What items require temperature-controlled storage?

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Choosing where and how to store the most valued items in self-storage units involves making many difficult decisions. You have to…

Choosing where and how to store the most valued items in self-storage units involves making many difficult decisions. First you need to determine exactly what you plan to store, then determine the conditions in which those items are most likely to survive until you can release them or sell them to a new family.

Once the size of your potential storage unit has been determined, the next most important factor is whether the storage unit you are looking for should be air-conditioned or not. Air-conditioned storage units can offer a myriad of benefits for certain types of goods.

[Read: What to Know About Using Storage Containers When You Move.]

What is temperature controlled storage?

When many people think of self-storage, what they imagine are traditional drive-ups. These are often constructed with little or no insulation, making them problematic for more delicate items that you are packing for the long haul. This is where temperature-controlled storage comes in.

“Air-conditioned storage maintains the humidity and temperature of the storage unit. An unconditioned storage unit is subject to the temperature and humidity of its environment,” says Melanie Hartmann, owner of Creo Home Buyers in Baltimore, Maryland, which invests in storage facilities. “You may be fine storing a delicate item in an unconditioned storage unit if it’s only for a short time and you’re not expecting extreme temperatures.”

Companies like Public Storage, CubeSmart Self-Storage, and Extra Space Storage offer extensive climate-controlled storage offerings in most metropolitan areas. If you are looking for a climate controlled storage unit in a smaller location, it may still be available at freestanding storage facilities.

[Read: A Checklist for Moving to Your New Home.]

How much does temperature-controlled storage cost?

You might imagine that due to increased operating costs, an air-conditioned storage unit would cost significantly more than a non-air-conditioned unit, but according to Move.org, that’s usually not the case.

After analyzing more than 2,500 quotes in 2021, the website found that nationally, a standard storage unit costs an average of $190. A temperature-controlled storage unit, by comparison, costs $180. Often these units came with hefty renter discounts, especially when secured online.

Digging a little deeper to compare the cost of storage units in specific metro areas across the country, using listings on Storage.com, we show that even now there really is no need to rent a air-conditioned unit. storage unit.

When comparing the costs of 10 foot by 10 foot units, air conditioned or not, the prices are often within similar ranges, despite coming from different vendors. For example, in the New York metro area, before any discounts apply, you can rent an air-conditioned unit for between $214 and $450, compared to $268 to $320 for traditional units.

It’s similar to San Diego, where limited climate-controlled units cost around $285, as opposed to non-air-conditioned units which cost between $265 and $348. And, again, this is the case in Houston, where air-conditioned units range from $113 to $128, as opposed to traditional units which cost $115 to $151.

[See: 15 Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster.]

What should I store in a temperature-controlled storage unit?

Anything can be stored in a climate-controlled storage unit, and if your price is the same as a traditional unit, you can certainly use your climate-controlled space for any items you want to store long-term. However, if you must make a choice, move these items to an air-conditioned warehouse first:

Antiques and heirlooms. Old and valuable items that you want to keep for another generation, whether needlework, newspaper clippings, photographs or large items like vintage furniture, should be stored directly in an air-conditioned warehouse . Exposing these items to fluctuating temperatures and uncontrolled humidity will promote incurable damage and risk of mold contamination.

Anything on paper. Whether you want to store some of your favorite books for the moment or just store boxes of documents your business needs to keep, paper of all kinds is trickier than most people imagine. If you choose to store vital documents such as birth certificates and personal financial records, they should also be stored in temperature-controlled storage. Not only will this help preserve them, but since most facilities are generally more secure than traditional car storage, it will help keep them safe.

Plastic, wax and vinyl. There are few things that are more the enemy of plastic, wax, vinyl and other soft materials than heat. Storing these materials, or items made from these materials, like DVDs, CDs, records, or candles, in traditional storage facilities is a great way to ensure they don’t survive there. .

Furniture and electronics. Most of the furniture is a collection of wood and metal, with fabric thrown in for good measure. All of these materials are subject to severe damage if exposed to constant fluctuations in temperature and humidity over time. Electronics are even more sensitive, with much greater potential for damage, even in the short term.

Musical arts and instruments. Although made of very different materials, original art and musical instruments share a need for precision. When left in a hot, humid storage unit, oil paints, for example, can start to run and instruments can warp.

Medical and cosmetic supplies. Also requiring great precision to function properly, medical supplies should never be stored where there are dramatic environmental changes. Cosmetics are also delicate, with too much heat or humidity rendering them unusable.

Fabrics, clothes and linens. Fabrics can withstand temperature changes better than many other items, but tend to mold when the humidity is too high. Specific ornaments on clothing or curtains can even warp when exposed to extreme heat.

Should you choose air-conditioned storage?

If your belongings will be in long-term storage and you can find a temperature-controlled storage unit that fits your budget, temperature-controlled storage may ultimately be your best bet for most household items. Because temperature-controlled storage is so affordable, it’s definitely a choice to consider if your storage stay will be long.

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What items require temperature-controlled storage? originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 9/20/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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