What is Climate-Controlled Storage?
Climate-controlled storage units are designed to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, protecting your belongings from extreme temperature fluctuations and humidity commonly found throughout the seasons in Canada, but especially during winter and in colder climates. These storage facilities provide a stable environment that helps prevent damage to stored items caused by temperature and moisture-related issues, such as the development of mold, mildew, rust, cracking, or warping.
Most self-storage facilities offer temperature-controlled units with heating and possibly cooling via air circulation, but they may not be fully air-conditioned or have a dedicated means of controlling humidity levels. When the majority of self-storage facilities advertise “climate control,” they typically refer to units with temperature control that keep temperatures within an acceptable range, but without dedicated humidity control.
The Difference Between Climate Control and Temperature Control Storage Units
Temperature-controlled storage units and climate-controlled storage units are both designed to protect stored items from the potential consequences of exposure to extreme temperature fluctuations. They maintain stable temperatures within a specified range, usually around 10°C to 25°C, which helps reduce the risk of damage to temperature-sensitive belongings.
The primary difference between the two types of storage units depends on whether or not humidity control is present:
- Climate-controlled storage units not only regulate temperature but also maintain consistent humidity levels within the unit. This added layer of protection helps safeguard sensitive items from moisture-related damage, which can occur in fluctuating humidity conditions.
- Temperature-controlled storage units focus solely on maintaining a consistent temperature range, without addressing humidity levels or providing air conditioning. These units are more suitable for items that are less sensitive to humidity changes, but still require protection from extreme temperature variations, especially if year-round or seasonal storage is being considered.
When choosing between the two storage options, it is essential to evaluate the specific needs of the items being stored. Items that are more vulnerable to humidity changes may benefit from the added protection offered by climate-controlled storage units.
Do Your Items Need Climate Controlled Storage?
Most household goods do not require climate-controlled storage and can be stored in spaces like garages, basements, or sheds. However, certain sensitive items may need dedicated climate control to protect them from changes in temperature and humidity. These items include:
- Antiques and collectibles: Maintaining a stable environment protects these valuable and often irreplaceable items from deterioration caused by extreme temperatures and humidity.
- Important documents and photographs: Climate control safeguards these items against yellowing, fading, and moisture damage, preserving their legibility and quality.
- Musical instruments: Stable temperature and humidity levels protect instruments from warping, cracking, and rust, maintaining their sound quality and structural integrity.
- Artwork and paintings: Climate-controlled storage helps to prevent damage to delicate materials, colors, and finishes caused by temperature and humidity fluctuations.
When determining whether an item requires climate control, consider the following factors:
- Would major changes in humidity or temperature cause the item to expand, contract, crack, or warp?
- Does the item have critical temperature/humidity constraints to maintain its quality?
- Does the item have sentimental value or is it irreplaceable?
- Will you be storing items with high sentimental or market value that would be difficult to replace if damaged?
- How long will you need to store? The more time they spend in storage, the greater the risks of potential damage to your goods due to long-term exposure to changes in humidity and temperature. If you’re considering long-term storage, then a climate-controlled facility may make the most sense.
What Types of Items Don’t Need Climate Controlled Storage?
Most household and consumer goods do not require climate-controlled storage and can be safely stored in non-climate-controlled storage spaces. More often than not, these types of goods can simply be stored as-is, or may require only minor preventative action to get them ready for storage. Common items that are less sensitive to temperature fluctuations and humidity levels, and which do not require climate-controlled storage, include the following:
- Electronics and appliances: While electronics such as TVs, computers, and cameras are sensitive pieces of equipment, they are built to withstand variations in temperature & humidity, and can safely be stored in a standard storage unit. Electronics should be stored in their original cases/boxes if possible to reduce unnecessary exposure to the elements.
- Wooden furniture: Wooden furniture can be safely stored in a standard storage unit, but it is recommended to properly prepare any exposed wood before storage by using a protective agent such as furniture oil/conditioners.
- Leather goods and upholstery: Leather goods as well as upholstery can be safely stored in a standard storage unit. It is recommended to adequately prepare & condition leather goods before storing them using leather cream or wax. Upholstery should be loosely covered by a moving blanket or wrap. Plastic wrap is not recommended for storing upholstered furniture as it does not breathe well and can allow moisture to build up.
- Clothing and textiles, especially those made from delicate materials: Clothing can be stored in a standard storage unit, but keep the following in mind:
- Clothing should be clean and dry before being placed in storage.
- Acid-free tissue paper is great for wrapping clothing for short or long-term storage.
- PVC and cardboard boxes are not recommended for clothing storage. Cedar-lined chests or armoires can store clothes safely, and adding some cedar chips to the container can help to prevent moths and pests.
- Metal and plastic furniture: These materials are typically resistant to temperature changes and humidity, making them suitable for storage without climate control. Ensure that your metal and plastic furniture is clean and dry before going into storage.
- Lawn and garden equipment: Storing these items in a standard storage unit is usually sufficient, as they are designed to withstand outdoor conditions and temperature variations. As with other tools, it is very important to ensure your lawn and garden equipment is clean and dry before putting into storage in order to avoid rust and other degradation.
- Tools and hardware: Most tools and hardware are made from durable materials that are rust-resistant or rust-proof. Make sure your tools are clean and dry before putting them in storage and, ideally, stored in their original cases. Follow manufacturers’ guidelines regarding any special instructions for storage, e.g. oils or lubricants to apply beforehand.
- Vehicles and outdoor recreational equipment: These items are built to endure a range of weather conditions and temperatures, so a standard storage unit is typically adequate for their protection. Learn more about how to store common types of vehicles for storage:
Do Climate-Controlled Storage Units Cost More?
Climate-controlled storage units generally cost more than standard self-storage units. This increase in price is due to the higher operating costs associated with maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels. While climate-controlled storage may be more expensive, the added protection it provides for valuable or sensitive items can justify the additional cost, as it helps prevent damage and to avoid replacement expenses. Keep in mind that storage costs can still vary based on factors such as location, demand, and unit availability.
Renting a climate-controlled storage unit from Public Storage provides you with the peace of mind that your belongings won’t be damaged by changes in temperature. Public Storage offers:
- Temperature-controlled self-storage with heating and ventilation at most locations.
- Climate control at 2 purpose-built facilities. Airdrie (Calgary Metropolitan Region) and Mississauga (Greater Toronto Area).
- Competitive rates & amazing promos: Your first month’s rent is just $1!
- Over 65 convenient locations across Canada, including one near you.
- Security control and monitoring.
- 7 different unit sizes or more to choose from at each facility.
- Flexible month-to-month leases.
For more information on storage units, visit our Storage 101 section to learn more about finding the right storage unit for you.
Our units are first-come-first serve,
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Let me start by saying how wonderful the entire staff was… They didn't treat me as just a customer, but as a friend… and guided [me] through the process very professionally… Overall, I didn't feel like I was renting a storage unit, but maybe purchasing a fancy car or staying at a nice hotel. [T]his place is extremely affordable, much better pricing than competitors, and for the quality of service, you will never find anything like this in the area… Walk around this brand-new building, which is astounding. Extremely clean, classy, just beautiful. This is a 5-star hotel for [your] items.
Mostafa (source: Google)
Chloe was very nice and helped me in creating my lease. She was very professional and answered all my questions as I filled out the forms. When I emailed questions about the locker they called me back promptly. Since then, everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend!
Christopher (source: Google)
I have rented two units in two different locations, the second one having been recommended by the first as being less expensive. The staff in both locations were friendly, helpful, and informative. I heartily recommend this business, largely because of its employees, but the units themselves are easy to access and well-lighted. They've done everything they can to make the unwelcome task of storing one's belongings as painless as possible.
Joan (source: Google)
I'm a long-term customer and very satisfied with the service - just got another unit the other day. The facility is very clean and dry and the hallways are bright. Staff are very easy to deal with if you have any questions or need another unit. The location is easy to get in and out of too. Highly recommend!
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