At various points in our lives, we may need to rent a self-storage unit, but is it worth paying extra for temperature-controlled storage?
To answer this question, we need to consider the items we wish to put into storage, and whether they require the extra cost of climate control.
By the way, temperature-controlled storage is often referred to as climate-controlled storage, but they are different. Temperature-controlled only manages the inside temperature of the storage unit, whereas climate-controlled will also manage the humidity level of the unit.
With basic self-storage units, you will have a space that will be dry and secure, but that’s all. This is fine for items that are not sensitive to temperature changes or humidity. However, if you are storing antiques, fine art, musical instruments, or valuable documents, then the extra cost of temperature-controlled storage will be money well spent.
Items that Require Temperature Controlled Storage
Many items will benefit from temperature-controlled storage, such as:
- Family heirlooms
- Wood and leather furniture
- Important documents
If you store any of the above items for more than a few days or weeks, then the extra cost of temperature-controlled storage will give you peace of mind.
Temperature-controlled Storage Units
Opting for temperature-controlled offers several advantages over basic storage, and we’ll talk about them in the next few paragraphs.
Storing items long-term will expose them to extremes of temperature. Depending on where you live, the temperature could easily climb above 100+ degrees in the summer or fall well below freezing in the winter. These extremes of temperature are disastrous for many items.
Temperature-controlled storage will maintain an even temperature of between 55 and 85 degrees.
Improved Air Quality
Basic storage units are not sealed, but there is little room for air to circulate, creating a stuffy and possibly humid environment. Stale damp air is a breeding ground for mold, which will quickly damage furniture and documents.
Temperature-controlled storage is sealed so that the environment is carefully controlled. Air is continuously circulated around the storage unit, helping to keep your items in good condition.
Sealed Storage Units
Basic storage units attempt to prevent a damp, humid environment from developing by using ventilation, but this is a double-edged sword. By allowing ventilation, there are openings in the storage, which may allow small animals in. Obviously, the openings have mesh over them, but rodents are very good at chewing threw them!
Barrier Against Dust
Temperatur-controlled units are generally built inside another building, giving an extra layer of protection against the outside world. This is done to allow easier control of the environment but has added advantages.
People visiting the storage areas are going to bring in less dirt from outside, the storage units are protected from the weather, and it’s less likely that rodents will get in.
Extra Peace of Mind
We mentioned it earlier, but you cannot put a price on knowing that your valuable items are protected. The cost of temperature-controlled storage over the basic version is minimal compared to the thought of losing an irreplaceable item.
Depending on the company, your temperature-controlled storage may include humidity control, but do ask to make sure. Antique furniture, documents, and soft furnishings react very badly to high humidity.
The opposite is also true, of course. If the humidity is too low, wood can warp and crack, musical instruments can be damaged, and wine ruined.
Humidity is typically held at a base level of around 55% in climate-controlled storage units, by automatically removing excess moisture from the air.
Visit Your Storage Regularly
Whether you choose temperature-controlled storage or not, it is essential to visit your storage regularly. In units where the humidity and temperature are not controlled, it is crucial to open the room and circulate fresh air.
Visiting temperature and humidity-controlled storage is not as important, but it is worth regularly doing for your own peace of mind.
Choosing the Right Storage Unit for You
The decision on which type of storage unit to rent is ultimately your choice. Local companies may offer a range of units, from standard to temperature-controlled or full climate-controlled.
Be honest with yourself about how regularly you’ll visit the storage unit. If you can visit weekly to open the unit and allow fresh air to circulate, then a standard unit my be okay. If you can only visit now and then, and some of the items may be susceptible to damage, then the extra money for temperature-controlled storage will definitely be worth paying.