You have some things that need to be stored, so you do a quick search for storage units. At first, you thought it would be as simple as just finding a place, shoving your boxes in, and tucking the key away somewhere safe. Then you see storage facilities offering things like climate-controlled units. Is that something you need?

The short answer is: it depends.

What is climate-controlled storage?

Climate-controlled storage refers to storage units that are specifically designed to – you guessed it – control their internal climate. These units will regulate temperature and humidity levels. It’s most common to find climate-controlled storage options at indoor storage facilities. However, depending on where you live, you may find climate-controlled units at drive-up or outdoor storage facilities.

Temperature and humidity levels are vital to maintaining a balanced climate, as their combination is what can lead to the presence of moisture. By keeping temperature and humidity levels balanced, the unit won’t collect moisture and potentially damage your belongings. Most climate-controlled storage units are kept within a range of 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why would you need to control the climate?

As we covered above, the primary objective is to keep moisture levels low. Of course, if you live in a place where the temperatures can get quite high, maintaining a steady temperature can also be crucial to the survival of the things you’ve stored.

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When you’re considering whether you need climate-controlled storage, think about what you’re storing and how these items will react to moisture. Fabrics and leather can become stained and ruined by mildew or mold. Paper items and photographs could also become stained, or break down in sustained moist conditions. Wood can crack, warp, or rot if it takes on moisture. Electronics and metal items can rust or crack, and circuit boards can fail.

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether this is the right option for you:

  • Would any of my items be affected by high heat?
  • Are they sensitive to extreme heat or cold?
  • Are they designed to be kept at a certain temperature (for example, wine)?
  • Would moisture cause any of my items to crack, warp, deteriorate, or become discolored?
  • Can any of my items collect mildew or mold?
  • Are any of my items rare, or do they hold sentimental value?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely need a climate-controlled storage unit.

What items require climate-controlled storage?

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All items in storage would benefit from maintaining a consistent climate, but there are some which require it. Some of the primary items are:

  • Musical instruments
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Furniture (including leather, wood, and upholstery)
  • Items made of metal, wood, wicker, or other natural materials
  • Media (DVDs, records, videos, etc.)
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Artwork
  • Antiques
  • Collectibles
  • Wine
  • Medication and medical supplies

More reasons for renting a storage unit with climate control

Protecting sensitive items is reason enough, though there are other benefits to renting a climate-controlled storage unit.

You’re storing your things through multiple seasons

If your things are in storage through seasonal changes, the temperature will fluctuate widely. If you live in a place with extreme weather changes, consider a unit with climate control.

Your location has high heat or humidity

The contents of your storage unit are susceptible to the environment outside. If you live in an area with high heat or humidity, there’s a high probability that these conditions will reach your items and may cause damage.

You have collectible, irreplaceable, or valuable items

Even if you think you’ve packed them pretty well, just remember the old adage: it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have items of sentimental or monetary value, keep them protected with climate control. The same goes for antiques, collectibles, and irreplaceable items. 

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Ultimately, if you’re not storing any items on the above list, and you’re only storing them for a short period of time (up to a month if your storage is outdoor, and up to three months if it’s indoors) you can safely opt for a standard storage unit. Otherwise, go for the climate-controlled option.

Finding a climate-controlled storage unit

When you’re ready to book your storage unit, let FlatRate help you find the one that’s right for you. Whether you have only a few items or an entire household, we have a variety of options and competitive rates to suit your needs. Our units have climate control, 24/7 surveillance, video monitoring, and daily cleaning protocols. Rest assured, we’ll keep your items safe until you’re ready to retrieve them.