Very cold storage units can be dangerous for the items that you choose to store within them. While your belongings might be able to handle the cold for a limited period, time will gradually take its toll. For this reason, you may want to choose climate-controlled, heated self-storage units over unheated storage. If you are having a difficult time deciding whether you should rent a heated storage unit because it costs a little more, consider what you will be storing.
Leather is very sensitive to changes in temperature and can be damaged with even small fluctuations between hot and cold. The leather will dry out, shrink, and crack. Also, the moisture problems that result from poor climate control can wear down leather.
Wrapping the leather in acid-free paper will protect the leather. Also, hang the leather clothing to protect it from wrinkles. If you want to further protect the leather, you should have it professionally cleaned and should then allow it to dry before placing it in storage. If it isn't allowed to dry, the leather will develop mold and mildew.
Appliances can especially be vulnerable to moisture caused by a colder storage unit. When moisture enters an appliance, it can cause the interior to corrode, preventing the appliance from functioning properly. For this reason, only store appliances in a heated storage unit. While the appliances are in storage, they must never be plugged in; if any moisture gets in, they can be dangerous to use. Also, items should not be placed inside the appliances. The appliances should be covered with cotton sheets to protect them.
There are various collectibles that should be stored in heated storage, including: coins, comics, and stamps. Coins can degrade under certain moisture conditions thanks to the oxidation process. Copper and silver coins are the most at-risk coins; they become tarnished and will gradually become dark, which reduces their value as collectibles.
The older your comic books, the less likely that they will be able to handle moisture. The graphics and text can become smeared in colder climates and less readable. Comics perform the best under moderate humidity.
In addition to being climate-controlled, those storage units that are heated are also usually sealed to prevent heat loss. This ensures that pests are not able to get inside the unit, many of which can cause damage to your property. While a unit that is not climate-controlled can save money, this should only be done when storing items that won't be vulnerable.