Heading out for long travels without your own home or room can be difficult when you have too many belongings. It's not easy to sell everything off, especially computers that have lots of information you'll need. If you have a powerful computer and nowhere to put it, take the time to understand what needs to happen before putting the system into long-term storage.
Dust Collection, Humidity And Electronics
It's not so simple to put a computer into storage and walk away. You could risk treating the system like any other object, but there are a few consequences that you'll have to deal with. Most of the discussed consequences can be handled with deep cleaning, but that task is more involved than preparing ahead of time.
Computers are complex devices that operate by transferring data in the form of electricity--not just taking power into the power supply or a motor like other basic electronics. The key components of a computer are all coursing with electricity, which generates head and requires precision cooling.
When dust enters the system, it can create an insulating blanket over circuitry and heat-generating components. Heat is already an issue for computers, but adding dust that traps in heat can lead to critical heat issues or even burning electrical circuits when you finally turn the system back on.
Dust can be cleaned, but keep in mind that even a light film of dust can contribute to heat. You can't just wash a motherboard or other components with water, as water can corrode the circuits even if you allow them to dry.
Some parts of the motherboard are also made of a sensitive wafer that can bubble and warp in shape when wet, causing the sensitive electronics to pop irreplaceable from their position. You'll need to use electronics-safe cleaner--or rubbing alcohol, if you have prior experience with cleaning electronics--to get the dust off properly.
Humidity can contribute to the problem in strange ways. The motherboard won't be affected in the same way as dousing it in water, but humid conditions can corrode the metal contacts.
Preparing Computers And The Storage Unit
The easiest method of protecting a computer is to put it inside an airtight container, but such containers can be expensive. Maintaining good air quality and sealing the computer up as much as possible can solve the problem as well.
Avoid wrapping computers in plastic if the self storage facility is in a humid area. Condensation can build up inside the plastic and drip inside the computer, creating a hot and moist environment that will likely wreck the system.
Be sure to ask for storage units with air filtering and climate control. The self storage facility may have climate control for their entire facility, so be sure to ask if you'll need to pay for a small electrical fee to install your own air filter or if their own air quality is fine.
Contact a self storage facility to discuss computer storage needs and options.