Winters in Canada are harsh, and summers can be scorching, wreaking havoc on certain possessions. This is often true for more delicate items such as wood furniture, art, certain fabrics, electronic devices, CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, and books, all of which can be compromised if they are not kept in the right environment.
A heated or climate-controlled storage unit can help reduce the risk to your belongings, but these types of units and the items that should be stored in each differ. Heated
self-storage units are better suited for when you’re looking to store objects during the winter months, whereas climate-controlled self-storage units can provide effective protection year-round.
That said, there are benefits to using both types of self-storage units for keeping your belongings safe. So, what are the distinctions between heated and unheated storage units?
What exactly is heated self-storage?
During the winter, a heated storage unit keeps the temperature warm. This makes them a good choice for storing valuable items during the colder months. However, it’s
important to keep in mind that during the summer, heated storage units do not have air conditioning, making them more susceptible to the increased temperatures outside.
The only environmental consideration taken into account in heated storage units is cold temperatures. They are ideal for storing items such as exercise equipment, appliances, CDs, DVDs, and even brass instruments, alongside other items.
Heated storage units are capable of protecting your belongings from extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture levels. Given their limited temperature control features, it is often recommended to use them on a short-term or seasonal basis.
Similar to other standard types of storage, heated storage units offer benefits to protect your valuable items against many common storage problems.
What exactly is climate-controlled self-storage?
There are many benefits provided by climate-controlled storage units, especially in areas where extreme weather fluctuations can be expected. Unlike heated self-storage units, climate-controlled storage units provide more than just heat in the winter.
Climate-controlled storage units offer the added security of A/C to keep your items at a consistent temperature all year.
This level of additional environmental control isn’t a requirement for every single
item—even though you can store almost anything in a climate-controlled unit—however, in some cases it’s necessary. Certain objects including wood furniture, woodwind musical instruments, important documents, photos, art, paint books, clothing, vinyl records, antiques, or leather items are better preserved in specific, heavily monitored environments.
In addition to temperature, these items can also be sensitive to the amount of moisture in the air, and if the humidity becomes too low or too high, your belongings may be damaged. For this reason, climate-controlled storage units are often equipped with humidity control features that ensure the amount of moisture within the space matches the requirements of your valuables.
The Benefits of Heated Storage
1. Extreme temperatures
While some items may be more sensitive than others, it’s still important to keep in mind the effects that extreme temperatures can have on your belongings. Dramatic fluctuations in temperatures can result in deterioration or damage over time, especially in objects that contain more delicate materials such as electronics.
Heated storage units help keep your belongings at a consistent temperature throughout the winter months, which protects against temperature-related damage like warping, cracking, or rusting.
2. Air quality
For certain items like electronics, documents, and books, air quality is an important—yet often overlooked—element that can affect their condition. Without proper air circulation, your items can begin to acquire a musty smell and, in some cases, become more brittle over time. The higher air quality in heated storage units ensures your possessions are protected against any unwanted dust build-up, thus minimizing the risk of damage.
Excess moisture ultimately promotes mould growth in items such as fabrics and artwork. This can cause your belongings to either deteriorate faster, leave long-lasting damage, or result in permanent odours. With heated storage units, you can help prevent any moisture damage from making its way into your belongings through the uniform heat distribution provided within the unit.
4. Infestations with rodents and insects
Heated storage units are typically sealed with specific materials that are designed to keep out dust and potential pests that may cause damage to the contents inside. With these units, you can have peace of mind knowing that your items are protected.
Heated self-storage units also come equipped with insulated floors, walls, and ceilings that protect against debris and help minimize dust retention.
The Benefits of Climate-Controlled Storage
1. Humidity management
Self-storage units are a great option when you’re looking to store items such as furniture, collectibles, or temporary belongings in transition. However, you still need to keep in mind the outside humidity, as this can have an adverse effect on the objects you store. Climate-controlled storage units provide you with a consistent environment where moisture and humidity levels are monitored regularly, giving you peace of mind.
2. Consistent environment
When it comes to your most precious and/or delicate possessions, extreme temperature changes can cause permanent damage. In order to help preserve them properly, climate-controlled storage units provide a consistent environment. This ensures your
items are kept in the best condition possible while being protected from the elements.
3. A/C in the summer
Climate-controlled storage units are ideal for year-round use because they offer both heat monitoring throughout the winter months and A/C during the summer. This combination of environments allows you to keep your belongings safe in every season.
4. Excellent air quality
One thing that should never go overlooked (but often does) when it comes to storage solutions is the air quality. While both temperature and environmental changes have the potential to cause long-lasting damage to certain items, exposure to poor-quality air can be equally as detrimental.
Climate-controlled storage units provide regular circulation of new air, ensuring it never remains stagnant for too long. This constant movement throughout the unit means that your items are exposed to cleaner, fresher air.
Are heated or climate-controlled units really necessary?
When it comes to storage units, you should choose heated storage if you have products that you need to keep in storage only during the winter. Climate-controlled storage is the best option if you want to keep things safe all year round.
In order to guarantee that the valuables won’t be harmed, it would be worthwhile to consider investing in a heated or climate-controlled solution. Therefore, when you pull them out of storage, they will perform as you anticipate.
Finding the Right Storage Solution for Your Belongings
Heated and climate-controlled storage both offer a great service for storing items in a stable environment. Heated storage units are ideal for storing items that need to stay above a certain temperature.
Climate-controlled solutions, on the other hand, are better for items that require more precise temperature control. Knowing the difference between the two types of storage systems will help you determine which type of system is best for your specific needs.