Not all storage units are created equal. The nature of your content should determine the type of storage unit you decide to rent if you want to ensure that your items are maintained properly. In addition to picking a storage facility that offers security features, you may want to protect your belongings with a climate-controlled unit. Not all items need climate-controlled features but there are more than you may realize at first.
To determine if you need a climate-controlled unit, take a look at these 5 factors:
1. You live an area where the temperature can dip below freezing (32 degrees) or climb above 90 degrees.
Unless you live in a very temperate climate without freezing or soaring temperatures, you may want to consider a climate-controlled storage unit if you are going to be storing any of the following temperature-sensitive items. These items face damage when kept in a non-climate-controlled unit for too long.
- Personal items like favorite books, family heirlooms, and important documents
- Valuable collectible items like antiques, art, and wine
- Electronic equipment like computers, cameras, and sound systems
- Media like tapes, CDs, DVDs, photos, and negatives
- Anything else made with sensitive materials, including leather
2. The area has high humidity.
If you’re storing in a geographic area with high humidity, like the U.S. South, opt for climate control. Humidity can wreak havoc on items of all kinds through mold, corrosion, and rust.
3. Any highly valuable items are being stored.
This does not just mean items with a high price tag attached, although those are also included in this category. If you are storing items that aren’t worth a whole lot financially but are irreplaceable from a sentimental standpoint, spring for a climate-controlled unit. The extra you put in for the climate control will buy you peace of mind when it comes to your most-prized possessions.
4. It's temporary, but you're not going to be back to check on things for a while.
Say you need to suddenly store all of your stuff because you got a job that will have you on the road for a year, or you are moving temporarily to attend a program or school. You won’t be able to come back and check on your belongings until the assignment is done, so you need to make sure they’ll be in the same good shape when you pick them up. Putting your stuff in a climate-controlled unit is like calling on only your most trustworthy friends to babysit—you don’t have to worry about what’s happening while you’re away.
5. You plan to keep things in storage for long, or indefinite, period of time.
If you’re using a storage unit because you have items you don’t want to get rid of but can’t store at home—items that don’t have anywhere to go or any function to serve in the near future—opting for a climate-controlled unit ensures that prolonged storage and exposure to fluctuation in temperature and humidity won’t have an effect on your items. This is especially true if any of the items you plan to store for a while fall into the categories mentioned in point 1.
Finding a reasonably-priced storage unit is smart, but the lowest price may not always produce the best results. What good is paying a lower price to store items that could be damaged? Going with a climate-controlled unit protects your items and your storage unit rental investment. Make a list of all the items you plan to store and consider what your needs truly are. Happy storing!