Climate-Controlled Storage vs. Traditional Storage

One of the decisions to be made when considering a self-storage unit is whether to rent a climate-controlled unit or a traditional unit. Both of these types of units have their place in the world of self-storage. SmartLock Self-Storage has been providing both climate-controlled storage as well as traditional storage for more than 5-years to the residents of Radford, Blacksburg, Fairlawn, and Christiansburg. We’ve written up this quick guide to help you decide the best storage solution for you. Lets get started by breaking down the differences.

Climate-Controlled Storage

When we think of climate-controlled storage, we think of storage that provides that extra level of premium protection to your valuables. This is in the form of climate-controlled, or temperature controlled storage units. Climate-controlled storage units are part of a building that has a complete HVAC system, with both a furnace, or heat pump and an air conditioning unit as well. The temperature of the storage units is controlled with a standard residential thermostat, which guarantees that your storage unit will maintain a consistent temperature throughout the year.

While there will be a certain amount of variation in the temperature range that storage facilities maintain their climate-controlled storage, at SmartLock Self-Storage we maintain our climate-controlled storage units at 80 degrees in the summer and at 60 degrees in the winter. We feel like this provides a very comfortable temperature for our tenants valuables.

Key Benefit to Climate-Controlled Storage

The key attraction and premium benefit to climate-controlled storage is with a temperature controlled environment, your belongings will not experience the extreme hot and cold temperatures that occur in the summer and winter months.

Now a downside to the benefit of temperature controlled storage is that you will be paying a premium for the storage space. That being said, climate-controlled storage can be easily justified based on what you are planning on store in your storage unit. Lets take a look at traditional or regular storage now.

Specific Items to Store in Climate-Controlled Storage

There are several items that would be recommended to store in climate-controlled storage units, just because they are generally more delicate or fragile. These items include:

  • Collectibles such as coins, stamps, comic books, historic newspapers
  • Valuable electronics and electronic equipment
  • Delicate scientific instruments
  • Wine storage
  • Delicate antique linens
  • Family heirlooms
Traditional or Regular Storage

On the other end of the spectrum of self-storage is the traditional or regular storage unit. This type of storage is the bread and butter of self-storage and what is offered by all storage facilities. For example, SmartLock Self-Storage is one of the only storage facilities in Radford that provides climate-controlled storage. Contrasting to climate-controlled storage, there is no temperature control provided with traditional storage.

Due to the lack of temperature control, traditional storage experiences both the low temperatures of the winter as well as the high temperatures of the summer. While this is perfectly fine for the majority of your belongings, some more delicate items such as wines or electronics may be damaged by these extreme temperatures.

Key Benefit to Traditional Storage

The key attraction to traditional storage is that it is the more affordable storage solution compared to climate-controlled storage, and is more than adequate for the majority of all items that need to go into storage.


One of the ways to consider your storage options is to think of your storage unit as if it is a garage or a basement. A garage would be equivalent to traditional storage and your basement would be equivalent to climate-controlled storage. If you would be perfectly fine with storing your items in your garage, then opting for traditional storage sounds like the ideal solution for you. Contrasting to a basement, that provides a cooler, more temperature controlled environment, you may prefer to store your items in your basement rather than the garage. If in doubt, more often than not, the small price to pay for climate-controlled storage is well worth the protection of your delicate valuables.