To qualify as climate controlled storage, units need to be heated or cooled to protect your belongings from the extreme temperatures. There is no set rule that dictates the range of temperatures a climate controlled unit should be kept, they vary at each facility, and this is why you should ask the facility what the temperature of their climate controlled units is.
If the area of the country you are storing reaches temperatures of 90 degrees and above, facilities may use air conditioning units to keep your belongings from rotting or molding and in areas that fall below freezing temperatures (32 degrees) facilities may use heating units to prevent your belongings from cracking or warping. Because of this, climate controlled self storage units may have an added cost, depending on how much value you place to your items, this added cost may be well worth it.
What should be stored in temperature controlled units? It is recommended that important documents, electronic and computer equipment, CDs, pictures, leather furniture, books, artwork, and other valuables be stored in climate controlled storage – especially if you are in a part of the country that has severe summers and/or winters.
Musical instruments, important documents, oil paintings, fine furniture, electronic and computer equipment, fine linens and clothing, perishable items are just some of the examples that will benefit from climate controlled storage. High humidity can create mold and mildew, these mixed with high temperature could damage almost anything.
Outdoor storage units, in most cases, will only provide the basic moisture protection offered by a roof and concrete or gravel floor plus protection against some elements like wind and rain. Check with the manager of the facility to see if their drive-up, garage style self storage units will offer some sort of climate control, some do and some don’t.
Indoor self storage units are typically located inside large building with sometimes several floors. While this enclosed units may have some type of heat and air circulation throughout the building, with temperatures slightly more comfortable that the outside temperature, it might only be enough to protect against dust and damage. Certain items may need a better level of climate controlled storage to keep them protected.
Newer and more advanced facilities, offer indirect heating and cooling to your unit by maintaining the entire building within a temperature range, this in addition offers some humidity control. Some facilities also offer units with climate control features that will maintain the unit between a range of temperatures approved by the tenant ahead of time.
The extra expense to rent a climate controlled storage unit may outweigh the cost of having damaged goods to sort through when you need them. Always remember to ask the storage facility manager the temperature they keep the building it might just save your belongings from mother nature.
It is always up to you to make sure your belongings are protected. To protect them from dust, scratches and germs, place a tarp or plastic film on the floor, a cardboard will work better and if you use wood it would be best. Use some moisture absorbing tools to keep humidity levels low and the use of deodorizers in your unit (even old fashioned baking soda) will keep the unit fresh.