Rob's Home and Garden Blog

Should You Rent a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit for Your Valuables?

by Martha Reed

Self-storage units allow individuals to declutter their homes without selling or giving away their treasured items. Items such as furniture, seasonal clothes, books and household appliances are all things you can put away in storage instead of cluttering your garage. When renting a unit, you can choose a standard or climate-controlled unit. Standard units are pretty affordable, while climate-controlled spaces cost a bit more. Before choosing between the two options, here are four factors to consider.

Climatic conditions 

What are the climatic conditions in your region? How will the weather be like during the storage period? If you live in a relatively hot and humid area, storing items without climate control can expose them to damage. Similarly, if you're storing your items during winter when it's freezing, you need to protect them from the cold. Climate-controlled units have heating and air conditioning to protect furniture, clothes and other valuables from high humidity and extreme temperature changes.

Type of materials

What materials do you intend to store in your unit? Items made of plastic and other synthetic materials can endure storage in a standard unit. However, materials such as wood, wood products and composites can suffer damage when exposed to extreme climatic conditions. Wood swells and contracts with changes in temperatures. The constant expansion and contraction of the fibres cause the material to crack.

Like wood, clothes don't do well without climate control. The humid environment encourages mildew growth on the clothes. Mildew leaves discolouration marks on the clothes and gives off a musky odour. Other materials that require climate control include metal, leather, upholstery fabric and organic rugs.

Storage period

How long do you intend to store away your valuables? If you need a unit for just a few months, go for a standard unit. Since the items won't be in storage for an extended period, you don't have to worry about the effects of severe weather. However, for long-term storage, a climate-controlled unit would be an excellent choice. As long as you're storing furniture, electronics, artwork, paperwork, media, photographs, clothing and instruments, you need a climate-controlled unit to protect them from heat and cold.

Value of stored items

Valuable items such as antiques, family heirlooms, wine, music instruments and artwork require special storage to preserve their quality. Don't gamble with their storage, especially if you're unsure of the effects of unfavourable climatic conditions. With an uncontrolled climate, your metal appliances may rust, wine may spoil, and your paintings may deteriorate in quality. For a few extra dollars each month, you can protect these valuables from fluctuating temperatures.

A climate-controlled unit protects your valuables from heat, cold and humidity. Consider this option when renting a self-storage unit for your items.