Climate-Controlled Storage

First of all, let’s clear one thing up about climate-controlled storage: it has nothing to do with global warming. So if you’re a keen environmentalist who hopes that by renting storage units across the 52,000 self-storage facilities in America you can actually control the earth’s climate, then hats off to your optimism, but you’re barking up the wrong endangered tree.

Climate-controlled self storage is one of the amenities that most storage facilities offer. Typically, most storage units protect your belongings from the elements such as wind and rain through the miracle of walls and a ceiling. Sometimes, however, standard self-storage units may not be enough to safeguard your shoulder-pad-enhanced Miami Vice suits, velvet painting collection, and first generation Nintendo Game Boy—especially if you’re in a region that experiences extreme temperatures and high humidity.

If you live in Yuma, AZ with an average summer temperature of 107 °F, or anywhere that regularly hits the high 90s, you’ll find that storage facilities use air conditioning to protect your items from rotting, molding or melting. On the other hand, if you live in Fairbanks, AK with an average winter temperature of 17 degrees below zero, then controlled climate storage uses heat to prevent cracking or warping of items (or onsite staff...).

You’ll pay a bit more for the use of a climate-controlled self-storage unit, but honestly, if you can shell out five bucks for a coffee every day, you can probably afford to keep all your precious belongings safe and sound. And Self Storage Finders makes searching for climate-controlled storage units easy: just type your city or ZIP code into our online database to see a list of available storage units with sizes, amenities and prices clearly listed.


If you have to ask this question, perhaps you should read the owner’s manual more often.... But since you are asking, here are the kinds of items that benefit from this type of storage:
  • electronics such as televisions, computers, stereos, and smartphones (just kidding; who can part with their phone for more than 10 seconds?)
  • vinyl records, tape cassettes, and CDs
  • books, magazines, and those owner’s manuals you never read
  • clothing (unless you’re looking for a way to “accidentally” help your spouse thin out her wardrobe)
  • paintings (velvet or otherwise)
  • photographs, film, video cassettes and, apparently, the ‘80s
  • important paper documents (and unimportant ones, too)
  • furniture (and no, bean bag chairs are not furniture)
  • antiques and heirlooms
  • musical instruments
  • wine


Just to make it absolutely clear, items that do not need climate-controlled storage include:
  • anything you don’t care about


Does climate control really make a difference?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that high levels of humidity can cause fabric items to mold or mildew, wood items to rot, and metal items to rust. Electronics such as televisions and computers can collect moisture inside, damaging them beyond repair. And perishable items such as food can spoil when stored in the improper climate. If you’re unsure of whether or not the stuff you are putting into storage should be placed into climate controlled storage, check with the facility manager.

Are climate-controlled storage units expensive?

It will depend on the individual facility as well as location, but to give you an idea, the difference between a 10’x10’ unit with and without climate control would be in the neighborhood of $140 versus $90. If you’re storing items that are important to you, then the benefits of climate controlled storage will far outweigh any additional costs.

What happens if I pay my rent late?

At most self storage facilities your rent is considered late anywhere between 5 and 30 days after the first of the month. Once you default on your rent, the storage facility manager will lock you out of your storage unit, call or send you a letter, and turn off the air conditioning or heat. If you pay up, they’ll make up some story about a power outage. Kidding. You’ll get your unit back, heat or A/C intact.

If you don’t pay up, you can kiss your perishable foodstuffs and creepy porcelain doll collection goodbye because the storage facility can, by law, auction off your stored items.

Do I have to sign a long-term lease?

Rest assured that renting a unit at a storage facility will not require you to face your fear of commitment; most facilities rent their units on a month-to-month basis.


  • the temperature where you live goes below 32 °F or above 90 °F.
  • you care about your belongings because you inherited them from your grandma or they’re just really expensive.
  • you plan to store your stuff long term (on the other hand, if you plan to store them forever and then let your offspring take care of the unorganized mess when you’re gone, to heck with climate control).
  • you always work up a sweat or develop hypothermia whenever you spend more than two minutes in your storage unit.
  • you want to impress your friends (and your friends are easily impressed).