What does 'climate-controlled storage' really mean?


Many companies claim to have climate-controlled storage, but with no standard definition there can be quite a bit of difference between the actual storage environments of separate entities. The main difference between climate-controlled versus just temperature-controlled environments is humidity.

True climate-controlled facilities manage and regulate both temperature and humidity. Proper moisture content in the air is the critical factor in preserving art and valuable, sensitive items. When temperature changes, so does the relative humidity in the air. So maintaining storage temperature is a great start, but there are other factors that contribute to moisture, and some items simply need to stay at a constant humidity to be preserved.

The goal of most climate-controlled storage is to aim for a 55% relative humidity, unless specified otherwise. Most homes are typically in the 30-40% range, and above 55% many items can be negatively affected and damaged by high moisture levels. To achieve the desired climate-controlled environment, storage facilities utilize high quality HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), along with dedicated dehumidifiers, and heavy-duty building materials and insulation.

WOOD-LEE takes extra steps to ensure their Micro-Climate Storage Rooms are “climate-controlled and monitored” or “climate-monitored.” They strive to maintain 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 55% relative humidity. This is accomplished through as series of humidity and temperature alarms systems, water detection systems, and multiple backup generators. These systems are all in addition to their typical storage facilities' smoke/fire alarms, motion detector alarms, and 24/7 camera monitoring.

Items that should be stored in true climate-controlled environments:

  • Fine Art

  • Delicate Paper Items

  • Delicate Fabrics

  • Instruments

  • Wood Furniture

  • Metals

  • Electronics

  • Vinyl Records & Optical Discs

  • Wine

Each may have slightly different temperature and humidity specifications, but all are sensitive enough to be stored properly.

For more details about our expertise, techniques, or to start the process of storing your most valued possessions, simply click a button below to get in touch with the extraordinary WOOD-LEE International Art Handler team!