Indoor gun safe humidity control (in FL)

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by FatherJupiter, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. FatherJupiter

    FatherJupiter

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    I am interested in hearing people’s opinions on humidity control for an indoor gun safe - in a (typically) dark and air conditioned space. This is in FL, so the indoor humidity level is usually somewhere between 45% and 60% - depending on the time of year. Given those conditions, what would you recommend as a general solution (if any) for managing humidity?

    thanks!
     
  2. 6Actual

    6Actual Southern Backwater Mafia

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    I use a drying rod and large desiccant bags in mine has worked fine for many years Here in S Fla
     
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  3. Jon_R

    Jon_R

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    Been in FL 40 years. Gun safe in a finished air conditioned garage for 15 years. Not done anything except made sure guns where not wet when putting them away. No issues.
     
  4. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    I live in the hot humid south, I have never had one ounce of problem with my safe that is kept inside my home.
     
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  5. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

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    A 20w light bulb or golden rod type accessory. You will not dehumidify your safe without a dedicated room dehumidifier. Silica gel is next to worthless after a few days. The light bulb or golden rod works on a very simple principle. It keeps the safe and its contents very slightly warmer than the surrounding air. For metal to rust moisture must condense on the surface of the metal. If the metal is cooler than the surrounding air the moisture will condense on the surface and rust will form. If the metal is warmer than the surrounding air its impossible for water to condense on it and it will not rust. Its very simple science and it works.

    I have been keeping my guns in a safe in my basement where the humidity runs between 54 and 70% for 30 years. I almost never oil my guns. Not one spec of rust from storage. Ever.
     
  6. Deltic

    Deltic

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    I just use the dollar store dehumidifiers.
     
  7. FatherJupiter

    FatherJupiter

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    Thanks! I’m a native myself (been here 47 years - also CFL) This has pretty much been my M.O. as well. I’ve always kept my safes indoors, under air and have not used anything in the way of humidity control either. I did recently purchase and install something larger Nd little bit higher quality than I’ve had in the past so I thought I’d explore the topic a little more and see what others were doing. It’s reassuring to hear that I’ve been on the right path!
     
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  8. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp

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    I recently moved to FL from the West Coast and can't stand the humidity here.

    A $400 dehumidifier from Home Depot keeps my whole house dry. No more stinky bath towels.

    May be overkill for your purpose, but it works.
     
  9. FatherJupiter

    FatherJupiter

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    It
    It’s funny how your body can adapt to these types of things. Whenever I’ve travelled to less humid places, I’ve always felt like I couldn’t quite breathe properly until I’ve returned home and taken that first ‘gulp’ of damp air! ;-)

    I used to run a similar dehumidifier back when I lived in an older house. I’ve since given it to my in-laws (who live in an older house).
     
  10. tacticaljoey

    tacticaljoey

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    I’m in FL, I use two Eva-dry rechargeable dehumidifiers. They are inexpensive and work well. My safe is pretty large, hence using two.
     
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  11. tacticaljoey

    tacticaljoey

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  12. Fla Trooper 265

    Fla Trooper 265

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    I have had a safe since 1998 in North Fla. I have never had a problem with guns rusting. Safe is inside in the ac.
     
  13. cciman

    cciman Mr. Spock

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    Dehumidifiers. Your AC targets the temp- so although it also removes humidity, it is not the primary function. A dehumidifier can lower the humidity to 45%, especially if you have AC, which is good enough-- and it works on the whole room, or floor, not just the safe-- easy to use and monitor, automatic. The other products, unless you have a hygrometer to measure - are not reliable, and need monitoring, and media replacement.
     
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  14. boilergonzo

    boilergonzo

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    Lots of sound advice. Relative Humidity is the key, and a small head source (GoldenRods, small light bulb, non-LED rope light, etc.) all put enough heat in the safe to do precisely what Big Bird said. Keep the water from condensing on your guns. Cold beer cans get condensation, warm coffee mugs don't. If you keep the house too cold, when you take a cold gun outside it will get damp. A warm safe removes that risk, as well.

    Don't try for super dry. Long-term storage at 40% HR is fine. Drier is actually bad for wood stocks, and the effort to keep it that dry is wasted. A fairly dry room coupled with a small heat source in a safe is sufficient for firearm storage. Good luck!
     
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  15. FatherJupiter

    FatherJupiter

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    Thanks for the feedback - thank you everyone for the feedback thus far!

    I think it may be smart to start with a hygrometer and get a feel for the existing levels in the safe. IIRC, Hornady makes one that people seem to be fond of. I think I’ll start there and then - if necessary move to a heat source next.

    I don’t typically keep the house all that cold. 75/76 during the day. I like it a little cooler at night when I sleep so I have the thermostat set to drop to 73 overnight in 1 degree increments - then back up to 76 in the morning. I’ve never had a situation thus far where I’ve seen moisture on any of my firearms.
     
  16. boilergonzo

    boilergonzo

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    In my safe I have an Oregon Scientific hygrometer. It has a sensing (remote) unit, and main unit that displays the reading it gets from the sensor in the safe. My particular one is able to transmit through the safe, so I can see at a glance what the humidity is. I got this when I had a safe in my garage (cold dry winters are fine, but hot, humid summer days in Indiana aren't good for guns), and I just kept it. It is old, but it shows me the Relative Humidity (RH).

    Instead of a rebranded hygrometer (from gun companies reselling), you may want to look for hygrometers from instrument companies to compare price and function. Some can sync with phones, etc. for alerts. I haven't explored this much because my safe is now in an air conditioned basement with a heat source, and hasn't needed tending to for a years, but it is worth looking at scientific instruments, not rebranded gun stuff. I had a GoldenRod hygrometer that was abysmal. The thing sucked. Lesson learned!
     
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