What is Climate Controlled Storage?

Feb 20, 2024 / Ann Griffith

Climate controlled storage units take the edge off of outside temperatures thanks to an air system that triggers when temperatures get unpleasant—roughly 50 degrees to 80 degrees.

Public Storage first offered indoor climate control units two decades ago to cater to customer demand. That commitment has not wavered, said Tom Miller, a company vice president.

In fact, 40% of our indoor options are climate controlled storage units.

“The idea is to regulate the temperature in the building as best as we can,” Miller said. “It really takes some of the edge off, and it’s the best option for your items being stored with us.”

Our experts explain the benefits of opting for a climate controlled storage unit.

Is Climate Controlled Storage Necessary?

a storage facility hallway with climate controlled storage units

Climate controlled storage is an option that some customers say they can’t live without.

We work to keep the temperature behind the orange doors of a Public Storage climate control storage facility warmer or colder than unpleasant weather outside.

Even though climate control units come at a premium, they may be considered necessary by someone who is storing the stuff they love and worried about prolonged extreme temperatures.

“It is pricier, but if you need it, then it’s worth it,” said Lisa Zepeda, who manages a property in the San Gabriel Valley near downtown L.A., where temperatures during the summer months can exceed 100 degrees.

Her facility has more than 1,100 indoor storage units, of that 27% are climate controlled storage. Some of Zepeda’s business customers use their spaces to store extra inventory.

It is worth noting that not all facilities with climate controlled storage offer both heating and cooling. What you get depends on the area. In other words, if you’re in So Cal, climate control is most likely set up to cool things down. In Minnesota, we work to keep people warm.

But Miller wants to make one thing clear: climate control isn’t the same as turning up the air conditioning or heater in your living room.

In a climate controlled Public Storage facility on any given day, doors repeatedly open, letting in outside temps. And windows and drafts also contribute.

“There’s no way we can guarantee it would be 50 to 80 degrees,” he said. “If 40 to 50 people come in and out, it’s hard to maintain that range.”

But we do try. It is not uncommon, Miller said, for the monthly electricity bill at a climate control storage facility to be anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000.

Climate Controlled Storage Options

an arm holding up mobile phone with the screen of public storage climate controlled storage options on display

Anytime Zepeda has a new client, she makes sure to offer them the option of climate controlled units if available.

“In our non-climate control units, the heat can reach higher temperatures,” she added.

She warns all her customers who initially pass on a climate control unit there’s no guarantee she’ll have space if they change their minds.

Have customers had a change of heart once the heatwave hits?

“All the time,” says Zepeda.

While walking along a row of third-floor climate control units, Zepeda shares that she, too, has a climate control unit. She’s been renting her first-floor unit for the last year and finds it is convenient to access, especially since she isn’t dealing with heat during the long summer days.

“You’re not going to feel cold, but you are likely going to feel comfortable,” she said.

Overall, providing climate control also makes the experience bearable for the customers, said Tracy Johns, a Public Storage vice president who oversees all operations in Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and Missouri.

As Johns notes, facilities with climate control can tend to be cleaner because there is also often an air filtration system.

“It’s become the expectation of the customers,” Johns said.

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