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Standard versus Climate- Controlled Storage

March 12, 2014

Do you need extra storage and wonder if you need a standard, self-storage unit or if you need climate-controlled storage?  Other than price, what are the differences between standard and climate-controlled units?  How do you decide when it is worth the extra price for the advantages of a climate-controlled unit?

Climate-Controlled Storage

 Let’s look at what climate-controlled storage means.  Keep in mind, the definition of climate-controlled storage can vary from one company to another.  Always check with the storage company and ask for their specifications before you sign up.

  • In general, the temperature in a climate-controlled storage unit should not fall below freezing in the winter or above 90 degrees F (32 degree C) in the summer.  Climate-controlled storage units should keep items in a constant environment (temperatures range between 55 or 60 degrees F and 85 or 90 degrees F).  Be sure to check with your storage company for exact specifications for their units.
  • Most storage units use indirect heating and cooling systems to maintain air temperature, not individual heaters or air conditioners.
  • Climate-controlled units are protected from the elements.  They are usually located indoors so they are not affected by the effects of rain, snow, dirt and dust, pests or changes in temperatures or humidity.  Climate-controlled units also protect your items mold and mildew.

When should you consider renting a climate-controlled self-storage unit?

  • If your items are valuable, one of a kind, or environmentally sensitive they would benefit from climate-controlled storage.
  • If you are storing furniture, especially valuable furniture, antiques or family heirlooms that you want to pass down to the next generation, you should consider climate control.
  • Another example would be musical instruments.  Wood-based musical instruments can be damaged by the cycle of heat and cold throughout the year.
  • If you plan to store electrical equipment, such as computers.  Non-climate controlled units can damage computer equipment, especially heat and humidity.  Even for short-term storage, this can be an issue.  With climate-controlled units, you don’t have to worry about the effects of varying temperatures or humidity on your equipment.
  • Are you storing clothing for a long period of time?  Climate-controlled units protect your clothing and leather from yellowing, degradation of the fabric caused by exposure to heat, cold and humidity.
  • If the price to store valuables is less than the cost to replace them, consider climate control.
  • Additional advantages of climate-controlled units is that they are indoors, so you can visit your unit in more privacy than drive-up storage units and in more comfort since they are climate controlled.
  • Climate-controlled units afford extra protection from flooding and water exposure caused by humidity, rain, and melted snow since they are typically indoors.
  • Climate-controlled units tend to be cleaner because less dust and dirt get into the interior units compare to standard units.

 Standard Storage

When do you choose standard storage?

Standard, drive-up units are suitable for most household items.  Most have passive climate control.  Your items are protected from the elements and most are designed to minimize the effects of weather extremes.  Most are convenient to drive up when you need to add or remove items from your storage unit.  If you plan to store items such as cars, tools, lawn equipment or lawn furniture, you will be ok with standard storage.

In summary, if you decide to use a storage unit without climate control, remember that your items will not be as well protected from weather changes.  We recommend making an on-site visit before deciding where to store your items as there can be lots of options.

Is the risk of your items being damaged worth the additional cost of climate controlled storage?  If the answer is yes, the extra price is worth it.

AAA Self Storage is here to serve your needs and most locations have a choice of climate-controlled and standard self-storage units. 

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