Climate-Controlled Storage Guide

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Do I Need Climate-Controlled Storage?

Climate-controlled storage or “Temperature Controlled Storage” is an amenity that maintains an indoor temperature range between 50°F to 80°F within your storage unit. The consistent temperature and humidity level year-round prevents damage and properly preserves your belongings.

Do you need a climate-controlled storage unit? Is it worth the extra cost? It depends on what you are storing, where you live, and the time of year.

For example, are you storing medical supplies or rare vinyl records in Texas during the summer? You definitely want climate-control. If you plan to store items for short periods of time in a moderate climate you can probably stick with traditional self-storage. Or, if the contents are durable and won’t be subject to warping or breakdown due to exposure to high temperatures,  non-climate controlled storage should do just fine. 

What Types of Items Need Climate-Controlled Storage?

Temperature extremes can be tough on everything from wood and leather to pictures and videotapes. The slightest bit of moisture can spawn mildew and mold in a unit without temperature-controlled storage. Because climate-controlled storage units cost more than traditional storage units, determine beforehand whether you’ll be storing any of these climate-sensitive items: 

  • Media and electronics (DVDs, videos, vinyl records, etc.)

    Climate control will protect against humidity that could damage internal components.

  • Valuable apparel

    If you’re storing wedding dresses, vintage clothing, designer items, garments with lace or leather, etc., climate control is highly recommended.

  • Wood, metal, wicker, leather or upholstered furniture

    Most furniture has some organic material on it, making it prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. Climate control will protect against both long-term damage and unpleasant odors.

  • Books, important documents, artwork, or photographs 

    The top priority here is keeping these items dry. If you live in a humid area, get climate control to protect against mold and mildew.

  • Wine

    Many storage facilities offer storage lockers specifically catered to optimal wine storage.

  • Musical instruments

    If you want to keep your instruments in playable condition, climate control is an absolute must.

  • Glass, metal and plastics

    Climate control will protect your items from warping, melting, and discoloring.

  • Antiques and collectibles

    Humidity levels are important for the preservation of your collectibles (stamps, coins, comic books, etc.) and their value.

  • Medical supplies and medications

    Extreme temperatures can cause adhesives to lose their stickiness. Climate control can prevent damage to materials like latex and plastic.

  • Makeup and toiletries

    RClimate control can prevent makeup and toiletries from drying out or cracking, getting too damp (which could grow bacteria), melting, and more.

  • Household appliances

    Because of the amount of metal present in household appliances, rust can be an issue in places with high humidity. Choose climate control to protect against extreme temperatures.

  • Sporting equipment

    If you plan to store your sports equipment for a long time, you should look for a climate controlled storage unit to keep it safe from cracking and breaking. 

What Are the Benefits of Climate-Controlled Storage?

If you need long-term storage for your belongings, climate control can provide several benefits. Whether you’re looking to store irreplaceable collectibles, wood furniture, or electronics, these are the top reasons to utilize a climate-controlled storage unit:

  • Protects items from extreme temperatures:

    Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on items kept in self storage units in many regions of the U.S. Temperature fluctuations can cause delicate items to crack, melt, peel or warp while in storage. Climate-controlled storage reduces these risks by using heating and cooling units to keep the storage space at a safe temperature, usually at a level above freezing and between 80-85°F.

  • Provides humidity control:

    Excess humidity also poses a year-round threat in many parts of the country. Climate-controlled storage units that offer humidity control keep humidity levels around 55%, which can prevent mold and mildew from growing. For reference, the standard humidity level in a home is between 30-60%, depending on where you live.

  • Improves air quality:

    Because climate-controlled storage units constantly circulate the air, either through air conditioning or humidity control, the air stays clean. Improved air quality is great for protecting your items, especially with sensitive electronics or documents, and if you plan to visit your storage unit frequently.

  • Keeps dust and debris at bay:

    Most storage facilities that offer climate control have indoor storage units, meaning the units are accessible from inside the storage building, rather than a unit you can drive your car up to. As a result, your items are less susceptible to things like dust, debris, dirt, or rodents, because the units are inside buildings that contain sealed walls and floors.

  • Gives you peace of mind:

    Depending on what you plan to store, not utilizing climate control could be a costly mistake. Anyone storing expensive or irreplaceable items—especially if they hold sentimental or historical value—should consider climate control. Knowing your items are being kept at a proper temperature can provide significant peace of mind.

What Are the Different Climate-Controlled Storage Types?

Specific temperature ranges for climate control, humidity control and air conditioned/heated storage units may vary by facility, so always clarify with your store manager beforehand. These are the standard differences between air conditioned storage, heated storage, humidity control, and climate-controlled units:

  1. 1

    Climate-controlled storage unit:

    Your storage unit is kept within a safe temperature range, usually above freezing and between 80-85°F.  

  2. 2

    Air-conditioned or heated storage unit:

    Cold or hot air is blown into the facility and/or unit.

  3. 3

    Humidity controlled storage unit:

    Humidity control actively dehumidifies the air and keeps humidity levels around 55%.

What Are Common Climate-Controlled Storage Unit Sizes?

Our storage unit size guide breaks down the standard unit sizes available at most storage facilities. While climate-controlled storage units are the same sizes as traditional storage, they’re typically indoor as opposed to outdoor units that have an external, drive-up door. Indoor units are inside the building and are only accessible through the storage facility’s hallways.

View the Storage Unit Size Guide

How Much Does Climate-Controlled Storage Cost?

Climate controlled self-storage typically costs about 35% to 50% more than a unit without climate control. A standard 10×10 storage unit with climate control might cost $140 a month to rent.

Storage Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
10' x 15'$80.65
10' x 20'$77.19
10' x 30'$84.99
Parking Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
15' Long$79.56
20' Long$77.17
25' Long$80.04
30' Long$85.01
35' Long$94.44
40' Long$106.98

Tips for Climate-Controlled Storage

If you are storing sensitive items or plan to keep your items in storage for the long-term, climate-controlled storage units are recommended, regardless of your local climate. Here’s a couple of tips to effectively prepare your items for climate-controlled storage.

  1. 1

    Embrace space by making sure there’s plenty of room for air movement between boxes to reduce the chance of mold or mildew forming. 

  2. 2

    Clean and vacuum-seal any belongings that you want to prevent from having a musty smell after storing for a considerable amount of time. 

  3. 3

    If you can store things above-floor level and keep most of your items elevated, you may avoid moisture that can condense on concrete floors. Another tip is to utilize plastic boxes vs. cardboard ones that can soak up any excess moisture. 

  4. 4

    Pick up silicon pouches you often find in electronic packaging or a box of new shoes and place them throughout your unit. They’ll help to absorb excess water in the air to further protect your items. Bowls with kitty litter or baking soda can work, too.

  5. 5

    Learn how to preserve specific items you plan to store.

    1. How to properly store vinyl records.
    2. How to properly store wood furniture
    3. How to properly store a mattress
    4. How to properly store photographs
    5. How to properly store books.