What does climate controlled storage mean?

Learn about what climate controlled storage is, why it’s beneficial, and whether you should consider installing it.

climate controlled storage

As with any industry, innovation and new ideas keep it moving forward, with self storage being no different. A major advancement in recent years has been the introduction of climate controlled storage units. Whether it’s keeping precious items safe or adapting to extreme weather fluctuations, customers have shown that having the option to store their items in climate-controlled units is very appealing.

What is climate controlled storage?

In short, climate controlled storage units are able to adjust temperature and humidity within the space. Both of these elements are crucial in controlling the conditions in a storage unit, and are vital when customers use the space to keep items that need to be well preserved. As humidity increases, so does the air’s capacity to hold heat, and low humidity is helpful to keep temperatures low.

To maintain strict temperature and humidity conditions, storage companies will have advanced HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). These systems will usually incorporate a mixture of dehumidifiers, air conditioning units, adjustable thermostat settings, and complex insulation. Using air conditioning can drop the temperature fast, and in turn lower the humidity. However, AC units tend to be more expensive to operate, and also suffer from inaccuracy when adjusting humidity. Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are cheaper to use, and more energy-efficient in managing humidity, but also take much longer to adjust to your chosen humidity level.

Why is it beneficial?

With more specialised equipment being needed to run a climate controlled storage unit, it’s understandable to ask why it’s beneficial and appealing to customers. Nowadays, there are many items that customers store that would be ruined if they weren’t placed under strict temperature and humidity conditions. For this reason, customers who take more care towards their stored items or that store precious things in your storage units will appreciate the option to control the internal conditions. Climate controlled storage units are also almost always indoors with heavy insulation, meaning that it provides an extra layer of security against stray dust or unwelcome rodents for your customer. High quality ventilation also means the air quality is better than in a traditional storage unit. Many customers will choose to pay a little extra for a lot more peace of mind when it comes to long-term storage, knowing that they will find their items in the exact same condition as they started.

What usually belongs in climate controlled storage?

While traditional storage or temperature controlled storage works great for most things, there are many sensitive items that customers will store in a climate controlled unit:

  • Art - artwork will usually shrink or expand in fluctuating temperature and humidity conditions, meaning its quality will deteriorate over time.

  • Electronics - electronic items, and especially their circuiting components, will mould or oxidise if kept in incorrect conditions for a prolonged period of time.

  • Delicate fabric or paper items - fabric can mould in humid conditions, and paper products can turn yellow in extreme temperatures.

  • Vinyl - temperatures that are too high will cause warping, while if they’re too low, they might become too brittle and run the risk of snapping apart.

  • Antique wood or metal items -  all metals will react to moisture in the air, oxidising and changing colour, while wood will expand and contract depending on the temperature, leaving it susceptible to rot and mould.

  • Wine - wine that is kept in an overly humid environment will age too quickly, causing changing its colour and opacity, while if it is too dry, the cork may become brittle, compromising the seal and in turn the wine’s quality. Consider tapping into wine storage, as rent per square foot is much higher than normal units.

Is it worth it?

While climate controlled storage holds obvious benefits, there are certain downsides too. They are considerably more expensive to build and maintain, with various design considerations such as insulation, HVAC equipment, and size that will run up the costs. However, with customers being drawn towards its ability to ensure the maximum safety of their items against the outside world, climate controlled storage units are extremely popular and profitable in the right markets.

Related Article: Top Tips for Maintaining your HVAC System

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