Electronics have a few unique protection needs, even if they're not being used for long periods of time. Dust buildup creates a more difficult cleanup process for later, and humidity can become a sticky, grimy problem in the more humid parts of the country. Here are a few features to keep an eye out for when choosing a storage unit to keep your belongings safe.
Air Conditioning And Air Quality
One of the most common and quite problematic risks for computers is dust collection. Dust becomes like an insulating blanket as it builds up, and without a combination of proper air filtration and a clean environment, your belongings can be plagued by cakes of dust that you have to clean up--with the risk of damaging the internal components.
To avoid most of the cleanup work, make sure that the area is clean and stays clean before renting. Choose a storage facility with air conditioning features (common, but not a guarantee) and inspect the storage unit to make sure that excessive buildup won't be a daily or weekly issue.
Another thing to consider is the ductwork and filter cleanliness. Check the vents in the storage unit, then ask to see the filter for the central air conditioning or your section of the storage facility. Don't worry too much if the facility needs to keep the filters under tight security; just know that if you notice a lot of dust in the storage unit within a year, you may want to consider a different facility.
Humidity Control Options
Electronics are threatened by humidity in two ways: corrosion and an amplified, messier dust problem.
If the humidity is so high that water can collect into full-sized droplets, the metals inside a computer can rust or corrode (depending on the type of metal) within a few weeks of being saturated. Any dust inside the systems can become a moist mass that is both harder to clean and an additional corrosion risk, since the moisture can sit concentrated on a specific location for longer periods of time before evaporation.
Air conditioning is the first line of defense for humidity control, as the air conditioning system's cooling process passively pulls moisture from the air and evaporates it. Unfortunately, air conditioning units exposed to the outdoors can also allow a modest amount of humidity to enter the ventilation system, which can still be a problem.
A dehumidifier may be necessary to increase the drying effect. Find out if the facility provides dehumidifiers, and if not, ask about electrical rates inside the units. You could purchase your own dehumidifier rated for your storage unit's size to get the job done.
Click here for more info or contact a storage facility representative to discuss other options that can keep your electronics in good shape during long-term storage.