Standard self storage units work for most household and business items that would typically be stored in a garage or attic. However, the growing number of people storing luxury items, collectibles, and antiques has increased the demand for climate-controlled storage. Even with the extra security of a Storage Shield tenant protection plan, your valuable possessions need climate-controlled storage.
It’s important for both owners and tenants to understand that there is a difference between climate-controlled and temperature-controlled storage. Temperature-controlled simply means that the temperature is regulated – the humidity can’t be controlled. Climate-controlled, by comparison, means that the temperature and humidity are regulated, enabling a consistent temperature.
Another thing to consider is that units cooled with air conditioning are not the same as climate-controlled units. The moisture levels will not be low enough to protect certain types of items. To understand the value of climate-controlled storage to your facility as well as your responsibilities to your tenants, read the following information.
Climate-Controlled Storage Explained
Humidity and temperature work together to control moisture levels in a storage unit. As humidity levels increase, so does the air’s ability to hold heat. When humidity is decreased, it helps to keep temperatures low. For example, a 90-degree day combined with high humidity levels feels much warmer and more uncomfortable than a less humid day with the same temperature.
Climate-controlled storage keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55° and 85° F and maintains a humidity level of 55%. As a comparison, the average air-conditioned home stays between 35%-45% humidity. Think of climate control as an air-conditioner, humidifier, and dehumidifier combination to sustain the proper temperature and humidity levels for specific types of items.
You may be storing your belongings in an area that has extreme heat and humidity during the summer and extreme cold during the winter or, you may be subject to combinations of these conditions throughout the year. Under these circumstances, climate-controlled storage might be a necessity for certain items.
When is Climate-Controlled Storage Essential?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the temperature where you’ll be storing items drop below 32° or rise above 90° F?
- Is the facility you’re using in a climate that is subject to high humidity?
- Do any of your possessions have high monetary or sentimental value?
- Are you storing items for a long period of time, or are you unsure of how long you will be storing your items?
- Will you need to visit the unit frequently, and will you need comfortable conditions when you do?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you need climate-controlled storage to protect what is important to you.
What Items Should be Kept in Climate-Controlled Storage?
- Artwork and Craft Supplies
- Business Documents and Inventory
- Coin Collections
- Delicate Fabrics and Textiles
- Delicate Paper Items
- Household Appliances
- Leather Furniture
- Musical Instruments
- Stamp and Comic Book Collections
- Wood and Antique Furniture
- Vinyl Records
Wine storage is more specialized and may require additional accommodations. High temperatures and the wrong humidity levels significantly affect the flavor and balance of wine. It does best at 45 to 60 degrees F with a humidity level of 60-80%. Temperatures that are too low could freeze or dry out the cork. Too much humidity will age the wine quickly causing a cloudy, brown appearance.
Are My Possessions Covered in Climate-Controlled Storage?
Self storage insurance or homeowners’ “off-premises” coverage will cover damages up to a certain limit. A tenant protection plan, which is not insurance but is a contractual agreement between the facility and the tenant, offers an extra level of protection. In other words, operators agree to pay customers for damages to belongings that are stored in a locked unit up to a specified dollar amount.
To learn more about the Storage Shield tenant protection plan, read Is There A Difference Between Storage Insurance and a Tenant Protection Plan? and The Benefits of a Tenant Protection Plan
The rise in popularity of storing collectibles and luxury items means that customer storage expectations are also on the rise. Climate-controlled storage is increasingly in demand and important to tenants who want to maintain their valuables in the best possible condition. For more protection, look into self storage insurance as well as a tenant protection plan. Ask your facility manager for details.