The purpose of self-storage is to keep your belongings safe and secure in a private and enclosed space. Plain and simple right?
When thinking about putting items in storage, the misconception had by most is that the only consideration is how much space is required to fit your items. There are in fact, other important factors to consider.
With an increasing demand for facilities, self-storage is getting more advanced, specifically with temperature and humidity regulatory technology. Facilities are starting to offer a wider variety of options including temperature controlled units and climate controlled storage units. These units are more expensive to rent compared to standard units. With this in mind, you may be wondering are these self-storage units better, and worth the added cost?
To answer these questions, let’s first explain what temperature controlled and climate controlled self-storage are:
- Temperature controlled self-storage units: these units offer temperature regulation only. Storage facilities that offer temperature controlled storage units typically guarantee that the temperature inside your unit will be maintained between a certain range, commonly between 55°F and 85°F.
- Climate controlled self-storage units: these units offer temperature regulation and humidity regulation done through the use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Storage facilities that offer climate controlled storage typically guarantee that the temperature will be maintained between a certain range (often between 55°F and 85°F) and that the humidity will be maintained within a certain range (average is around 55%). Some climate controlled storage units are individually maintained, so you can set the temperature and humidity to best suit your belongings.
Now that we’ve explained the difference between temperature controlled and climate controlled storage, you may be wondering, do I need regulation like this in my storage unit? Here are some important questions to think about, which will help you figure out what you need:
1. What items are you storing?
Not all belongings require an environment with temperature and climate regulation. If items can be stored in a typical home garage or a backyard shed, they should store perfectly fine without temperature or humidity regulation. Keep in mind that storage units are sealed and offer protection from the elements just as a basic home garage does.
There are some items which tend to fare better when stored in units with regulated environments. These include:
- Works of art
- Delicate paper items, like books, magazines, comics or photographs
- Electronics, such as computers, speakers, and cameras
- Antiques, especially wooden furniture
- Vinyl records and musical instruments
- Valuable textiles like furs and vintage clothing
- Wine, as higher temperatures can cause undesired accelerated aging
2. Are the items you wish to store of high value or sentimental importance?
Consider the items that you’re storing:
- Do they hold sentimental value (such as important family photos or heirlooms)?
- Are they of high monetary value (like antique furniture or electronics)?
Climate controlled storage units are more expensive to rent than regular storage units due to the specialized equipment needed to maintain the climate within the unit. If you answered ‘yes’ to one or both of the questions above, investing in the extra protection and cost of climate controlled self storage will help guarantee that your items will come out of storage in the same condition as when they went in.
3. How long are you planning to store your items?
It’s important to give the duration of your storage a thought as it may affect what kind of storage you need. If you’re living in areas with extreme temperatures, the items you place in storage may be affected. Here in south-western Ontario, where Storage Solutions is located, we experience extreme temperature variations between seasons. If you’re storing long-term, a year for example, your belongings will be stored through temperatures reaching -20°C in the Winter and 30°C in the Summer. This means that the temperature and humidity levels inside our storage units will fluctuate greatly.
4. What is your budget?
The extra protection provided by climate controlled storage units is nice to have, but runs up the rent costs of the unit. If you’re on a budget and are looking for more affordable self-storage, there are ways to better protect your items without the need for climate control systems.
For example, to keep the air within a sealed storage unit dry and humidity levels low, consider trying these easy and affordable storage hacks:
- Charcoal bricks – They absorb the moisture in the air! Just place some charcoal bricks in a container within your storage unit and replace them monthly.
- Desi Packs or Desiccant - This is the material that comes in vitamin pills, but you can buy them in much bigger bags. It’s like a large baking soda container, but it’s kept in a breathable bag so that the material can absorb humidity.
- Vacuum-seal bags – In order to keep moisture out of items such as textiles, place them in vacuum-seal bags and suck the air out of them before storing them.
Let’s recap - climate controlled storage provides an added layer of protection for your belongings, at an added cost, but isn’t always necessary. It’s important to evaluate whether your items require extra temperature or humidity regulation for safe storage.
If you’re looking for safe, secure, affordable self-storage, consider Storage Solutions in Milton! Although we don’t offer climate controlled storage units, we are self-storage experts and have great tips and tricks to share with you to help reduce humidity levels in our sealed containers, thus creating an affordable place for you to store your belongings.
We hope to hear from you, and happy storing!
Your friend in self-storage,