As someone that owns and handles firearms, you already know that proper storage is key for both safety and longevity. Owning a gun safe not only prevents unwanted access to deadly firearms, but it can also keep your guns in tip-top shape so that they last a very long time.
However, one of the most common questions about gun safes is regarding a dehumidifier, and whether you need one to keep moisture away from your most prized possessions.
Along with other proper cleaning and storage, in some cases, it may be necessary to use a dehumidifier in the room with your gun safe to keep moisture from cracking or rusting your guns.
Getting a Dehumidifier
If you live in a particularly moist region of the United States, it’s going to be highly critical that you place a dehumidifier in the same room as your gun safe. However, it’s important for most gun owners to do the same, no matter where you live.
The exposure to moisture may seem minuscule, but over time, water will slowly ruin your gun safe and everything in it, even if it doesn’t seem possible. Especially if your gun safe is in a dark, damp space, you’ll be giving mold and mildew a breeding ground for growth, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to guns.
As your gun safe slowly gathers moisture, you may not notice it’s happening at all until it’s too late. It doesn’t matter how careful you are about tending to it or whether your gun safe(s) is/are small or large. And certainly, if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on the perfect safe for your firearms, you want to prevent that eventual aging as much as you can.
Throwing on the extra cost of dry prevention is well worth the price, and there are a couple of options from which you can choose. There are desiccant dehumidifiers and electric dehumidifiers.
Understanding your options will help you get a better idea of which to choose.
These humidifiers don’t have any electrical components. They come in many different sizes and shapes, but they all have one thing in common. They have special packets or containers full of absorbent materials.
This absorbent material is designed to attract moisture, much like a sponge, and hold it, so it stays away from everything else in close proximity. The type of absorbent material used is typically silica gel.
If you don’t want to have to use electricity or drill a hole in your safe, this is a great option. They also don’t require any replacement parts and you can find the perfect size for your safe.
This type of humidifier is more affordable than an electric dehumidifier, so it works well for those who don’t want to spend a ton of money, but as the absorbent material fills up, you’ll need to replace them completely.
Electric dehumidifiers are popular options. They are effective and long-lasting, but they’re also more expensive. They work harder for longer and are a better choice for people who live in humid climates and need more dry prevention measures.
These types of humidifiers use heat to remove moisture from the air. They have exposed heating elements that work to evaporate moisture and can work in a larger area than a desiccant dehumidifier.
They can also prevent condensation because they create high temperatures and can attack excess moisture that smaller dehumidifiers might miss.
The one drawback to this type of dehumidifier is that if you want it to work from inside the safe itself, you’ll need to run the wire through a hole in the safe to a power source. That means drilling a hole in your safe.
If you can’t drill a hole or you don’t want to, you can get rechargeable battery-operated varieties, or you can simply place the dehumidifier outside the safe, but in close proximity, so it will continue to work.
The Right Choice
Either option will work, but you have to decide which will work best for you. While they have the same end goal, they achieve it in different ways. However, the durability of your gun safe is of the utmost importance, so no matter which you choose, you need to choose one sooner rather than later.
If you can afford it and have a way to connect it, an electric dehumidifier will be much more effective. If you can’t spring for one right now, choose a desiccant dehumidifier for now and save up for something better.
There’s no reason to spend thousands of dollars on firearms and a gun safe to keep them while continuing to neglect the problem that moisture causes over time.
Humidity is a problem for all gun owners, not just those who live in humid climates. However, there are a lot of factors to consider, like where the gun safe is stored, how humid it is, and how often you access it.
Fresh air can help prevent moisture, so if you open your gun safe more often, you may not need a large, expensive dehumidifier. You may be fine with something simple and inexpensive.
The same goes for people who live in particularly dry climates. While there are very few places that have 0% humidity, if you live in an area that doesn’t have much, you will also not have to purchase something big or expensive.
No matter where you live, moisture prevention is critical for keeping your guns safe and in good condition. Along with appropriate use and cleaning, storing them the right way will ensure that moisture doesn’t age them faster than it should.