By Molly Hammond, USstoragesearch.com
When considering self storage for your belongings, you’ll probably hear the term “climate control” thrown around.
Climate control refers to units that are kept at within a specific temperature range so stored items are in a safe environment. While a comfortable and reliable temperature is one of the things climate-controlled units offer, they also prevent humidity that can develop mold. A climate-controlled unit usually comes at a cost that’s only slightly higher than a standard unit, but the amount of damage it can save your belongings is priceless.
So even in climates that don’t experience harsh winters or sweltering summers, climate control is an important amenity to consider. Below, we explain the ways in which climate control is an amenity fit for all regions.
New England: This region is home to all four seasons, though the winters are shorter and less severe as you move south from Maine through Rhode Island and Connecticut. Heavy snowfall makes New England a prime candidate for climate-controlled units. Not only are cold temperatures hard on delicate items, the humidity that comes along with high levels of precipitation can wreak havoc on everything from clothing to cars. A climate-controlled unit will keep humidity and unpredictable temperatures at bay.
Mid-Atlantic: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania see cold winters with heavy snow and a fair amount of rain. While it may seem tempting to store in a unit without climate control during spring or summer in this region, humidity is not to be underestimated. It encourages mold and mildew growth, which can ruin clothes and sentimental items, such as letters or photos. As for snow and rain, the drastic shifts in temperature that usually beget these kinds of precipitation can spell trouble for stored items as well.
South Atlantic: Climate control is a must from Delaware to Florida, even in coastal areas where summers may not feel particularly harsh. Moisture is insidious, and consistent humidity coupled with the threat of hurricanes means more than enough moisture in the atmosphere to go around. Particularly for storing electronics or vehicles, which can be damaged by salty ocean air, climate control is an important investment.
East South Central: Comprised of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the East South Central region’s biggest storage obstacle is rain. Alabama routinely sees more than 40 inches of rain a year on average, which makes climate control a smart investment. Even if you’re not storing fragile photos or paper documents, rainfall can be detrimental to the contents of a storage unit. For example: Wooden furniture can warp, and metals can rust if stored in damp conditions.
West South Central: Climate in this region can vary depending on which state, or part of the state, you consider. Louisiana, well-known for its history with hurricanes, has extremely mild winters but makes up for a lack of snowfall with year-round rain. Texas, due to its sheer size, encompasses a number of different climates just within state lines—the panhandle has colder winters in comparison to the Gulf Coast and North Texas, and Southeast Texas sees much more rainfall than the western side of the state. Snow and ice are a concern during Oklahoman winters, which means that this region runs the climate gamut.
East North Central: Generally, states in the Midwest experience all four seasons with hot summers and cold winters punctuated by mild yet rainy springs and falls. This particular region sees a lot of snow annually, partially due to the Great Lakes. Cold, wet winters can spell trouble for anything with fabrics or electronics in the form of mildew and water damage, and hot summers can wreak havoc on items that need to retain pliability, such as leather furniture.
West North Central: This region is no stranger to heat or cold. From Kansas and Missouri north to Minnesota and North Dakota, these states see some of the nation’s more extreme temperatures. Several feet of snow during an average winter and humid summer months make climate-controlled storage a must for this part of the Heartland. You wouldn’t leave a sofa or mattress in an unattended garage in this part of the country for fear of mold and water logging, so you shouldn’t rely on storage without climate control either. It’s just as important in summer months as winter.
Mountain: This region is generally considered arid and dry, but some mountainous areas bring about other weather issues. While rain is rare in this part of the country, mountainous areas can receive a fair amount of snow. Nevada and New Mexico boast hot dry summers whereas the mountains of Utah and Arizona have been to provide significant snowfall. Climate control should certainly be considered in this region as a defense against both extreme dryness and extreme wetness. Items like seasonal decorations or works of art can be easily damaged by extremely dry areas, and moisture poses a threat to almost any stored items.
Pacific: While the climate on the West Coast is often regarded as picturesque, the need for climate-controlled units is similar to any other region. Oregon endures wet, snowy winters and rainy springs, but dries out in the summer. While California rarely sees snowfall, the state harbors both bays and desert areas, which offer high humidity and hot, dry areas. Climate control is important in these areas, particularly on the coasts where salty ocean air can deposit on stored metals and cause rust. In areas that do see snow, climate control defends your belongings from damaging moisture.
The U.S. sees all kinds of weather, but whether your region has short, mild winters or six months of snow, climate-controlled storage is an important investment.