Do I Need a Dehumidifier For My Safe?

If ever there were a recommended accessory for a home safe, gun safe, or any kind of safe, a dehumidifier would be it! Why a dehumidifier? Well, for starters, think about what is being stored in your safe. Most safe owners will be storing some sort of metal in their safe, such as guns, jewelry, etc. and what happens when moisture and metal meet? Rust and corrosion. That’s why you might need a dehumidifier for your safe.

To ensure the longest lifespan for your safe and adequately protect your valuables inside from rust and mold, consider whether you are a candidate for a dehumidifier. While a dehumidifier may not be absolutely necessary for everyone, more likely than not, you will find yourself in one of the following categories in which one is recommended.

Location – Think about where you live; are you near a coast or an area where humidity is higher, or do you live in a desert? If you live in an area that is at all humid, you will want a dehumidifier to protect your safe and its contents, no question about it. If you live in a desert, continue on to the next category below.

Frequency of Use – If you own a jewelry safe and are accessing it on a regular basis, it may not be as necessary to use a dehumidifier. However, if you are storing your safe in your garage for example, and are not frequently accessing it, even if you live in a fairly dry environment, by not opening the door and allowing airflow in and out of your safe, humidity can build up. In this case of less frequently used safes, a dehumidifier is strongly recommended.

Fire Safes – Many fire safes contain a wall of moisture; in the case of a fire, this wall of moisture will activate and keep your contents safe from the heat of the fire. However, this moisture wall could also cause some unwanted humidity inside your safe when there is no fire, and end up damaging your metal valuables inside.

Types of Dehumidifiers

Three types of dehumidifiers can be used by themselves or in partnership with each other for added protection if you’re concerned about humidity affecting your safe.

  • Desiccant Bag – The most familiar and least expensive option, these bags do the trick without a requirement for electrical access. Desiccants are reusable, though the process could be considered a bit tedious, as you must bake the bags in the oven at a very low temperature overnight, and you have to remember to do this regularly or they will lose their effectiveness. Time between baking can vary from one month to a few months based on how much mositure is in the air. Desiccant bags run around $10 each. If you choose this approach you may want to buy two and alternate them.
  • Rechargeable DehumidifierAnother great option for a safe with no electrical access. These dehumidifiers come in multiple sizes with different amounts of moisture capacities. Eva-Dry is one of the more popular brands. This style dehumidier is filled with silica gel, a moisture absorbent substance and is very efficient at removing moisture from the air. So effective in fact, that it’s not recommended for use with pearls or opals because they need moisture in the air to stay in good condition. The best part of the Eva-Dry dehumidifier is it’s conveniently renewable. When the sensor tells you that it’s at moisture capacity, just plug this guy in over night and it’s ready to go in the morning for another round of dehumidifying. Like desiccant, the time between recharges will vary based on environment. The Eva-Dry dehumidifiers run from $20-30, depending on their size, and have a longer life-span than desiccant, including a 5-year warranty. In the long run they may actually save you money.
  • Electric Dehumidifier – The electric dehumidifier is the “set it, and forget it” option, as long as you have electrical access nearby. It heats up the air in the safe to about 140 degrees, locking the moisture in the air so that it cannot condense on the safe or your valuables. Throwing in a desiccant (either bag or Eva-Dry) with an electric dehumidifier can also provide a backup plan for possible extended power outages.

Whichever type of dehumidifier you choose for your safe, rest assured that you are taking an affordable and necessary step to protect your valuables. Have questions about whether a dehumidifier is right for you? Give us a call!