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Nov 25, 18:52
Question by lk4nell (linda fournell)

Storing items in climate controlled unit

When storing items how necessary is it to have climate controlled unit? What items are prone to problems if not stored in climate controlled environment? What can I do myself to protect such items if unable to provide climate control?

Nov 25, 22:08
Answer by bobfein (Bob F.)


Usually, you will not be required to use climate controlled environment for most of your household goods. That is of course if you carefully choose and inspect the storing facility you plan to store your items at, verify that the facility is well managed and maintained, and correctly prepare your items for the storage period (see Preparing your items for storage).

There are of course items that either require special storing conditions or that such conditions are recommended for those items. (Some special types of goods such as wine, furs, and art have companies specializing in storing and caring for those items, but it is beyond the scope of this thread).

There are usually 3 types of climate controlled storage units: temperature controlled, humidity controlled, and both. Those units are also better isolated and therefore less exposed to dust.

Temperature controlled: in those units the temperature is usually kept at 50-75 degrees. This helps to keep moths and insects away from your items. This kind of storing environment is good primarily for furs, and I would also recommend it for expensive furniture.

Humidity controlled: to be defined as humidity controlled a unit has to have humidity level maintained at 55 RH (Relative Humidity) or less, because mold and mildew growth is inhibited at that level. Here is a list of most common items that should be stored in humidity controlled unit:
  • Paper products (files, important documents, etc, sensitive to mold and mildew),

  • Electronics, especially computers and computer parts (sensitive to rust and dust),

  • Musical instruments with wooden and metal parts such as pianos (sensitive to rust and dust, tend to rot),

  • All kinds of mattresses (sensitive to rust and mold),

  • Home furniture, especially antiques (tend to rot),

  • Rugs, carpets (sensitive to mold),

  • Bikes, tools, objects made of iron (sensitive to rust),

  • Refrigerators and freezers (sensitive to rust).

  • Furs (sensitive to hardening of the leather due to oil loss from excessive heat and humidity, as well as damage from moths and insects)
Humidity and temperature controlled: combination of both (and obviously the most expensive).

To protect your items in case climate controlled units are not available for any kind of reason I would recommend the following:
  • Items with iron parts: using rust protector is recommended for items like bikes and tools,

  • Refrigerators and freezers: make sure they are dry and clean before storing them,

  • Rugs: have your rugs cleaned before storing them, and store them wrapped as they are returned from the cleaners,

  • Mattresses: cover the mattresses with mattress covers and seal them,

  • Soft furniture (sofas, chairs): protect your soft furniture from dust buildup by covering them with light plastic covers or stretch wrap.

  • Furs: I generally do not recommend storing your furs in regular storage unit, in fact if you are planning on storing your furs it is important to use a reputable business that specializes in fur storage.
I would also recommend you not to store the following types of goods: hazardous materials, perishables, personal and valuable items (see full list in What items not to move or store).

P.S. To find a climate controlled storage facility fill out this form and have representatives from several facilities in your area call you with their offers. Then ask them if they provide climate controlled units.

Good luck with your move,

Bob F. @

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