How Hot Do Storage Units Get in the Summer

Consider this… it’s a mid-summer day where the sun is at its zenith, throwing down beams so hot it seems like the very air is on fire. The pavement underfoot is scorching, you can see heat waves rising from it.

Then you remember that in this intense heat, your cherished belongings are in self storage. They’re confined within metal walls bearing the brunt of the summer’s unyielding onslaught.

This evocative scene brings to mind a rather crucial question that many have pondered: How fiercely hot can storage units get during the sizzling waves of summer months?

With curiosity piqued, it’s time we look deeper into this. Unraveling the mystery surrounding this question is not only a scientific journey through the realm of thermodynamics — but also an exploration of the choices we make to protect valued belongings.

Let’s look deeper into the secrets of storage units when summer sun blasts in its full glory.

Thermometer Check: The Outside World Coming In

When the external thermometer nudges towards a sweltering 100°F (or 115°F in Phoenix), your storage unit isn’t tucked away in some cool corner, lapping up a refreshing breeze. Quite the opposite. Your things are braving the heat wave, rising in sync with the fiery outside world. Kind of like the internal heat of a closed up car in the sunshine.

It’s important to have an understanding how hot storage units can get during summer months. Just as we feel the burden of a scorching summer day, so does our humble storage unit, with its metallic walls absorbing the intense heat and its inside growing progressively hotter moment by moment. So what needs to be done…

Hot & Cold

Let’s continue on this heat-filled journey and explore a thought experiment. Imagine this: you have a valuable vinyl record collection – the kind that’s the result of years of careful curation and an unabashed love for music. You unfortunately decide to store this collection in a storage unit in Death Valley, California.

For the uninitiated, this place is the notorious melting pot that you’d imagine — boasting some of the highest temperatures on record. Will those vinyl records hold up?

On the other hand, picture a storage unit nestled within the frosty boundaries of Barrow, Alaska. This town holds its own claim to fame or should we say… infamy – it’s recognized for biting cold as a place where thermometers often hit below zero.

If we were to sneak a peek inside these two vastly different geographically located storage units during a summer day, the contrast in temperatures would be as striking as the climatic differences between the two locations.

The Death Valley unit could be experiencing a scorching 130°F – a temperature capable of transforming your vinyl records into unplayable, warped frisbees. Meanwhile the Alaskan cousin might be lounging at a rather congenial 60°F, providing your belongings a relatively comfortable refuge from the external chill. But in winter time, it’s the opposite between these locations.

The point of this exercise? To highlight the pivotal role the geographical location of your storage unit plays in the thermal narrative it experiences.

Depending on where your unit is situated, the toll taken by your possessions in terms of heat damage can swing dramatically.

The scorching heat of Death Valley or the chill of Barrow — each brings its unique set of challenges for items stored within their respective units and it’s essential to be aware of these influences.

The Melting Point of Stored Items

Rising mercury can hold certain items within your storage unit hostage, yielding a painful surrender to the intensity of the heat.

Among these items would be treasured vinyl records, those carefully preserved portals to nostalgic melodies. Subjected to extreme heat, they risk being forced into a devastating metamorphosis, and their once cherished tunes becoming silent, unplayable platters.

And what about those aromatic candles you so love? The ones that fill your space with a soothing scent and a soft, comforting glow? They could very well find themselves on the melting end of the heat spectrum, the blistering temperatures transforming them into a vibrant puddle of fragranced wax on the storage room floor.

This heat-induced narrative of ruin isn’t limited to just records and candles. Heat’s victims extend much further. Your high-tech electronics, your carefully crafted wooden furniture and even certain varieties of plastic – all of these items find themselves precariously positioned in heat’s crosshairs.

Heat is a formidable adversary to our treasured belongings.

The Impact of Sun Exposure

For these enclosed spaces, the summer sun’s rays are less of a delightful companion — and more of an unwelcome intruder that refuses to take its leave.

The sun’s exposure plays a substantial part in how temperatures inside a storage unit elevate. When a metallic storage unit comes face-to-face with relentless sun exposure, it’s not unlike cranking up the dial on your kitchen oven.

The sun’s rays become radiant energy trapped within the confines of the unit’s walls. It’s a process similar to the greenhouse effect on a mini scale. As the sun’s heat seeps in, it doesn’t find an easy exit, leading to an internal temperature that keeps climbing, like a loaf of bread steadily rising in a preheated oven.

While we might bask in the joy of a sunny summer day on the beach, your storage unit is left to wrestle with the intensifying and damaging heat.

A Breath of Fresh Air: Ventilation

If there’s one word that could play a heroic role for a storage unit during the sweltering summer it’s ventilation.

Consider a well-ventilated unit where air flows in and out, creating a breeze. This airflow can ward off some of the oppressive heat, providing a respite to the items within the unit. It’s literally a breath of fresh air, whispering promises of cooler conditions amidst the summer heat.

Heat and Construction Material

Think back to that one summer afternoon when you hopped onto a sun-kissed metal car seat. Quite a jolting memory isn’t it? A brief yet impactful reminder of the impressive heat retention capacity of certain materials. Storage units — just like that unforgiving car seat — bear the brunt of the summer sun in a similar manner.

Pay attention to the construction material of the unit. It plays a far more significant role than just serving as a protective shell for your possessions. Particularly when the material in question is metal, it transforms into a heat connoisseur, zealously absorbing and storing the sun’s warmth.

And what’s the end result of this fervent heat absorption, you ask? A storage unit that’s doing much more than safeguarding your belongings; it’s providing them with an unexpected sauna treatment. Your goods within this metallic box are slowly being baked in heat, not unlike vegetables in a slow-cooker.

Therefore it’s important to remember that while selecting a storage unit — it’s not just about the space, but also about the material. Choose wisely because the impact of this choice can reverberate through each item you entrust to the storage unit.

The Cure: Climate Control

So is there any recourse to save our belongings from relentless summer heat? The answer is a reassuring yes, and it comes in the form of two comforting words: climate control.

Climate-controlled storage units are an ingenious solution to the summer heat problem. No matter how the sun blazes outside, these units maintain a consistent temperature, usually hovering between a comfortable 55°F and 85°F.

This ensures your belongings are shielded from the brutal assault of the summer heat. Even for delicate items.

In these units, your vinyl records remain intact. Your aromatic candles hold onto their form. And electronics? They continue functioning without any heat-related glitches. Climate control can be the superhero your belongings need to combat the harsh summer months.

Climate-controlled storage units do come at a higher cost than standard ones. However, the investment is more like an insurance policy for your items. You protect them from potential heat damage, ensuring they survive the summer unscathed. And that kind of peace of mind? It’s priceless.

To circle back to our initial query – how hot do storage units get in the summer? As we’ve unraveled, the answer is intricately tied to several factors.

The external temperature, sun exposure, ventilation, construction material, and the presence (or lack) of climate control — all of these elements blend to tell the story of summer heat in a storage unit.

Armed with this insight, you’re now prepared to make informed decisions about storing your precious belongings, safeguarding them against the relentless grip of summer heat.

Because at the end of the day, the last thing you want is to open your storage unit and find a pool of melted candles and warped vinyl records where your treasures once were.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hot does a storage unit get?

The temperature inside a storage unit during the summertime can vary depending on the location, type of unit, and surrounding weather conditions.

The temperature inside a storage unit can easily hit over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) during a hot summer day, especially if the unit is not climate-controlled. In places like Phoenix, that temperature can climb to 120 degrees.

Metal and concrete are typically used to build storage facilities, and these materials absorb and retain heat.

However, in a climate-controlled storage unit, the temperature is typically kept between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (13-30 degrees Celsius) year-round, providing a much safer place for your temperature-sensitive items.

How to keep storage unit cool?

Keeping a storage unit cool during the summer can be a challenge, especially if not climate-controlled.

There are a few ways you can help reduce the heat:

Use a Climate-Controlled Unit

Opt for a climate-controlled storage unit. I know it sounds obvious, but these units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level year-round — which can prevent heat damage to your items.

Insulate Your Unit

If you’re using a non-climate-controlled unit, consider adding insulation. This can help to reduce the amount of heat that gets into the unit. You can use bubble wrap, old blankets, or even foam boards to add extra insulation.


Ensure your unit is well-ventilated. Good airflow can help to reduce the buildup of heat. If your unit has windows or vents, make sure they’re open and unobstructed.

Avoid Plastic Covering

It seems like plastic covers can protect your items from dust, but they also trap heat. Instead use breathable fabrics like cotton sheets to cover your belongings.

Keep Items Off the Floor

Heat will rise so keeping belongings off the floor to help keep things cooler. You can use pallets or shelving to elevate your items.

Visit Your Storage Unit Often

Regular visits can help you check the temperature and make adjustments.

Extreme heat can damage many types of items — including electronics, wood furniture, and certain types of fabric.

If you’re storing these types of items, a climate-controlled unit is a better way to go.

By Aaron

Articles by Aaron. Having travelled across the country, I've rented several units over the years along with finding a place for the boat and a place for the RV. I've got several favorite storage centers. Since I have a Bachelor of Science Degree, several of my friends ask me where to get the best storage rates. Fortunately, I know exactly how to help them. That's why this information on this website is here to help as many people as possible.