What are the Advantages of Climate Controlled Storage?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

Self-storage units have become very popular in recent years. Many people find themselves in need of more storage space than their own homes and garages can provide. Storage unit rental agents offer lessees a number of different options, including what is known as climate controlled storage. This type of storage may cost a little more than regular options, but there are some definite advantages to consider.

A garage heater won't be particularly effective if a garage is not insulated.
A garage heater won't be particularly effective if a garage is not insulated.

It is important to note that the definition of climate controlled storage may vary significantly among storage unit companies. In general, these units should not fall below freezing in the winter or rise above 90°F (32°C) in the summer. Renters should always ask for a rental agency's specific definition of climate control before signing any agreements.

One major advantage of climate controlled storage is protection from the elements. Rain and snow cannot penetrate the roof, and the units are usually built above flood level. Many units are located inside a finished building, unlike regular storage units accessible to the general public. Outside dirt and dust are less likely to be transferred indoors, which is good news for fragile antiques and sensitive musical instruments.

Another advantage is atmospheric regulation. Items stored in these units should not face extremes in air temperatures or humidity. Many wood-based furniture pieces, musical instruments and antiques could crack or split from a constant cycle of freezing and thawing. Many storage unit facilities use indirect heating and cooling systems to maintain air temperature, rather than individual heaters or air conditioners in each unit.

Because many climate controlled storage units are located indoors, there is less chance of outside vermin and pests infiltrating them. Damaging insects such as termites are kept at bay through concrete and metal construction. Unregulated units may become susceptible to outdoor pests such as bees, wasps or mice if not inspected regularly.

Many renters believe that peace of mind is also an advantage. Precious family heirlooms, antiques and other valuable items may or may not survive long-term storage in regular storage units. With a climate controlled storage unit, there is much less chance of discovering significant damage to weather-sensitive items. The value of antiques can diminish quickly based on "storage issues," for instance. Making sure the storage unit is climate controlled may be worth the extra expense if you plan on storing your most prized possessions for the next generation.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments


I found that your stuff is valuable, not only to you, but also to us. And protecting your stuff against changes in the weather is an important step. An advantage of climate controlled storage is the peace of mind given to the renters. If you have antiques, a family heirloom, or any items with great value, the chances of discovering damage is much less than if storing them in a basic storage unit, especially if it’s for a long period of time?


True climate controlled storage controls for temperature and humidity. Specialty art storage facilities maintain humidity at 55 percent plus or minus a few percentage points and control for temperature at 68-72 degrees year round. Most also provide air cleaning and filtering technologies. It is obviously more costly to fully control the space year round, instead of allowing for temperature swings of more than thirty degrees!

The self storage industry should not be permitted to advertise "climate control" when they are really providing only temperature control. And some facilities only do one or the other, i.e., heat or cool. Those facilities are not suitable for storage of art, antiques or musical instruments, and they should not be able to mislead the public as to the service they actually provide.

Ask for "museum standard" climate control if you have valuable objects to store. Also look at the contract fine print to see if it disclaims damage from environmental causes. If it does, then you have no protection and they are likely not safe for storing sensitive goods.

This article needs to be updated to include information on companies actually providing climate controlled storage.


@ GlassAxe- What a disaster. When storing things like electronics, books, and antiques, humidity is more important than temperature in climate controlled storage facilities.


@ GlassAxe- I would have been really upset if that happened to me. I'll keep that in mind if I ever need a storage unit.


Be wary when a storage facility says they are climate controlled. They may control the temperature, but that does not necessarily mean they control the humidity. I rented a "climate controlled" storage space at a facility in northwest phoenix and I was shocked to find that my guitar and a number of books were damaged. The units were mostly underground, and the ventilation must not have been that good because my books were mildewed, and my guitar neck had cracked.

I had loosened the strings on my guitar, but it had warped out and had small cracks in places. My books had mildew on the pages and some of the covers, and there were plenty of mouse droppings in my things. Overall, I was not very impressed, and the owner would not do anything for me because he said that he was not responsible for the damage caused to goods. My advice...opt for a storage facility that keeps humidity in a constant safe range.

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