SpaceMax Storage Blog

Three Very Different Versions of Climate Controlled Storage

Posted by Wilson Covington on Fri, Sep 02, 2011

Storage facilities built in Atlanta today bear little resemblance to those a generation ago. Most are multi-story, modern facilities. And while these may all seem similar, there can be some subtle yet significant differences between them. Nowhere are these differences more critical for the customer than in the subject of "climate controlled storage," a term interpreted and applied very differently by every storage company in Atlanta.

true self storage climate controlTo clarify, not all customers in Atlanta need any form of climate controlled storage. For instance, if you need to store lead and PVC pipe, you probably don’t need a climate controlled facility, since those materials are relatively unaffected by moderate environmental conditions. For simliar reasons, a lawn mower or outdoor furniture stored for the winter probably don’t require such a level of protection. However, if you have items requiring climate controlled storage, such as important documents, sensitive electronics or upholstered furniture, it is vital for their proper protection to determine exactly what various storage options offer.

I have visited numerous storage facilities and have witnessed three starkly different interpretations of the “climate controlled storage” concept. At the first basic level, some claim that simply running a ceiling or attic style vent fan inside a storage building qualifies. In a city such as Atlanta, with our hot humid summers, this approach offers little or no protection for vulnerable items. The second version of climate controlled storage begins and ends with air conditioning. Companies relying solely on AC to keep their buildings within specified temperature ranges, while taking a slightly more robust approach, still fail to protect your belongings from the ill effects of high humidity. The final, most effective version of climate controlled storage incorporates both temperature and humidity controls, using well-maintained state-of-the-art, high-efficiency air-handling systems. The best of these facilities keep temperature and humidity within consistently precise ranges (for example, maintaining temperature between 65° and 75° F and humidity below 50%).

So before storing your things, decide if you actually need climate controlled storage. Do you need humidity controlled storage as well? If you need one or both, then ask the facility's staff these questions.

Do you operate air conditioners or just ventilation fans? How regularly are such systems maintained and serviced? Do you control temperature and/or humidity? What are the maintained ranges? Are these ranges monitored independently (in order to validate thermostat settings)? Do you post current temperature and humidity for customers to view?

Every employee at a climate controlled storage facility should be able to tell you, without hesitation, the exact temperature and humidity ranges within. Ideally the facility will have thermometers or humidistats showing the temperature and humidity on each floor. Don't commit to store your things at a facility until you investigate and feel comfortable that its level of climate control will protect your specific items properly.

Ultimately, it’s about getting exactly what you need and want out of your self storage facility. Don't pay for climate controlled storage if you don’t need it. And you shouldn’t pay for climate control that you’re not actually receiving. If you have any questions about self storage in general or climate controlled storage in particular, please call any SpaceMax Storage location to speak with one of our higly-trained, higly-motivated employees. We're glad to help you get the perfect storage for your important things.

Andrew Munro, Manager of SpaceMax's Emory/Virginia-Highland location


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