Guest Contributor
March 31, 2023
Article type:
Understanding Bailey's Moving
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How to Choose Basic, Temperature-Controlled, or Climate-Controlled Storage

Storage takes many shapes and forms, but beyond appearances, there is another factor customers often overlook: preservation. Basically, the thing that tends to get overlooked the most by customers is how storage units keep your items fresh and healthy; preservation can make or break your household goods. So, how do you determine the right way to preserve your goods?

First, determine whether your things need to be heated, cooled, insulated, or humidity regulated. From there, you can decide whether you require basic, temperature-controlled, or climate-controlled storage. For more help understanding these options, read on to see how they can work with your storage needs.

What Is Considered “Basic” Storage?

Outdoor self-storage units with no heating, cooling, or humidity regulation are generally considered the most standard form of storage. These small, garage-like structures are connected to a long line of identical units. They simply provide a roof, four walls, and a locking door. These outdoor units will not protect your goods against extreme temperatures or intense humidity, but their simplicity is still beneficial.  

Perks of Choosing “Basic” Storage

1. It’s The Least Expensive

Because basic storage doesn’t offer temperature or humidity control, these enclosed spaces will be cheaper than their more-elaborate counterparts.

2. Easy Drive-Up Access

Basic outdoor storage is great for easy loading and unloading because you can pull right up to the door with a vehicle.

3. Visitor Friendly

If you like the flexibility of pulling up to a storage unit whenever you desire, factors like temperature and humidity may not matter. For example, if you constantly move items in and out of your storage unit, they’re less likely to suffer damage from extreme temps or intense humidity.

What Is Temperature-Controlled Storage?

Temperature-controlled storage facilities generally maintain temps between 55° F and 80°F, which help protect your belongings from radical weather changes. However, even though this is better than not having any heating or cooling protection, temperature control only maximizes the lifespan of certain items. The main reason for this is due to moisture. Although your items may not overheat or freeze, humidity could slowly affect your goods.

Moving companies like Bailey’s Moving & Storage often use a temperature-controlled warehouse with cube-shaped crates to store household goods for customers. Choosing this type of storage is an excellent way to stow household items if you are caught between a move and need to store your items immediately, temporarily, or permanently. Temperature-controlled warehouses may not offer humidity control, but they are still tightly sealed and will protect your goods from snowstorms, thunderstorms, thieves, etc. Although many moving companies provide temperature-controlled storage, choosing a mover does not have to be your only option. However, choosing a moving company does offer quality assurance and peace of mind.  

Perks of Choosing Temperature-Controlled Storage with  a Moving Company

1. Convenience

If you don’t need humidity control, choosing a temperature-controlled storage unit with a moving company can help alleviate the pressure of juggling different services. For example, suppose you decided to stow your household items in a self-storage unit. In that case, you may inevitably cross paths with a moving company because transferring your belongings alone might be difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, if you store your items with a mover from the beginning, they could easily transport everything to you in the same crate they used to store your belongings on day one.

2. Affordability

With the convenience of utilizing the same mover that stored your goods for transporting them, you may find a discount depending on your circumstances. Moving estimators often offer price reductions for storage when booking a move, so it’s worth asking when you meet with an estimator for your initial walkthrough.

You must also consider that a moving company will not charge you for the time and labor of loading your goods into a truck because your mover would already have everything stored and inventoried. Therefore, keeping your items with a mover might be more cost effective than hiring a mover to transport your items from a self-storage unit. Cutting out the middleman when choosing temperature-controlled storage simply consolidates time and energy.

3. High Security and Comfortable Facility Access

Moving companies that store household goods for customers generally offer excellent safety and security because you can be compensated if they lose or damage your belongings. It’s the same concept as when a mover transports your items during an interstate move; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations that hold movers accountable for losses and damages. Most facilities are easy to access as well; however, many of them store your belongings in large crates. Therefore, the facility would likely need an electric pallet jack to return your belongings to ground level.

What Is Climate-Controlled Storage?

Climate-controlled storage units are like refrigerators for household goods; they keep out the critters and preserve your personal belongings. They’re also a must if you plan on protecting your items from weathering and don’t have the space to do so yourself. For example, imagine how gross it would be to leave uncooked poultry sitting in a 100-degree room for 48 hours; the same can be said for leaving a carpet in a damp self-storage unit for a year. That’s where climate-controlled storage makes its debut.  

Perks of Choosing Climate-Controlled Storage

1. Humidity & Temperature Control

Climate-controlled storage marries temperature regulation with moisture control to ensure sensitive household items avoid harmful reactions in their new environment. Most climate-controlled storage facilities balance temperature and humidity with a commercial-grade dehumidifier and heating system. Doing so generally prevents mold and bacteria. These containers are usually between 55°F and 80°F with about 50% to 55% humidity. Generally, temperatures in a climate-controlled storage unit will not fall below freezing in the winter or rise above 90°F in the summer. The mixture of moisture and temperature control provides complete protection from humidity. It’s important to understand that most moving companies technically do not offer climate control in their warehouses.  

Depending on your needs, climate control can be great for keeping moisture in or out. For example, suppose you need to store lumber or vintage wooden furniture; humidity levels and temperature could damage your wood, causing a major inconvenience. If there’s too much moisture in the air, your wood may start to warp, crack, or rot. However, too much moisture isn’t the only problem; a lack of humidity may cause wood to dry out or splinter. That’s why it’s essential to consider the sentimental value of your items before choosing a storage option. Some household items just can’t survive in a very humid environment.

2. Air Cooling

Although climate-controlled facilities generally keep their units at a steady temperature and moisture level, some facilities may emphasize air conditioning in hotter areas of the country, such as Florida or Arizona.

3. Less Dust and Dirt Compared to Basic Storage

Basic storage may save you a little extra money per month, but the first thing you might inhale every time you open that big metal door is a full serving of dust. It might not be that big of a deal if you only visit the unit once a year, but imagine the debris that may collect inside when no one is there to let the place breathe.  

Depending on the location, other elements could be creeping into your space, like rodents, minor flooding, and dirt; this can be especially harmful to electronics and paper documents. Imagine how disheartening it would be if you stored your favorite books in an outdoor self-storage unit and returned a year later to find your literature nibbled away by the local mice. Climate-controlled storage usually doesn’t face this issue because insulated walls and roofs seal precious cargo away from the elements and would-be book eaters.  

4. Comfortable Access with High Security    

Seeing how most climate-controlled storage units are located inside secure buildings, accessing your space in extreme conditions will be more comfortable. For instance, those peak climate seasons in Texas and Colorado will be more forgiving if you have air conditioning or heating surrounding you. Additionally, some climate-controlled storage facilities may operate like an apartment complex, offering luxuries like:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Music
  • Restrooms
  • Workstations
  • Professional leasing office
  • Refreshments & snacks  

A well-ventilated, secure building can also offer peace of mind and safety. For example, many facilities provide increased security measures like:

  • Unit and building alarms
  • LED lighting  
  • Individually locked units with double-locking features
  • HD security cameras
  • Close communication with local law enforcement

Summarizing When to Choose Basic, Temperature-Controlled, or Climate-Controlled Storage

Choosing the proper storage unit for your needs depends on your priorities and the material of your household goods. In general, you should pick climate control if you know your household items are prone to mold and bacteria growth. On the other hand, choose temperature control if you aren’t worried about moisture but need protection against temperature changes. Choose a basic storage unit if temperature or humidity doesn’t make a difference.  Everyone’s situation is different, so the most critical question to ask yourself when choosing the right storage is, “Am I a good fit for this option?”