You’ve spend considerable time and money building up your gun collection, and it’s something you’re proud of. You’ve ensure you keep your guns protected by seeing to it that nothing damages them – and moisture can damage your guns by causing the metal to corrode. If a gun is even a little wet for an extended period, rust can build up.
The best and most effective way to prevent this is to buy a dehumidifier made to prevent the buildup of condensation inside a gun safe. Prior to buying a dehumidifier, consider the size of your gun safe. You also need to decide if you are fine with using one that you will need to be recharged regularly, or if you would rather have a continually running, electric unit.
Also be prepared to do some maintenance – all dehumidifiers require some regular attention. While the concept of removing moisture is fairly straightforward, there are actually quote a few technologies to do it.
This is a rechargeable dehumidifier that consists of a tiny plastic container with silica gel crystals that absorb water. These have no electronics or moving parts that could break, unlike thermo-electric dehumidifiers. These dehumidifiers are also small and won’t take up too much space in your safe. They are flexible in that they can be hung up or kept in the corner on the floor.
When these crystals are filled to the brim – so to speak – they change in color, or an indicator may change in color to notify the gun safe owner that the crystals are saturated and that it needs to be recharged. Usually, the period is about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the conditions where the safe is stored.
Recharging this type of dehumidifier is pretty straightforward and can be done by plugging it in to a power socket for about 10 hours. The unit then heats up to dry out these silica gel crystals. This releases moisture into the area you have it plugged in, so don’t do this anywhere you don’t want extra humidity! Many feel that these desiccant dehumidifiers are the most straightforward and convenient. They don’t make a lot of noise, don’t cost a lot to operate, and don’t take up a lot of room.
Electric rod dehumidifiers are among the most popular, especially if your home or gun safe is in close proximity to an electrical outlet. One of the most common brands is the “Golden Rod”. These dehumidifiers heat the inside of your safe up to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit – this keeps condensation from forming on the guns.
Electric dehumidifier rods are around 18 inches in length. They can either be mounted to the wall of your safe or its floor very easily. There are even some of these rod dehumidifiers that are flexible so that it fits in the most convenient position in the shape. They are installed by disconnecting the power cord from the unit, running the cord through an opening in the safe, plugging it in to the wall, and reconnecting it back to the dehumidifier.
Another type of dehumidifier is the thermo-electric mini-dehumidifiers. These are sold as closet dehumidifiers, and do not have a compressor. They operate by making use of the transfer of heat that takes place when an electric current goes by materials that react differently to electricity. This results in one side of the dehumidifier getting hot, while the other side gets cold (you may have heard this referred to as the Peltier Effect – it’s named after the man who discovered the process).
On account of the fact that these dehumidifiers are compressor-free, they are said to be virtually silent. In reality, there is a fan and some have noticed a bit of noise associated with the fan. This noise can be bothersome, but if your safe is in your basement, it may not much matter. Because these gadgets are generally small, they will fit inside closets, even ones that may be rather packed with stacks of clothing. Water absorbed by these dehumidifiers are placed in a small reservoir that must be emptied frequently – at least every two weeks (read instructions from your manufacturer to confirm!).
The electric and thermo-electric dehumidifiers rely on a constant source of electricity and have to be plugged in to work. Most gun safes have a small opening to allow an electric cord to run through. Be sure you have easy access to a plug near your gun safe before you invest in one of these, otherwise the desiccant-type dehumidifier may be a better option for you.