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Keep classic cars running like new with refrigerant dehumidification

5 min read
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In this article, we look into why moisture in the air is such a sticking point for classic car owners and how the right dehumidification system can preserve your piece of automotive history for future generations to come.

There are so many elements that can cause cosmetic and mechanical damage to irreplaceable classic cars. Dust, dirt and even sunlight all play their part in deterioration during storage, but it may come as a surprise to some that the number one cause of deterioration is unregulated humidity levels. Counteracting this takes more than just wax and polish.

Although temperature control is important, simply heating your garage or storage facility won't remove the moisture in the air or stop it from condensing on cars. On the opposite end of the humidity scale, the atmosphere will become too dry, creating another set of problems for your facility.

Not understanding how to control your environment in line with your specific needs will leave the vehicles in your collection open to:

  • Rust and metal corrosion

  • Musty odours in interiors

  • Cracking/weakness of fine leathers and woodwork

  • Mould growth on interior surfaces and convertible roofs

  • Perishing rubber seals

  • Tarnishing of chrome

  • Oil leakage due to seal damage

To put this into context, the table below shows just how fast steel can rust as relative humidity levels rise above 60%:

Corrosion of steel chart
  • At an RH of approximately 50% virtually no corrosion occurs

  • With an RH of 60% and over, the rate of corrosion on steel rises rapidly

Understanding your environment

Whether you are responsible for one vehicle in a small storage unit or an entire collection across a multi-level garage, it’s vital to maintain relative humidity (RH) levels between 55% and 60% all year round. Factors including temperature changes, rainfall, vehicle usage, in addition to whether your facility is above or below ground, all need to be carefully considered.

The range of wall-mounted, free-standing and portable dehumidifiers from Dantherm is a top choice for commercial and private facilities as they can be optimised to suit the changing conditions of specific environments.

What are the key benefits of refrigerant dehumidifiers?

  • Efficiency

Unlike a traditional heating system, a dehumidifier will circulate humid air throughout a space, physically removing moisture from the air as it flows through the system.

  • Cost savings

In addition to preventing expensive damage to priceless vehicles, a high-quality dehumidifier can cut down your heating bills by converting the energy taken out of the room as moisture into useful heat.

  • Reactivity

With built-in electronic hydrostats and thermostats, Dantherm dehumidifiers can react fast to sudden changes in humidity — if garage doors are opened when it’s raining, or when a car is returned after a drive in wet weather, for example.

Choosing the right dehumidifier for your garage

There are many factors to consider before determining the best Dantherm dehumidifier for your garage. The table below is a good rule of thumb for common garage sizes, although larger models are available for bigger facilities. You may also need to make the following adjustments:

  • For unsealed buildings (eg. spaces in constant use or with poorly fitting doors), halve the building volumes per unit selection.

  • For buildings extremely exposed but well-sealed, divide building volume per unit by 1.6

Garage size (m³)

Model

Up to 120m³

CDF 40

Up to 220m³

CDF 50

Up to 250m³

CDF 70



To learn more about optimising the conditions in your garage, and protecting timeless vehicles from the dangers of humidity, get in touch with our team today.

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