If you are considering putting some of your belongings in storage, you have a lot of decisions to make as you choose your facility. Cost, security, location, and reviews will all be a factor. But, one of the most important decisions you will make when selecting your storage unit is whether to choose a storage unit with climate control. Read below to understand what additional features climate controlled units offer, and what should be stored in climate controlled storage. For help on how to select a storage facility, check out our post here.
What is climate controlled storage?
Temperature controlled units have temperature control in the form of air conditioning and/or heating. Your agreement should include the acceptable temperature range for the storage facility. If a unit is climate controlled, it should have both humidity and temperature control. However, some storage facilities may mislabel or incorrectly advertise their units. So, don’t assume they have humidity control because they list “climate control” as a feature. It is always best to ask. Climate controlled facilities will use high-quality HVAC systems, dehumidifiers, thermostats and insulation to manage temperature and humidity levels. Because of the added cost of maintaining a consistent temperature in these units, they will cost more than a standard unit.
Why is climate control important for storage?
Depending on what you are storing in your storage unit, climate control may be required to help your items maintain their current condition and value. Remember, standard storage units have little insulation to keep them warm in the winter. In the summer, they will heat up and often be hotted inside than the temperatures out of doors. Items stored in standard storage units can be exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Because climate controlled spaces tend are indoors and insulated, there is also a decreased risk of pest and insects.
What items should be stored in climate controlled environments?
Items that are sensitive to temperature and humidity should be stored in a climate controlled space. These can include luxury items, electronics, collectibles or antiques. Below is a list of a few of the most common items recommended for this type of storage environment.
- Antiques – Older items and antiques, whether metal, wood or paper, are highly susceptible to fluctuations in temperatures and humidity. Extended periods of dry air can cause antique wood furniture to crack and split. Metal will rust in high humidity. Paper can yellow. Protect these items by keeping them in a consistent temperature range.
- Fine Art and Paintings – Framed artwork and paints can shrink and expand in extreme temperatures. If a storage unit becomes too humid, mold or mildew can ruin a piece.
- Collectible Paper Items & Memorabilia – Even without exposure to sunlight, comic books, magazines, baseball cars, family photos can all become dried and yellowed in extreme heat.
- Delicate Upholstery or Fabrics – Luxury or antique furniture and clothing can suffer from mildew and mold in high humidity environments. Expensive, delicate items should be stored with acid-free, archival tissue paper. A cedar packet is also a good idea, to fend off moths.
- Electronics and Tech – Humid environments may cause corrosion and mold. Extreme heat can also damage electronics. Even in climate-controlled environments, it is a good idea to include some silica gel packs when storing electronics.
- CDs, DVDs, and Games – Any type of optical disc, from a CD to a video game, can be damaged in high heat. Store these items in cool, dry places to preserve their quality and ensure they do not become damaged or warped.
- Vinyl Records – High temperatures may cause vinyl records to warp. Low temps can lead them to become brittle and even snap or crack. Always store records vertically, in their sleeves, and in a temperature controlled area.
- Instruments – Wooden instruments will contract in the cold and expand in the heat. They are highly susceptible to volatile temperatures. In addition, humidity control is needed to prevent the mildew (too humid) or drying out and splitting (too dry).
Learn more about how to prepare your items for storage with our blog post here.
Is my storage facility liable for temperature related damages?
Unfortunately, no. Your contract will likely guarantee that the facility makes every reasonable effort to ensure your items remain in the promised temperature and humidity. However, nearly all contracts protect the facility in the event of mechanical failure, power outages, extreme weather events, and other unexpected challenges.
When putting your items in storage, call your insurance company to see if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover your storage unit. If it doesn’t, find out how to add these items to your policy. You may also be able to purchase insurance from the storage facility.
Need help getting your items to and from the storage unit?
GoShare provides an easy solution for storage facility drop-offs. Using the GoShare site or app, you can find local delivery and moving professionals with trucks and cargo vans to assist you in moving your items to a storage facility. Hire one or two professionals. They can be there within the hour, or be scheduled in advance. In addition to moving your items, they will also assist with the loading and unloading, making for a truly easy experience.