Because of the diversity in climates in different geographical locations, storing specific items in traditional storage units may not be a good idea. Storage units that are not climate controlled can have various levels of moisture and significant temperature changes, as the weather outdoor fluctuates. Climate controlled storage units provide a safe stable area to store items that are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Storage units that are breathable (often referred to as climate friendly) allow the environment inside the unit to equalize with what’s outside. This eliminates the condensation inside the unit, which is a major culprit when it comes to the climate control.
Benefits of climate controlled storage
What are other benefits to climate controlled storage units or climate friendly units aside from the stable temperature and humidity levels year round?
Often overlooked, there are additional benefits besides the protection from high humidity levels and extreme temperature changes to having a climate controlled storage unit. Traditional storage units often get stuffy with stale air and need to be aired out occasionally to keep from accumulating odors and the like in the items that are contained in the unit. With a climate controlled unit you do not have to worry about doing this because the air quality in these units is much better due to the constant circulation of air in the unit block. Regulation of temperature and humidity levels require systems that have to constantly circulate the air resulting in cleaner air then what you would find in a standard storage unit.
With climate friendly units like Box-n-Go, the air inside the unit will never get stuffy. Nor will the moisture accumulate inside, causing damages to your belongings.
Protection against the Disasters
Furthermore, because climate controlled units are inside a building structure that has insulated and impenetrable floors, roofs, and walls, your unit is protected to a higher degree against flooding and other natural disasters. Traditional storage units are susceptible to water accumulation when there is flooding, dust and debris. When there are extremely dry conditions or dust storms, and often times, they are susceptible to being made into a nice home for various insects and sometimes small animals. When you have a climate controlled unit, you have peace of mind that none of these issues will plague your unit.
Box-n-Go storage units, as an example, are stored inside the warehouse, which is a commercial grade, insulated building. In addition, the floor of the warehouse is elevated off the ground. This builds in added protection in case of flooding.
Another obvious advantage to a climate controlled unit is the convenience of being inside of a building when accessing, organizing, loading, and unloading your items. In some areas this does not always apply. But completing these tasks outdoors in freezing temperatures, pouring down rain and lightening, or temperatures that are hotter then your shower water. This can be an extremely uncomfortable and daunting task. When you have a climate controlled unit you do not have to worry about the weather conditions when you go to check on your belongings or move things in and out.
Climate Controlled Storage Cost
Does a climate controlled storage unit cost more money then a normal storage unit?
On average, climate controlled storage units cost approximately 15% more on your monthly storage unit cost. Depending on the location and market of the area. The reason for this is due to the extra cost associated with the strict maintenance protocol of most climate controlled units. Commercial sized HVAC systems, heating systems, and dehumidifiers are often constantly running and using electricity. In addition, the building of which your unit is contained in has to be properly ventilated and insulated at all times which requires regular maintenance and repairs on these components. An increase of 15% in monthly cost is just change compared to the cost of properly maintaining blocks of climate controlled storage units.
If you choose Box-n-Go climate friendly units, you will not be faced with the increased storage cost to get the benefits of constant temperature and no humidity inside your unit.
What belongings need climate control?
Do I even have items that would need this kind of controlled climate that I am going to be putting in storage? What will happen to them in standard storage units?
Items that require this type of special care are usually fragile antiques and novelties. However many other types of items also require a stable climate to not get ruined. There are obvious things such as food items or medications that need this type of protection. But other items that need a controlled climate and the reason for doing so are not so obvious. If you plan on storing any amount of metal items in your storage unit, you want to keep in mind the way that different types of metals respond to high moisture levels. That shiny silver will quickly morph into a charcoal like black color. Iron items will rust into a red orange disintegrated mess. Items containing or made of a large amount of lead will morph into a chalky white mess. Your glimmering copper things will turn into a rough textured hue of green.
Any type of artwork and items made of paper, such as photos, magazines, any kind of books, can become significantly discolored with extreme changes in temperature. Paper items and artwork also have a great tendency to change sizes (expanding or shrinking) in extreme temperature fluctuations. These items also will make a comfy nurturing home for mildew, mold, and other fungus type growths in high humidity conditions. Bedding, cloth covered furniture, clothes, toys, quilts, and blankets will also grow fungi. This is like mildew and mold if left in humidity levels above 35% for long periods of time.
Electronics and Climate Control
If you plan on storing electronic items in your storage unit, keep in mind that electronics with metal parts may disintegrate in high moisture environment. Electronic components can also grow mold and mildew. Moisture can also destroy electronic motherboards and electrical circuits. Rendering the item inoperable. Even when storing electronics in a climate controlled unit, it is best to make sure they are in an airtight container off the ground. Also, using packets of silica in the boxes with them will help keep moisture away is recommended. Items such as vinyl records, optical discs, films and any type of tapes and cassettes should be kept in climate controlled units. This is due to the damage that moisture and extended light exposure will cause to them. This also includes many standard household appliances as they are typically made with metal or have metal components as well.
Storing Furniture and Antiques
Antique wood objects, unfinished wood furniture, and wooden instruments like pianos and guitars should not be kept in standard units with fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Much like paper items and artwork, wood items will change size with temperature. Expanding in warm conditions and contracting in cooler climates. Moderate to high moisture levels are detrimental to wood. Wood easily rots and disintegrates when exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. Thoroughly cleaning and sealing wooden items with oil or specialized sealants can help combat issues with wood associated with climate. Items made or upholstered with leather can be easily damaged with high moisture levels and often costly to repair once cracked or once mildewed on the inside.
Are there ways to protect these sensitive items if I do want to place them in a traditional storage unit?
Yes, there are ways to protect things that are placed in a standard unit that has exposure to elements that climate controlled units do not. However, it is advisable using heavy duty water and air tight containers to hold all of your items. Also using plastic wrap, blankets, and tarps to insulate larger items. Unfortunately, this can be extremely time consuming and expensive.
If you were to use these methods to protect your items from temperature fluctuations, moisture levels, insect invasions, dust and debris, check your costs first. You will most likely end up spending more money on the supplies to do so. Not accounting for the hours of your time that you wouldn’t be spending otherwise. Imagine what would happen if you were to shell out the extra few dollars a month it costs to have a storage unit that is climate controlled or climate friendly. It is still wise to strategically place and protect items in climate controlled units but not anywhere near the degree of protection that is needed for these sensitive items to stay in a standard unit.
I thought my items are insured from damage when I place them into any storage unit facility, why would I need a climate controlled unit?
The reality is, if you plan to put items that hold a significant monetary or sentimental value to you in storage, the best way to ensure those items are protected from all the issues outlined above. This way is to use a climate controlled storage unit. Renting a storage unit is no different then when you rent out an apartment or home. The owner of such dwelling is responsible for the structure itself, but is not responsible for your precious contents.
Your unit itself is most likely going to be insured, but what you put in it is not. Many facilities do offer the option to add some type of protection plan to your contents of the unit. However often times this adds more to the monthly cost of the unit then using a climate controlled unit would add. You should consider the location of which the unit is. Because some locations can be more prone to severe storms, heavy winds, and flooding. While others can be more prone to dust storms, snow storms, and other natural disasters that even insurance doesn’t always cover. With a climate controlled unit, your belongings will always be inside of a building. That alone is more protection then a standard unit that has one or more walls (often the door) directly against the outdoor conditions.