We’ve got climate control on the brain thanks to the recent frigid temperatures here in St. Louis! With space heaters under every desk in the office and Hot Hands packs in every logistics guy’s pockets, it’s no secret that extreme temperatures have a big effect on people. But what about all the “stuff” we interact with on a daily basis? As it turns out, extreme temps can wreak havoc on many of the everyday items you may not think of as being affected by climate conditions.
Cosmetics. Anyone whose tube of Chapstick has been accidentally laundered can tell you that high heat + lip balm = not a good combination. But extreme heat can damage many types of cosmetics in ways other than melting your lipstick into a sad red puddle. As it turns out, the oils used in fragrances and perfumes are especially heat sensitive. (And you thought your Grandpa was crazy for keeping his cologne in the fridge.) Also, high temperatures can cause creamy lotions, balms, and hair products to separate, forever reducing their effectiveness. Beer. There’s a scientific principle called the Arrhenius equation, which states that for every 10°C (18°F) increase in temperature, the chemical reaction rate doubles. When beer is stored at a high temperature, it oxidizes faster, making it taste old. Since there’s no way to prevent oxygen from getting inside during the bottling process, the chemical reaction that causes this happens at a much faster rate under high temperatures. Wooden furniture and musical instruments. The great enemy of stuff that’s made out of wood is humidity. High levels of relative humidity can cause wood to absorb moisture and swell or warp, and extremely low levels can cause wood to dry out, become brittle, or even break. Musical instruments are even more susceptible to damage because they are constructed with wood and glue at the joints. Did you know that a piano has approximately 15,000 glued joints? Humidity weakens the glue that maintains the integrity of instruments, which can cause irreparable damage to some pretty expensive stuff. As Rihanna once said, please don’t stop the music. Store your instruments under climate control. Electronics. While we’re definitely including your smartphone in this category, we’re also referring to your household appliances like microwaves, washing machines, and blenders, all of which contain electrical components. There’s a reason why broken electronics are referred to as “fried”—circuit systems cannot handle extreme heat. Letting your electronics get too cold (leaving your smartphone in the car on a brutally frigid day like today, for example) can also cause harm. Because cold temperatures slow down electric currents in batteries, they release their charge more quickly and you’ll see a noticeable drop in expected battery life.
If your business sells any of these products, it’s important to stop and consider the conditions they’re being stored under. If you’re using a 3PL for your warehousing, make sure they have a climate controlled environment to preserve the integrity of your goods! (Pssst: we do! Let’s chat!)