There are some simple ways to determine if you need a climate-controlled unit. You almost always want to keep certain items in a temperature-controlled storage unit. And your answers to a few basic questions can help you see if it’s worth the cost.
Most self-storage facilities recommend climate-controlled units for specific items:
Furniture. Extreme temperatures and fluctuating humidity levels are terrible for leather and wooden furniture.
Electronics. Find a storage unit with humidity control for your televisions, gaming systems, music players, and smart home gadgets.
Clothing and fabric. Use climate control to be safe, and check out our tips for storing clothes in storage units.
Important paperwork. Temperature and humidity changes are murder on paper. You don’t want valuable documents coming out of storage looking like the Declaration of Independence.
Artwork. Extreme temperatures and high humidity levels can turn your fine art into droopy kindergarten projects. Hey, and maybe you’re saving your kids’ artwork too, but there’s simply no more room on the fridge for it.
Musical instruments. Avoid storage units that are too hot, cold, or wet for storing your musical instruments––like that Fender you used to play in your garage band days. Otherwise, you may find your piano strings, drum covers, and woodwind exteriors are unusable.
Household appliances. Dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens—even your Zojirushi rice cooker. The last thing you want is to store an expensive appliance in a non-climate-controlled unit and see them ruined.
Antiques. Vintage items have aged enough already. You don’t need a museum’s high-tech humidity control, but you’d be surprised how much protection your antiques can get from basic temperature monitoring and humidity sensors.
Books. Good old-fashioned novels are magnets for mildew. Add in some extreme temperatures, and your inner-bibliophile may start crying.
Computers. These suckers hold so much of your info that it’s just not worth the risk of using a storage unit without climate control.
If you’re still unsure whether you need a climate-controlled storage unit, there are a few basic questions that may help.
The longer you need to store your belongings, the more likely you need a climate-controlled storage facility. Just about anything will be okay for a month or two. Go much longer than that, and the risks of damage start to become real.
You probably want climate-controlled storage if your city drops below freezing in the winter (hello, Midwest winters!) and rises above 90°F in the summer. Same thing if you live somewhere with high humidity levels (we’re looking at you, Florida).
A climate-controlled storage unit is worth considering if your belongings have a lot of personal value (like photo albums)—or cost a lot of money (like power tools).