Moving is undoubtedly stressful. Climate controlled storage units can provide you with incredible peace of mind. Click here to learn more.
Have you ever retrieved an item from storage, only to find it damaged or with a funky smell you just can’t kick?
With over 300,000 items in the average US home, it’s not surprising that 10% of Americans rent storage space. But if you’re planning to store for the long-term, certain items may still face damage while in safe-keeping.
Through freezing winters and scorching summers, weather fluctuations can take a toll on your possessions. Thankfully, climate controlled storage units can now provide a temperature controlled environment for your belongings, year round.
But do you really need climate control? Is it worth the extra cost?
Read on, and all shall become clear. We’ve got the lowdown on what climate controlled storage units are, how they can benefit you, and which items you just shouldn’t risk in regular storage.
Let’s get things moving.
Climate Controlled Storage Units
Conventional storage units are the cheaper option, but for many items, they’re unsuitable for the long-term. Climate control units offer a new-age solution that uses temperature (and often humidity) controls, to ensure a suitable environment for your belongings, no matter the season.
Typically, climate controlled storage units look and feel identical to traditional storage units. But behind the scenes, there’s much more going on.
Let’s take a look at the main features:
- Increased insulation of walls and roof
- Programmable thermostats
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning installation
- Thick double doors
- Reduced number of outlets for dust and debris to enter
Now you know what a climate controlled storage unit is, let’s take a deep dive into their benefits.
Keeps Out the Elements
In many cities, temperatures soar up above 100 degrees in the summer months, then shoot down below freezing when winter comes around.
In these climates especially, you need to protect your belongings from the damage associated with weather fluctuations. The heat causes your items to expand, then the cold makes them contract. With this, it’s common for cracking, splitting, and warping to occur.
But as climate controlled storage units are kept at a constant temperature throughout the year, this becomes a non-issue. As far as your goods are concerned, there’s just one, perfect season.
The heavy insulation also protects against natural disasters.
Storms? Floods? No problem.
At least not for your stored items. Plus, as most climate-controlled units are located indoors, you massively reduce the chance of break-ins and theft. Bonus.
Great Air Quality
So how else can climate controlled storage units benefit you? Air quality.
This may not sound like the biggest deal, but for electronic gear or paper documents, air quality can make a huge difference.
Climate controlled units allow air to flow in and out, 24/7. This means constant circulation and a fresh environment. If you hate the hassle of quarterly trips to your unit to freshen things up, a controlled climate unit might be just the ticket.
The term humidity reflects the amount of water vapor present in the air. As with temperature, humidity can fluctuate wildly across the seasons as well as on a day-to-day basis.
If your items are exposed to high levels of moisture in the air, it’s terrible news. Why?
- Fabrics will hold a musty scent
- Wood can warp
- Electronics become prone to malfunction
- Documents pick up a yellow tint
Once the moisture sets in, it can be a nightmare to get rid of. Your belongings could also retain the damp for months, promoting the growth of mildew.
Here’s the kicker. Low humidity is problematic, too. Expect electronic items to become brittle and wood to dry out and splinter.
Climate controlled units with humidity control, typically keep a base level of approximately 55%. This gives an optimal balance and ensures the above issues are avoided.
No Dust and Debris
As the walls and entrances of climate-controlled units are designed to reduce outlets, you’ll have a space entirely free of dust and debris. When it comes time to retrieve your items, they’ll look just as good as when you left them.
Peace of Mind
Here’s the deal. Climate controlled units are more expensive than conventional units. That’s unavoidable.
But the truth is, this added cost is offset by the peace of mind you’ll have for your precious belongings. Just think, by spending a few extra dollars to bag yourself a climate controlled unit, you could save hundreds of dollars in damages.
Which Items Need Climate Control?
If you want to find storage space for only a short period, there’s no need to obsess over this. Conventional storage is probably fine. But anything over a few months and climate control is definitely worth considering.
In fact, it’s especially important for the following items, which are those most prone to damage:
- Important documents (school papers, legal documents, medical records)
- Electronics (computers, gaming systems, TVs, stereos)
- Home Furnishings (antiques, leather, bedding, wood furniture)
- Clothes (all)
If your items are rakes, shovels, pots or other simple tools, a regular storage unit should be more than suitable. This holds true for most yard items.
But what if you’re looking to store an item that’s not been mentioned?
Try this test. Take a moment to think about if you’d be happy to store that item in your own garage, for a full year. If not, climate control is a must.
Will It Benefit You?
If you truly love an item, it’s worth protecting with a climate controlled unit. If you don’t, the first question should be whether it needs storing at all. If it does, a conventional unit should do the trick.
Still, the decision’s not always so black and white. Here are some questions to help you make up your mind:
- Does the local temperature fall below 32?F?
- Does the local temperature rise above 90?F?
- Is the unit in a high-humidity climate?
- Do your belongings have sizeable monetary value?
- Do your belongings have sentimental value?
- Will you be storing for long-periods or an indefinite time-frame?
Benefits of a Climate Controlled Storage Unit
Convinced by the benefits of climate controlled storage units? Or does a conventional unit work better for you?
Whatever your preference, if you’re around MD, VA, or DC and looking to store your items, you can find space with our storage locator service.
Once you’re all set, take a peek at our 8 essential storage prep tips, then get to boxing.