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.

Mini storage units facility.


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.

A Self-Storage Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there were three bears…

Momma Bear, Poppa Bear and Gen Z Bear lived in a very small, very cluttered English cottage. When Gen Z bear left for college, Momma and Poppa turned his bedroom into a Zen/Yoga retreat and stored the contents of Gen Z’s room in the attic. They enjoyed a quiet existence, meditating and practicing Kundalini Yoga for stress relief. They loved to hibernate in this cozy space during the winter months. Gen Z bear had been a handful, and they assumed that, after college, he would get a job and move out. Ha!!!

Gen Z, to his parents dismay, did not get a job and move on with his life. He came home after graduation to ponder his life’s “meaning and purpose.” While living in the basement, he began calling his Momma and Poppa M and P (because it was “cool”). He ate all of their honey and hung out with Goldilocks (they’d been friends since she broke into the bear’s house 18 years ago). Being a “digital native,” he surrounded himself with technology and wiled away his days FaceTiming Goldi, gaming, and posting Instagram selfies performing brainless stunts – all very meaningful pursuits.

Don’t get me wrong. Momma and Poppa loved Gen Z, but they also loved a peaceful existence and a tidy home. The longer Gen Z lived at home, the messier the house became. The closets were overflowing,Gen Z’s college furniture and assorted junk were added to an already overcrowded attic, and every surface in the house was sticky because Gen Z didn’t wash his paws after snacking on honeycomb. Everytime Poppa wanted to watch Animal Planet, his fur stuck to the remote. Momma gave up cleaning because she couldn’t wade through the debris. This family would have been the perfect candidates for Hoarding: “Bearied” Alive.

Momma and Poppa were miserable. Their serenity was replaced by a chaotic, disorderly environment. Conversation was replaced with growling; They growled at each other and they growled at Gen Z, who was oblivious because he was in a gaming induced coma. To maintain their sanity, Momma and Poppa decided to start practicing yoga at the local studio. As fate would have it, the yoga studio had a bulletin board for advertisements from community businesses. Poppa noticed an ad from the local self-storage facility. He immediately checked the self-storage website on his mobile phone. This could be the solution to their clutter problem.

The minute they got home (and unstuck their paws from the door knob) Momma and Poppa checked the website further and discovered a blog to help them choose the right storage facility for their needs. Poppa called the facility that was the best fit for them and discussed his options with the manager. Momma made an inventory of all the things that they needed to put in self storage, and she decided on a climate-controlled unit to protect her fur coat and Gen Z’s extra technology paraphernalia. Poppa was thrilled to discover that this facility had vehicle storage. He would finally be able to back his car out of the garage without slamming into Gen Z’s motorcycle.

When Momma discovered that the facility sold moving and packing supplies, they headed straight over to buy enough boxes, tape, and bubble wrap to pack up the clutter. They were careful to keep the bubble wrap away from Gen Z. Popping it was one of his favorite pastimes.

Little by little, they packed and moved everything they didn’t need. They kept the “bear minimum,” keeping only what gave them joy. With all of their excess belongings moved to a clean, secure, affordable storage unit, their problem was solved. The house was clean, and the clutter was gone. It was a big job, but it was more than worth the effort to move their overflow into storage. Once again, their home is tidy and organized, conversation has replaced growling, and the motorcycle is safely stored away in its own unit…and everyone lived happily ever after…

except Gen Z, because Poppa arranged a job interview for him at the storage facility.

Good luck with that.

Choosing the Right Self Storage Facility

Choosing a storage facility is easy.  Choosing the right storage facility is a bit more complicated.  There are so many good facilities available that you need a system to help narrow down the competition. The demand for storage is substantial, and storage providers are working hard to meet this demand.

There are many life transitions that prompt the need for extra storage space:  moving, remodeling, marriage, downsizing, and new business, to name a few. Typically, you don’t start thinking about additional storage until it becomes essential.  You then make the mistake of visiting or calling the most convenient location without giving much thought to services and amenities.  The following tips and suggestions will help you to organize your ideas, prioritize your needs, and find storage that is the best fit for you.

  1. Be Specific About Your Needs

Think about what you’re storing and how long you plan to store these items.  With so many available options, it should be easy to find what you need if you understand exactly what your needs are.

  • Make an inventory list of all the items you plan to store.
  • Identify the items that you may need to access while they are in storage.
  • Measure and estimate the collective packing size of the items you plan to store.
  • Account for extra space to provide ventilation and ease of access.

When storing items for short periods of time, it’s fine to pack everything close together. If you’re storing for a longer time, provide extra space for ventilation and for an aisle so that you can access belongings that you may need regularly.  Think about arranging for easy access.

  1. Decide Whether You Need a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate-controlled spaces keep the temperature and humidity within a specific range.  This can be dependent on the climate in which you’re storing your items.  For example, dry climates could cause wood to crack and split and humid climates can cause mold and mildew.  Take the time to research, based on the value of your belongings and the cost of the unit.  Climate-controlled units can be more expensive but worth the cost over time.

  1. Think About Location

How many times will you need to visit your storage facility?  If you’re going to be needing regular access, a convenient location is important. However, be aware that a facility located in the heart of the city will be more expensive that one outside of town. If you don’t need quick access to your items, a facility farther from the city will be less costly.

  1. Consider Unit Size Options

Self-storage units are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations.  Naturally, larger units cost more per month, so it’s a smart to have an overall idea of how much space you’ll need.  You don’t want to pay for extra, unused space unless you’re planning to store more items over time.  Another factor to consider is the design of the space.  Some units are narrow but have a lot of vertical space; others are wider with lower ceilings. In some cases, one layout is preferable.

  1. Storage Facility Cost Can Vary Considerably

Because many storage facilities are independently owned, business owners have the option of setting their own prices.  It’s always smart to shop around because you may be able to find a better deal by making a few phone calls. Storage companies frequently offer promotions.  If your preferred facility isn’t offering any deals, it pays to ask. You can also mention a competitor’s promotion; they may be willing to match the deal.

  1. Verify Security

Cost, however, should not be your only consideration.  You need a reputable company with state-of-the-art security, a variety of customer amenities, and a range of unit sizes that will be a good fit for your needs. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic access. You’ll also want a knowledgeable management team that is willing to provide you with answers to your questions and a tour of the property.

  1. Check Insurance

If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, call your agent to verify that your stored belongings are covered under your present policy.  You may find that your facility must provide specific security elements for your items to be covered.  If your policy does not cover stored items, you should be able to purchase insurance from your preferred storage company.

Whatever you do, choose carefully.  It’s worth the time and effort to find the facility that is the best option for your needs.  Once you’ve moved your belongings into a unit, it’s highly unlikely that you will want to switch facilities.

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