Being an avid guitar player myself I know just how important it is to look after your instrument properly. This is especially true if your instrument was a rather costly investment. This post will explain why you should have a humidifier for your guitar or other wooden instrument. It will also recommend 3 top humidifiers for your acoustic guitar.
The best tones still come from wooden guitars. Many manufacturers have experimented with synthetic materials however the tome has always come up short. There’s a reason why acoustic guitars and other instruments, such as violins, pianos and clarinets for example, are made out of wood and that reason is the production of a warm, round tone.
Guitar Wood Problems
Of course wood responds to changes in temperature and climate and as such the cells continue to absorb and release moisture long after the wood has been changed into an instrument.
As wood in a guitar absorbs moisture it swells and expands which leads to a warped guitar, loose or broken glue joints, hairline cracks, higher playing action and a host of other problems.
If guitar wood loses moisture other problems arise and these can include parts of the body and neck caving down both of which will cause fret buzz.
A major problem caused by the drying out of a guitar neck is that the frets will start to protrude over the fretboard due to the guitar neck shrinking.
Woodwind instrument will go out of tune and the reeds will become saturated making the instrument difficult to play.
Wood problems in pianos lead to stuck keys and unresponsive or late action.
The Perfect Environment for Your Acoustic Guitar
The perfect relative humidity levels (RH) for households is around 45%-55%.
Since mould starts to grow at a RH of around 65% it makes sense to keep the RH of your home well below this. At 45%-55% RH the air is neither too wet nor too dry.
Luckily such an RH is also perfect for your acoustic guitar and other wooden instruments.
Typically in the UK this level of RH is achieved with the use of a dehumidifier. A perfect dehumidifier, and one that I would highly recommend is the very popular EcoAir DD122FW Desiccant Dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier is perfect if you leave your guitars out of their case for any length of time. This includes leaving guitars on guitar stands or hanging them from specially designed guitar hooks on the wall.
Get Yourself a Hygrometer
The first thing you should do is to buy a hygrometer. A hygrometer meter measures the humidity levels of a room. There are many inexpensive hygrometers on the market today.
The hygrometer will show you the level of humidity in the room where your guitars live.
Alternatively you could also place a hygrometer into the guitar case if your guitar spends the majority of the time in its case.
If the room is very humid then I would definitely suggest a dehumidifier to bring the RH down to around 50%.
However if the humidity of your room is borderline, or below, 45% RH then you could use a guitar humidifier to regulate humidity in your guitar case.
- Dehumidifiers bring the RH down
- Humidifiers bring the RH up
3 Top Humidifiers For Your Awesome Acoustic Guitar
Here are 3 humidifiers designed specifically for acoustic guitar.
The End Note
It is essential to take good care of your acoustic guitar otherwise not only will physical problems such as hairline cracks appear but aural problems such as a diminishing tone will occur as well.
Hygrometers and guitar humidifiers are very affordable and if you are a true student of music they are a must buy.