What Size Dehumidifier Rod for Gun Safe

Dehumidifier rods are useful in keeping gun safes and storage spaces protected from moisture. Depending on the size of the space, the climate in your area, and the number of items in storage, there is the right type and size of dehumidifier for you.

Gun safes protect firearms and ammunition from theft and fire accidents. In most cases, you may have some free space to store other valuables such as jewelry, cash, and important documents. However, metal safes cannot protect your belongings from condensation or moisture buildup inside. When exposed to moisture, it can damage different materials, including metals, paper, and fabrics. This can also lead to gun malfunctions due to rust and corrosion of the material. 

To prevent these problems before any further damage, it’s critical to control moisture inside the gun safe. When choosing an electric dehumidifier rod for your gun safe, you must know the right size you need depending on the space.

How Does a Dehumidifier Rod Work?

Dehumidifiers come in many different types and sizes designed for various applications. One type of dehumidifier designed for small, enclosed storage spaces such as a gun safe is the electric dehumidifier rod.

Unlike other types of dehumidifiers, a gun safe dehumidifier rod works similarly to a space heater. It does not remove moisture from the air to lower the humidity levels. The dehumidifier rod works by warms the air by heating up at a surface temperature of 100 to 125F. In effect, the warm air circulates inside and prevents condensation.

To recap, condensation happens when the air temperature reaches the dew point or when relative humidity is at 100 percent. The electric rod warms the air inside the safe and stabilizes the temperature so that it doesn’t reach the dew point, preventing condensation. The expansion of heated air forces moisture out through tiny cracks. 

For gun safes with a built-in electrical outlet or pre-drilled holes for wirings, a dehumidifier rod is usually the most efficient way to prevent moisture buildup. These gun safe dehumidifiers come in different lengths for different sizes. They also include mounting brackets and a quick plug attachment for installation.

The main advantage of dehumidifier rods over other types is they require almost no maintenance. Simply install it, plug it in, and your gun safe will warm and dry all day and night as long as there’s power. One disadvantage is when the rod gets too hot to touch, although not hot enough to burn your hand or household materials. Some may also need to drill holes into the gun cabinet for the dehumidifier’s power cord.

How Does a Dehumidifier Rod Work

Why You Need a Dehumidifier Rod for Gun Safe

A gun safe protects your belongings from theft and fires but they’re not safe from moisture and its damaging effects inside the safe. Since a safe is tightly sealed and you probably won’t open it frequently, the air gets trapped inside along with the moisture from other items like paper or fabric. The moisture from these organic materials evaporates into the air. 

When the warm, moist air hits the colder walls of the safe, and air cools down until it reaches the dew point it causes condensation to occur inside the safe. When moisture builds up, it can cause metals to tarnish, rust, and corrode. Not only is this unpleasant to look at, but it can also weaken the material of metals in guns and ammunition or even the safe itself. 

Prolonged exposure to moisture also promotes the growth of mold and mildew. This is particularly harmful to wood, fabrics, clothes, and paper that you may have stored in the safe. Furthermore, touching mold or inhaling mold spores can trigger allergies or cause asthma attacks and other respiratory conditions.

To prevent this, a dehumidifier rod works constantly to heat the air in your gun safe. Once installed, this dehumidifier requires little to no attention and consumes only a small amount of electricity when running. As a gun owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your gun safe for proper storage of guns and ammo.

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need for My Gun Safe?

When choosing a dehumidifier rod, consider the size of your gun safe and what length of rod can fit inside. The sizes you can get are usually 12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches. Most brands offer two to three options for rod sizes. The best gun safe dehumidifier is the longest rod that can fit inside the space to ensure maximum coverage. 

Lockdown Golden Rod

Measure the dimensions inside the gun safe to make sure the rod fits and can provide enough heat for all the items inside. Since hot air rises and cold air sinks, it’s recommended to place a dehumidifier rod horizontally on the bottom of the safe to help stabilize the temperature. However, you can also install it vertically on either side of the safe. Manufacturers typically indicate the coverage area in cubic feet recommended for each dehumidifier size. You can also install more than one unit in your gun safe if necessary. 

The ambient temperature and humidity outside the safe can also affect the amount of moisture that builds up inside. If you live in a humid area and you have your gun safe in the basement, then you can expect higher humidity inside the safe. Fluctuations in temperatures outside the safe also contribute to condensation inside. When the temperature suddenly drops, the warm, moist air inside cools down, resulting in condensation. 

So if you’re in an area with high humidity or extreme changes in temperatures, you may need a higher-powered dehumidifier for your gun safe. Ensure that your safe has the space to accommodate the length of the unit as well as the cord and outlet. 

Benefits of Dehumidifier Rods

Protect your safe from condensation

A safe is designed to store your valuable items but this tightly sealed metal storage can be prone to condensation. Since fresh air cannot circulate, the moisture builds up in the air and forms condensation inside the safe. This can be particularly damaging to metals and even paper and fabrics.

Moisture buildup can cause the metals in your guns and ammo to rust, fade, and corrode. Over time, this can weaken the material and even compromise the safety of your firearms. Many gun equipment manufacturers also produce different types of dehumidifiers specially designed to combat moisture buildup inside a gun safe. A heating rod is common for this purpose.

Prevent moisture and mold in the wardrobe

Due to its design, a dehumidifier rod is also suitable for wardrobe, cabinet, or closet. It protects clothes and other garments from mold and musty odors that come with too much moisture.

Mold can be damaging to clothes, shoes, bags, and other leather products. You may notice black spots or white powder on the surface as a sign of mold and mildew growth. Longer exposure to these organisms can cause even greater damage. 

Preserve musical instruments

Dehumidifier rods can also be used to prevent moisture buildup in musical instruments such as pianos and guitars. Instruments with wooden frames or structures can be damaged by excess moisture. While it may not be obvious at first, moisture can cause warping and expansion of wooden parts of the instruments and ruin the sound quality over time. 

Protect digital equipment

Mold growth due to moisture buildup can also damage digital equipment, specifically the microscope lens, videotapes, and filmstrips. These can be extremely difficult and expensive to restore. Dehumidifier rods may be the perfect size to fit inside storage spaces to protect digital equipment against humidity.

Can You Use a Desiccant to Control Moisture in Gun Safe

There is another type of dehumidifier commonly used in safes called a desiccant dehumidifier. It uses some hygroscopic substance to extract moisture from the air. Typically, renewable silica gel dehumidifiers are used in gun safes and other similarly sized storage spaces. This desiccant works through adsorption, allowing you to renew it repeatedly. Renewable desiccant dehumidifiers don’t need electricity or batteries to work, making them ideal for tiny spaces. 

The desiccant extracts moisture from the air until its full capacity is reached and the silica gel beads change color, usually within 20 to 30 days. You can recharge the desiccant either by plugging it into a power outlet or putting it inside an oven. This process can take two to 12 hours. The unit can be renewed for several years up to a decade.

Canister Dehumidifier

However, desiccant dehumidifiers are not meant to reduce humidity in a large area but only to prevent moisture buildup in an enclosed space. The main advantage over dehumidifier rods is the desiccant doesn’t actively use electricity to work. The only maintenance they need is recharging every few weeks. 

Alternatively, to prevent excess moisture inside your gun safe, it’s common to use a Damp Rid moisture absorber or other moisture-absorbing products found in the kitchen such as salt, baking soda, or rice. You can also find calcium chloride or silica gel from hardware stores. Although, while these might help absorb moisture in a gun safe to a certain degree, a dehumidifier is still the most efficient solution to excess moisture. 


Dehumidifier rods are effective in preventing condensation inside a closed space such as a gun safe. There are a variety of types and sizes of non-electric and electric dehumidifiers designed for many different purposes. To truly keep your gun safe and its contents protected from moisture, you need to find the right dehumidifier for the space and how you can use it properly. 

Dehumidifier rods are most suitable for gun safes and other similar storage spaces for clothes, garments, musical instruments, and expensive equipment. Unlike any other type of dehumidifier, an electric rod actually works more like a heater by heating up the space around it. It’s available in a range of sizes and can be installed inside your gun safe easily.

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