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How to Choose Climate or Non-Climate Storage

Should I rent a Climate or Non-Climate Storage Unit?

Over the last five years of owning self storage facilities one of the most common questions I get is whether someone should rent climate or non-climate storage. The answer is, it depends….

Questions & Answers

Below are a few factors that will help you decide which to choose:

Question – What are you storing? Fine wooden furniture, important documents photographs, old bicycles, washer and dryer, etc?  This will effect whether you need climate or non-climate storage.

Answer – If you are going expensive items that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations or humidity I strongly recommend renting climate storage. The HVAC system in climate storage not only maintains a constant temperature, but it also removes the moisture from the air. Fine wood and paper documents will deteriorate if exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. An old washing machine or bicycle will not be as sensitive to the temperature/moisture fluctuations.

Question – In what kind of climate do you live in? Is it humid? Does temperature swing significantly from hot to cold?

Answer – If you live in a dry arid climate that does not have large swings in temperature then the contents of a non-climate storage unit are less likely to deteriorate over a long period of time. If you live in a humid environment (like Cleveland, Tennessee) then your contents are going to be exposed to a humid climate during the summer where the temperature will swing from daytime to nighttime. Therefore, moisture will be present on your contents from time to time in the form of condensation. This increases the risk of deterioration of sensitive contents as well as the chances that mold can grow on your goods. If you are going to store clothing, mattresses, or furniture in your non-climate storage be sure to clean/sanitize the items before placing them in your storage unit. This will help reduce the chances that your items will grow mold.

Question – What is your budget?

Answer – Climate controlled storage is going to cost you more. In Cleveland, Tennessee a 10 x10 climate storage unit is going to cost between $75 to $95 depending on the facility where you rent. A 10 × 10 non-climate storage unit will cost $45 to $65. If you are on a tight budget and are storing items that are not sensitive in nature then the non-climate storage is a good choice.

Question – How often are you going to check on your storage unit contents?

Answer – It is important that tenants realize they are ultimately responsible for the condition of their contents. While a well-run storage facility will provide exterior protection of the facility, pest control, and maintenance of the property they will not be opening up your unit and checking on the contents. Therefore it is important that you check on your contents at least once a month. If you check on your items on a periodic basis, then you can catch any small problems before they become big problems. Think mold, theft, and weathering or contents.

I have seen tenants rent a brand new non-climate storage unit, put soiled clothes, non-sanitized furniture, and mattresses without a mattress bags covering them and then leave them for three months in a humid southern Tennessee summer environment. Guess what they found when they came back?? Mold and Mildew on their contents. This is not the fault of self storage facility. The unit was not defective. The factors that contributed to the mildew were the humid climate, putting un-sanitized items in the unit, and then not checking on their unit all summer.

If you rent a climate storage unit in a humid environment the chances of mold growing on your contents are considerably less. If you are going to rent a non-climate storage unit then clean the contents before they are stored and check on them at least once a month.

Need Additional Information?

If you have questions on storing your belongings, feel free to visit our website at or call us at (423) 614-0069.

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