By Polly Irion, Certified Self Storage Manager
Summer is just around the corner, which is hard to believe after the crazy winter we had. When it comes to using self storage during the heat of summer, there are some things you should keep in mind when deciding which summer storage unit type you are going to use. You have several options from which to choose: drive-up, interior and temperature control. Knowing what types of valuables you plan to store inside your unit will help determine which summer storage unit type to select and can ensure they are kept safe and free of damage when it’s 98 degrees outside.
Imagine that it’s an extremely hot day, over 100 degrees in August with high humidity, and you realize that you need to get some items from your storage unit. If you have a standard drive-up self storage unit, you may be subjected to hot air and high humidity when you are moving things around and accessing your unit. That can be very uncomfortable for some, and possibly dangerous – especially if you have a lung or heart condition or take medications that increase your sensitivity to the sun.
Perhaps you are an individual that loves the summer heat and believes that 95-98 would be the ideal temperature all year. (Even though I may think your nuts!) In that case, you could choose a drive-up unit. Obviously, if you are most comfortable at those high temperatures the hot sun at the peak of summer is not going to be a negative for you. Accessing your unit in direct sunlight could even be seen as a benefit.
With a drive up summer storage unit, you have the added convenience of being able to literally drive right up to the door and access your unit. The doors are roll-up and can be as large as a garage door depending on the unit size you have chosen, making access very easy. Make sure you are not planning to store items that are sensitive to extreme heat. These units are typically all metal with metal roofs and doors, and can become very hot inside when it is hot outside. Think about how hot your car gets in the parking lot when you run into the store for something in August…same idea.
Drive up units are perfect for old files and paperwork, extra clothes, winter toys like sleds and skis, as well as excess furniture. There are so many types of furniture when you think about it, which can be confusing when deciding if yours is safe in a drive-up unit. A good rule of thumb is not to store any antique, expensive or wooden furniture that could warp and crack with extreme temperature shifts, or any furniture with sensitive fabrics like velvet or suede. Examples of furniture that would be fine in a drive-up unit are plastic or metal chairs, metal desks, office chairs and anything made of composite materials that are not wood-based.
A standard interior unit would also work well for you if warm temps are not a concern. These units have the potential to get extremely warm or cold depending on the season, but typically will be more comfortable than an outside drive-up unit. You also have the perk of not being subjected to harsh winds or rains or direct sunlight while you sort through your storage unit, while also in relative comfort.
If your budget has worn a little thin, a standard interior self storage unit may work out better for your needs. They are usually lower in price than temperature control and drive-up self storage units.
Temperature Control Unit
Now, if you are like me and extreme heat and humidity make you want to run inside to the A/C after just a few moments, then a temperature controlled summer storage unit may be the best option. When you walk into the buildings of our temperature control units, you will always be in an environment that is kept between 55 and 80 degrees year round – much more comfortable during the hot summer days or cold winter ones. You also have the benefit of being protected from the elements when you come to visit…who cares if it’s raining cats and dogs!
You would also want to choose this summer storage unit type if you have valuables that have the potential to be damaged by extreme heat and humidity; like antique furniture, sensitive electronics and delicate fabrics like a vintage sofa or your old wedding dress.
Most temperature control units are located inside, through a door and hallways just like a standard interior unit. However, some newer facilities are adding temperature control to their drive-up units. Temperature control units typically cost a little more per month than a drive-up or interior unit for the added comfort of a consistent temperature all year long. If it’s 96 degrees outside, it will never be hotter than 80 degrees in your unit. Same goes for winter when it’s 20 degrees outside, your unit will never be colder than 55 degrees.
Summer is right around the corner, and so are the high temps and high humidity that come along with the season. Before choosing the type of summer storage unit you want, be sure to remember the differences between temperature control, drive-up and standard interior units to make sure your valuables are kept free of damage. If you need help deciding which type is the best for your needs, you can always contact us for more information. You can also reach out to our property managers who are very knowledgeable and happy to help you at any time.