climate controlled storage units are kept between 55 and 85 degrees F and around 55% humidity. For context, the average air conditioned home is around 35 and 40% humidity. Be sure to check with the storage host or facility manager to clarify on this and make sure the temperature settings suit your  needs.

What Should Be Stored in a Climate Controlled 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, but it may be helpful to consider along with your personal storage needs:

  • Cosmetics & toiletries
  • Collectibles (e.g., art, wine, antiques)
  • Metal, leather, wood, fabric/upholstery, and wicker goods or furniture (e.g., appliances, couches, tables, clothes)
  • Paperwork, books, and documents
  • Electronics (e.g., computers, phones, TVs, cameras)
  • Media (e.g., CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, film, photos)
  • Candles
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Musical instruments (e.g., pianos, violins)
  • Bedding, mattresses, and pillows

Important aspects to consider when storing: 

  • Wood is at risk in extreme temperatures. It can warp and crack due to expansion and contraction.
  • Mildew, mold, and fungus can grow and stain papers and fabrics in hot temperatures and humid areas.
  • 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.

Do You Actually Need a Climate Controlled Storage Unit?

If you’re wondering whether you need a climate controlled storage unit, ask yourself the following questions:

  • 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?
    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 I be storing the items for?
    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.

Find Cheaper Climate Controlled Storage with Neighbor

When looking for a storage unit with climate control, never assume that a space is temperate or humidity controlled, or both. Many traditional self storage units don’t have climate control and if they do, they’re significantly more expensive than standard unites. This is why Neighbor is the better, more modern solution to find climate controlled storage nearby. Not only is it easy, reliable, and convenient, but the cost of renting storage space through Neighbor is 50% cheaper than what you’ll find with storage facilities. 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.

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