HVAC systems seem to be a steadily recurring thing to consider for business owners when building a self-storage facility.
Not only do temperature controlled self-storage units offer an extra luxury for their tenants, but it also puts more money in the business owner's pocket since they can charge higher rent. This brings great news to HVAC contractors who, in the midst of a growing economy, are eager to conduct as much business as possible.
However, as with most things to consider during construction and installation, there are a few things you need to keep an eye out for when choosing what kind of HVAC system to install in a self-storage facility.
Before beginning the installation of an HVAC system to create a climate controlled storage unit, it would be wise to consider the construction design of the overall facility. For instance, where are the access points for the units? Do you need to commute through short corridors?
Additionally, if you take into consideration that the majority of self-storage units consist of at least one long wall of heat conductive metal doors, then you may want to take into account that these walls are not airtight, and the issue of keeping a unit at a controlled temperature can cause quite a few problems. The ideal self-storage unit for an HVAC system will be built with this taken into consideration, using concrete insulated walls to keep the environment at an ideal temperature.
Going hand-in-hand with the construction design of a self-storage unit, you may also want to consider the individual units themselves when you’re installing an HVAC system. Typically, while most climate-controlled units are around 10 by 15 feet in size, the ideal design of a controlled climate unit will be indoors and spread across multiple floors to ensure easy access and an efficient installation.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND INSULATION
When you’re preparing to make the installation of an HVAC system, talk with an architect and mechanical engineer to discuss the amount of insulation required for a self-storage unit. For self-storage facilities, the average temperature for a non-occupied space that is climate controlled should be below 85°F in the summer, and above 40° during the winter months.
Also, another major factor for both business owners and tenants is the amount of humidity that is in the unit. It should come as no surprise that, in most cases, you’ll want to keep humidity as low as possible. For instance, the humidity level in the average air conditioned home sits at around 35-45 percent. Being that this is not a living environment, a humidity level between 45-50 percent should do well for most belongings.
At the end of the day, cost effectiveness is usually the largest factor when a self-storage business owner is hiring an HVAC contractor. From the business owner's point of view, costs between building a climate controlled vs. non-climate controlled storage unit are similar. However, there are a few key things to take into consideration.
Upgrading to a climate controlled storage unit can raise the price from only $10-$15 per square foot upwards to around $35-$45 per square foot or more due to the type of construction materials the owner needs to make their location energy efficient.
However, despite the cost difference between the two, a business owner almost always looks at the long-term game and sees the installation of an HVAC system well worth the investment. It not only proves to be a fantastic asset to their business, but it skyrockets sales for a nice return on investment, particularly when you’re in hot and humid environments.
Publication date: 3/22/2017