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Thread: Humidity control questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Humidity control questions

    Wondering what everyone here does for their guitars in the winter time. Do you keep them in the case until you play them and then put them back? Or do you leave them out and put a humidifier in the room, whole house, etc? I've been sort of doing both, but I would prefer to leave them out. I don't have a humidifier in the furnace and I find dealing with those portable units to be sort of a pain.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks guys.
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  2. #2
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    For electric guitars, I don't worry about it one iota. I leave them out and hanging with no worries. For acoustic guitars, I am much more vigilant and keep mine in the case when not being played. I also live in the desert where 0% humidity is the norm all year.

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  3. #3
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    I generally keep my electric guitars in the cases to protect them from the environment in general. I also use a humidifier in the winter, and a dehumidifier in the summer to keep the humidity around 50%. Gets tough sometimes when it's really cold and the heat is on.
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  4. #4
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    Mine have always been out, year round. I have a humidifier for the house so it's not too dry in the winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    A damp sponge in a little perforated plastic box inside the case, and a humidifier in the room. The humidifier is partly for me, too. Better for your skin, no dry nose, dry lips etc.

    Guitar usually in case when not in use, but sometimes it gets left out. And the roasted maple neck seems all but impervious to humidity changes.

  6. #6
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    I always keep mine in cases when not being played. Fortunately my house has a humidifier on the furnace.
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  7. #7
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    I have a dehumidifier in my house. Yes, a DE-humidifier. I never think about seasons. I adjust as necessary, which is less often than 'rare'.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    I have 16 guitars and 5 basses, and they're all out, all the time. My home studio has a shower, since this room is typically designated as the master bedroom. If I need more humidity, I run the shower [shower stall doubles as a vocal booth]. If I need to dry things out a bit, just open the window for a few minutes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Drummer View Post
    If I need more humidity, I run the shower [shower stall doubles as a vocal booth]. If I need to dry things out a bit, just open the window for a few minutes.
    I like this method. But, I just run a humidifier pretty much around the clock. In addition to the heating system, I burn wood in a wood stove which is a very dry heat. I always have a kettle of water with sliced apples, cinnamon sticks and cloves sitting on the wood stove, but the air is still very dry. It smells like an apple pie in here. It's pretty awesome.
    Last edited by Tollie; 11-11-2017 at 06:48 AM.

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  10. #10
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    If you live in Utah and don't do something about the lack of humidity here, particularly during winter months, don't be surprised when your guitar gets all screwed up. Fret sprout and warped necks are beyond common here. The old hump somewhere between fret 10-15 is basically all repair guys around here fix each day.

    I use a homemade humidifier made by drilling some holes in a travel soap holder and putting a sponge in there. Just a damp sponge and I only use distilled water. I put one of those in all of my guitar cases. Hard cases only. On acoustics I'll also put one of the tube humidifiers that go down inside the sound hole to help out. I use a hygrometer to measure the levels. Right now it is 28% humidity in the room I'm in, and the furnace hasn't come on one time today because it isn't too cold right now in Utah. When it is 10 degrees outside and the heat is running all damn day, the humidity just plummets in the house. As a guitar teacher I've seen literally scores of my students guitars get screwed up if they don't heed my advice. Electrics too, not just acoustics. Those fretboards can shrink as the moisture leaves them and then you are left with some jagged fret edges poking you while you play.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    It’s more important depending on where you live. In Northern Europe this was never a concern for me. When I moved to New England it was a rude awakening when necks were all over place between the extreme seasons (bone dry in the winter, humid in the late summer, vast swings sometimes in between). Since the binding on my beloved Les Paul developed cracks I ran a humidifier in the winter and packing things up in the summer at times.
    I currently don’t have one designated music room so guitars are mostly in their cases at the moment. The more valuable stuff has designated SKB iSeries cases that are airtight and water tight. I keep an electronic hygrometer in my 58 strat case. Not sure how accurate that thing is. May have to get a few more and also these little humidifiers for cases.
    Closely watching my new JP15 now with the temp dropping and the heat on in the house.
    Next house will have central air - or I may move to another part of the country (but that would be for other reasons). Overall it seems though that large parts of the US are pretty brutal on instruments.

  12. #12
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    Like 7enderbender said, it depends on where you live. I live in the southeast US where we have very humid summers and mild winters, so I never have to worry much about my guitars drying out (I've never had one to develop fret sprout). My music stuff stays in my unfinished basement where there aren't any HVAC ducts to heat or cool it. However, during the summer it hardly ever gets above the low-70's F down there; this morning it's about 48 degrees F outside and the basement is at 68 degrees. I do run a de-humidifer down there to keep the humidity around 50-55%. It doesn't kick on much this time of the year but it definitely gets a workout in the summertime.

    I keep my electrics out on stands but keep the acoustics inside their cases or bags.

  13. #13
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    I have a cabinet In which I keep my guitars. Itís similar to a school type trophy cabinet, but I had mine custom built. Inside, I use a Cigar Oasis Magna 2.0 (you can find these online for under $200). This unit uses distilled water and a fan to circulate air inside. It also has a remote sensor and readout... you can set it for what ever humidity level you desire and easily read its status at a glance.

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