climate units contemplation

Climate Units 1-10

10 Things that need climate units.

Climate units can come in useful for anyone in the middle of a move, making room for a new family member, or who needs some additional space at home. Remember it’s not as simple as renting storage and moving everything to a unit, there are still concerns to be addressed.

There are several items that need special attention in storage, particularly those sensitive to temperature fluctuations and humidity.  These items will need climate units.

What is climate controlled storage? It’s a storage feature that keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55-85°F year-round and maintains a consistent humidity level.

So what kind of items should be kept in  climate-controlled storage units?

Below you will find some suggestions as to what you would want to store in climate controlled storage units.

1) WOODEN FURNITURE

Wooden furniture, if exposed to too much moisture over time can crack, warp, or rot.

Anyone storing wooden furniture like bed frames, tables and chairs, end tables, nightstands, dressers, entertainment centers, laminates etc, should consider climate units.

“When you get climate controlled storage, you aren’t just getting a controlled climate. You’re also getting humidity control too,” says Mike Scott, Property Manager of Westore Mini Storage .  Mr. Scott says controlling the humidity in a self storage unit with wooden furniture is key to preserving it.

2) LEATHER FURNITURE

“Leather is sensitive to swings of hot and cold, so that’s a big issue when you’re living in an area with weather changes through the seasons,” advises John Kearney at Texas Maxi Mini Storage.

Even if you’re storing in an area that’s not prone to major changes in temperature throughout the year, temperature control is an important safeguard for pricey leather furniture. Leather that’s not stored in a climate-controlled unit is more susceptible to moisture, which can discolor the pieces and cause mildew.

3) HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES

Washers and dryers, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators all do better in a climate-controlled storage, especially in regions that experience extreme heat or cold.  Mainly because climate control protects electronic and mechanical parts from cracking and rust that could cause permanent damage.

Even if you thoroughly clean and dry the appliances, as well as remove water hoses before storing them,  a climate control unit can aid in stopping mold and mildew from building up inside appliances.

4) SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

The point of collecting certain items is to preserve them for years to come. Temperature control can help with that preservation. Everything from coins, stamps, and comics and wine collections all need to be stored in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage caused by temperature fluctuations.

Coins

Coins should be kept as close to a constant temperature and humidity level as possible.   Too much exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity can start the oxidation process, which ruins the metals used in coins.

Copper and silver in particular are at risk of tarnishing. While some collectors enjoy the toning, it’s a destructive force that will eventually cause the coin to become very dark.

Stamps

Storing a stamp collection in a climate-controlled storage unit is important if you live in a region where the humidity is high all year.

Temperature and the level of humidity are very important factors.  Never store a stamp collection in a room that isn’t climate-controlled. Once stamps have been exposed to high temperature and humidity, they will curl and stick.

Irresponsible storage decisions and maintenance of your collection will damage it, meaning it will ultimately depreciate in value.

satmpcollection

Comics

Much like the pages of a stamp album, the pages of comic books are susceptible to damage if left in an environment where moisture can find its way to the pages.

Storing your comics safely is important to preserving your collection.  Storage units are a great alternative to home storage if your collection is growing.

Comic books, usually those that are older and rarer cannot handle the moisture and humidity.  With preservation in mind and value retention consider renting climate units for your comics. 

Wine

Fluctuating temperatures can accelerate wine aging and can give wine an oxidized, metallic taste.  For collectors who’ve invested a lot of time and money in growing their wine collections, spoilage due to improper storage would be an absolute nightmare.

The biggest mistake in wine storage is to have the wine in a place that does not have a consistent, cool temperature.

So what is the best temperature for wine storage? Somewhere between 55-57°F.

5) MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Musical instruments are very sensitive and need to be handled with great care. Whether it’s short-term or long-term storage for instruments, temperature control is a priority.

String instruments

String Instruments

Percussion

Let’s use a standard piano as an example of a percussion instrument in storage.  It’s also a string instrument as well, which means it needs extra care. Pianos can be damaged very easily by extreme temperatures and humidity, both of which can ruin a piano’s strings, keys, and wooden exterior over time.

Humidity is a piano’s worst enemy. With the average piano having roughly 15,000 glued joints, it is extremely important that the piano is stored in a humid climate.  The strings are also not rust-proof ,if not stored in a climate-controlled unit, they can become rusted and corroded.

A climate controlled storage unit is crucial for a piano because the temperature can affect the shape and condition of the instrument.  If it is made of wood, the wood will expand or contract in either hot or cold weather.

Strings

An acoustic guitar is a good example of a string instrument that can be damaged by temperature and humidity. Like the piano, its strings can snap when kept in the wrong conditions.  High temperatures can also cause a major problem for the glues and adhesives that hold the instrument together.

The recommended temperature is between 72-77°F and a humidity level of 45-55%. When in doubt, do not keep an instrument in an environment you would not be comfortable sleeping in.

Brass

Areas with high heat and humidity can take a toll on brass instruments, like trumpets. In hot, humid regions, climate control becomes more important, as bacteria growth and corrosion in the trumpet accelerate.

Though a properly cleaned, oiled, and packed trumpet is generally unaffected by weather, a trumpet in long-term storage could have issues. Certain materials found in trumpets break down when exposed to extreme temperatures. Materials like felt, rubber, and cork that are used in some trumpets may break down faster in these conditions.

Woodwind

Maintaining humidity levels is essential when it comes to storing woodwind instruments.

The dangers of storing woodwinds and other wooden instruments is that they have a sweet spot between 40-55% humidity. Humidity less than 40% will cause the instrument to dry out, and the wood parts can shrink and can cause the instrument to crack. The pieces can also become ill-fitted and uncomfortable to play.

Musicians who store woodwind instruments like clarinets, oboes, and flutes need to be mindful of humidity levels that exceed 55% as well. Too much humidity can cause the pads of the instrument to swell and expand. In extreme cases, mold can begin to build up inside of the instrument because of the moisture.

6) ARTWORK

Whether it’s fine art or a Pinterest -inspired craft, climate-controlled storage is a good idea for artwork and art supplies.

Even if you’re keeping artwork in file cabinets or diameter tubes in your unit, it’s important to maintain the unit’s temperature. The best environment is about 50% humidity and a temperature between 70-75°F.

Craft supplies also do better in a climate control unit. All fabric needs to be protected from UV exposure and moisture, which makes a climate-controlled unit the perfect fit for storing extra fabric or finished sewing projects. Other suggestions are to use clear plastic bins to seal out dust and moisture in storage.

Crafting equipment like sewing machines have belts inside that can shrink and expand with extreme temperatures. In this instance climate units comes in handy.

7) CLOTHING

When you’re swapping out summer dresses for sweaters or storing a wedding gown, climate-controlled storage can keep your clothes in good shape. After you’ve cleaned everything thoroughly, a step in clothing storage that shouldn’t be skipped. It’s important to maintain the humidity levels inside your unit.

Using plastic storage bins over cardboard boxes also prevents moisture from reaching your clothing, but a climate control is the best option for keeping fabrics dry.

8) BUSINESS DOCUMENTS & INVENTORY

Betty Kearny, manager at Texas Maxi Mini Storage in San Antonio, Texas  recommends climate units for businesses that have a lot of documents to file and store, like a real estate office.

With file storage, it doesn’t matter whether you’re storing files in boxes or file cabinets.  A climate-controlled unit is the only thing standing between humidity and documents, which will fade, discolor, or dissolve with exposure to moisture.

Climate control is good option for any business storing inventory as well. That’s because it’s crucial to uphold the quality of the items your business intends to sell, and the easiest way to do that is to utilize a climate-controlled unit.

9) PHOTOS

When storing photos, climate units are a must.  A climate-controlled storage facility and the use of boxes or albums that have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) will help to ensure your memories are protected and preserved.

Additionally if temperatures get too high in an area where photos are stacked on top of one another, the prints can blend together and deteriorate. Lastly always remember to store photos facing away from each other, even in albums.

 

10) ELECTRONICS

From TVs and computers to recording equipment, you might be filling your storage unit with some expensive electronics. With climate units, you can reduce the chance of damage to your electronics while they sit in storage.

We always recommend climate control for TVs, especially when they’re being stored in areas prone to major temperature shifts. The screens and internal components of plasma TV’s in particular don’t do well with temperatures on the extreme.

It’s not just drastic temperature changes that can damage electronics. Humidity is the enemy of any piece of professional audio gear.

Choosing to store electronics in a standard storage unit may work for a short time, but over time, the moisture that accumulates as a result of rising humidity levels can have the same effect as a direct water spill.

Internal parts can rust, and wiring can break completely.

With these storage tips and a quick chat with a local storage facility manager,  you can determine exactly what kind of storage is right for you.

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