Why Air Conditioning can’t Control Mold in Self Storage

On the whole, Self-Storage companies tend to deal with fighting mold and mildew in the same way. They use what they have, air conditioning and heating, in an attempt to keep stored items from getting too damp, too dry, too hot, or too cold. But the problem with that system is that not all of the stored items will react to heating and air conditioning the same way.

For example electronic products like old VCRs and record players that are being stored for the next generation, can’t stand up to high heat, nor can they deal with an exceptionally moist atmosphere. Extended periods of time in either of these conditions can completely ruin these items. On the other hand, a couch that sits in an overly damp room will likely be smelly when pulled out of storage and could have mold on the wood frame inside.

The Theory Behind Air Conditioning as Mold Prevention

One of the main problems we have with mildew and mold in self storage in the U.S. is the continued use of air conditioning to get rid of extra air moisture. Many believe that by lowering their thermostat set point, their AC will act as a dehumidifier. While this is true to an extent because air conditioners will remove some moisture from the air, they use much more electrical power doing it than dedicated dehumidifiers. If sized incorrectly, air conditioners can actually re-evaporate most of the water that they “removed” back into the air.

One problem most people don’t recognize is that driving the temperature down actually increases relative humidity. That’s gives people that cold, clammy feeling almost everybody has experienced. For the storage industry that means a room that has been overcooled with air conditioning is actually going to be worse for stored items in terms of excess moisture.

mold in self storage
molding chair

Climate Control vs. Heating & A/C in Self-Storage

Unlike a regimen of heating and air conditioning, climate control can ensure that all of your facility has a stable temperature and humidity level. With only heating and air conditioning, the thermostat will turn on the A/C when it’s too hot and the heat when it’s too cold, but there is nothing in the system responsible for humidity control.

A climate-controlled environment, on the other hand, has a set of temperature and humidity conditions that remain constant. That means stored items will be subject to stable conditions. No expansion and contraction with changing moisture content. It also means that you don’t have to worry about mold, mildew, or excessive heat exposure to electronics, linens, or wood items over the time they are stored.

A Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Unit is The Way to Go

For more information about preventing mold and mildew with a climate-controlled system, contact the team at Quest today.