Because it takes more energy to keep a unit climate controlled than to simply keep it air-conditioned, choosing a non-climate-controlled unit can be a slightly more eco-friendly option. However, it's most important to make sure your belongings are safe during storage so, depending on your circumstances, non-climate-controlled storage may not be a practical choice. Here are three factors that may affect which type of storage is the best for your situation.
1. The type of belongings you're storing
Storage experts realize that you may not always want to pay for climate control, but they do recommend it for certain types of belongings that are especially sensitive to heat or humidity. Belongings that may be sensitive to heat include candles and other wax items, plastic items, antiques, musical instruments, wood furniture, and more. Other belongings that may be sensitive to humidity include textiles, paper, and books.
2. The climate you live in
If you live in a very mild climate where the summer heat and the winter cold are both significantly less extreme than they are in most parts of the country, you may not have to worry so much about whether your items are in a climate-controlled environment. However, in most climates, both heat and cold can be a nuisance or even a danger to your belongings, especially the summer heat, which can build up inside the enclosed area, even with air conditioning.
3. Duration of storage
Some experts will allow that, if you're storing normal household items (not antiques, for example) for just a short period of time during a move, you probably don't require climate control. However, if you're planning to store your goods for more than a couple of months, they'll become more susceptible to damage from long-term exposure to humidity and fluctuating temperatures. And, if you're putting your belongings in truly long-term storage (such as if you're downsizing and moving into a nursing home but don't want to get rid of your family heirlooms), using climate control is even more essential.
Analyze your situation to decide whether these three factors will necessitate the use of climate-controlled storage or not. If you have belongings that could go one way or the other but you're not sure you'd be comfortable with non-climate-controlled storage, consider talking to your storage company about the difference in temperatures between the two types of storage. The temperature ranges may not be as different as you'd expect.