How are Climate-and-Humidity-Controlled Self Storage Different

If you’re getting ready to store valuable or temperature-sensitive items, it’s a good idea to consider climate- and humidity-controlled self storage. Do you understand the difference between the two, or are you looking for advice on the benefits of these types of storage. Read the following information to learn more about humidity- and climate-controlled self storage.

Standard self storage units are sufficient for most household and business items, but your temperature-sensitive and irreplaceable goods need the added protection of climate- or humidity-controlled storage. 

If you collect valuable artwork or antiques or just want to store furniture, photographs, and electronics, you need climate-controlled self storage. The consistent temperatures of a climate-controlled storage unit will protect your belongings from damage and deterioration.

Another option to consider is humidity-controlled self storage.  Humidity-controlled storage adjusts the humidity of the air inside your space to maintain safe levels of moisture regardless of temperature fluctuations. This type of storage reduces the chances of mold, mildew, rust, and rot. 

Check out the following information so that you recognize the difference between climate- and humidity-controlled storage.

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Climate- and Humidity-Controlled Storage: What’s the Difference

The phrase “climate control” is one of the most confusing subjects in the self-storage industry. Climate control should manage both temperature and humidity within a narrow range, but in some cases, only temperatures are controlled and humidity levels are ignored.

Climate-Controlled Storage

Climate-controlled storage is the more familiar of the two options. Climate-controlled storage units are typically kept between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit with a base humidity of 55 percent. There are no set industry standards for climate-controlled storage. Always ask facility operators for their specific temperature and climate-control standards. They should be able to explain what they do to maintain these standards and give you this information in writing.

  • Look for a facility that offers climate monitoring. The temperature and humidity should be continually monitored to verify that settings remain consistent. Ask the manager if they use generator backup in case of a lengthy power outage.
  • It’s not completely impossible, but it is rare to find climate control in a drive-up, outdoor unit. If this type of unit is advertised as climate-controlled, it’s more likely that it is simply heated or cooled to some degree. This is not true climate control.
  • Always read your rental agreement carefully. Storage facilities aren’t responsible for the items that you store. No facility will give you a “guarantee” that truly covers your belongings, so it’s up to you to insure your stored items. If you have a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy, it’s likely that you have off-premises coverage. Talk to your insurance agent to verify your coverage. Additionally, you can check to see whether your facility offers a tenant protection plan. This is not insurance, but another layer of protection for your belongings. Ask you facility manager for details.

To prevent damage and deterioration, items that should be kept in climate controlled storage include:

  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Documents
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Photographs

Humidity Controlled Storage

Humidity control is a type of storage where the humidity is managed with an air conditioner or dehumidifier installed in the building. Generally, the humidity levels are kept around 55 percent, however, this varies based on the facility. The property manager should be happy to provide you with details.

Items that should be stored in a humidity-controlled unit include:

  • Clothing
  • Delicate Paper Items
  • Fabrics
  • Instruments
  • Metals
  • Wine

Which Option is the Best Fit for My Needs 

Self storage facilities will frequently offer both climate- and humidity-controlled units. These spaces use high-quality HVAC systems. The units are often advertised as climate-controlled storage. It’s important to ask the manager whether or not the space is both climate- and humidity-controlled. 

Having both climate- and humidity-controlled storage prevents a variety of problems. Mold, mildew, and rotting are can be stopped. Valuable artwork, musical instruments, and wine, as well as many of your prized possessions need the protection of both climate and humidity control.

When you’re trying to decide which type of storage is best for your needs, consider several factors. Are you storing valuable or sentimental items that are expensive, or even impossible, to replace? Are you looking at short- or long-term storage/ If you’ll be using self storage for only a month or two, the extra expense of temperature and humidity control may not be worth it. It’s also important to consider the climate of your storage location. 


Now that you have a better understanding of the similarities and differences of climate- and humidity-controlled storage, you can make an informed decision. In most cases, the manager of the facility can guide you in the right direction as far as the type of storage that suits your requirements.

Should I Purchase Self-Storage Insurance?

If you one of the 10.8 million Americans that rents a self-storage unit, do you have storage insurance? If not, do you ever think about purchasing storage insurance? This is a dull subject and probably something that you don’t want to dwell on. But, be reminded that storage facilities do not automatically take responsibility for all damages to your possessions, and your homeowners insurance may not cover everything.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners states that, even though items in a storage unit are not physically in your home, your homeowners policy may help protect those items from certain hazards. Homeowners insurance typically includes personal property coverage, which may cover clothing, electronics, appliances, and furniture from certain risks. These items, of course, are only covered up to the coverage limits on your policy. 

Whether or not you choose to purchase storage insurance, it is critical that you check with your insurance agency to verify exactly how much coverage you will have for “off premises” items. If you’re storing antiques, wine, or any other type of valuable collection, a loss could be devastating. Make sure that you clearly understand your coverage.

The following information will better clarify the benefits and restrictions of both personal and self-storage coverage.

Will Homeowners/Renters Insurance Cover Your Storage Unit Contents?

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, coverage for items in a storage unit is generally provided by the “off-premises” personal property coverage in a homeowners policy. Check your policy to determine the types of risks covered, which are typically fire, lightning, theft, and vandalism.
  • Many homeowners policies have lower limits for property located away from your home. For example, if you have $75,000 coverage on your personal property under your homeowner’s policy, coverage for “off-premises” property may be capped at 10% or $7,500. 
  • Renters insurance typically covers items in a self-storage unit for up to 10% of your policy limits.

What if the Value of Your Stored Items is Greater than Your “Off-Premises” Coverage?

  • You can increase the coverage limit on your homeowner’s policy in the amount that you need.
  • High-value items like art, jewelry, or antiques, are generally not covered by storage insurance. You need to discuss this with the facility manager and explore “scheduled personal property” coverage, which is specifically to protect those types of items. Professional appraisal on certain items may be necessary.
  • The facility that you choose may offer self-storage insurance that will add an additional layer of coverage to your belongings. This insurance may be part of your contract or may incur additional costs. You can discuss this option with the manager of the facility.

What is Usually Covered and Not Covered by Storage Insurance?

Self-storage coverage places limits on many items; certain items may be covered up to a specific dollar amount or not at all. You may be able to get a rider or endorsement for extra coverage. Vehicles must be insured separately.

Items Usually Covered (personal property)

Clothing                                          Electronics

Appliances                                     Furniture

Hazards Covered

Fire                                                               Theft

Hurricane                                                    Tornado

Leaking Water (excluding flooding)        Wind

Smoke                                                         Hail

Lightning                                                     Earthquake


Items Usually Not Covered

Furs                                        Artwork

Jewelry                                   Stamp Collections

Watches                                Antiques

Deeds and Legal Documents

Hazards Not Covered

Vermin                                           Flooding

Mold and Mildew                          War


Under What Circumstances Should You Purchase Self-Storage Insurance?

  • When certain coverage is not included in your homeowner’s/renter’s policy
  • If you don’t already own a homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy


Self-storage insurance is specifically tailored to hazards that might be encountered in self-storage. Filing a self-storage claim with a storage insurance company will obviously be less complex than filing with your personal insurance company.

Purchasing self-storage insurance is a personal decision. Think carefully and weigh the pros and cons. Do not make any decision before checking with your insurance agent and having a detailed discussion with the manager of your chosen facility.


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