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Thread: Humidifiers (warm or cool?)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael N. View Post
    50% RH is not damp. It's not even close to being damp. Fact. Virtually every single string instrument maker builds and expects their instruments to be kept at around 45% to 50% RH. There are some exceptions for very dry or very damp climates but they tend to be very much in the minority. That covers pretty much everything from violins. pianos and all the plucked instruments. A quick search on google will confirm this. In fact it's so ubiquitous I should hardly have to mention it. No sane maker in the world would advise an instrument to be kept in a damp (or too dry) atmosphere. That's why they advise 45 to 50% RH. I have 3 different ways of measuring humidity with 5 different measuring instruments. I take this thing seriously. I have to, I'm a professional instrument maker.
    Not only that Jamo but I've been building stringed musical instruments for nearly 40 years. Formally trained in 1980. What are your credentials Jamo ?
    Your advice is complete and utter nonsense. 'Keep humidity in winter as low as possible but still tolerable. . . '
    Dear me.
    How about this bit of advice: keep your instrument close to the RH that it was built in irrespective of spring, summer, autumn or winter.
    I have no credentials as I don't build instruments lol.
    I agree also what you saiyd about the ideal relative humidity.

    What you are missing, perhaps on purpose? Social media pressure? Is that such humidity can't be safe for housings and people living in the north in winter. There are a lots of us, not some minority. I have told above that instrument toy humidifiers are in great need.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010


    You are referring to condensation on very cold surfaces due to the moisture in the room. The problem is that if you lower the RH in the room you are also drying out the wood on your musical instruments (assuming they were constructed at around 45% RH). The danger is not going from 45% RH to 70% RH - that is unlikely to lead to cracks and structural issues of the wood. The danger is going from 45% RH to below 35% RH for any lengthy period of time. If you can't control the humidity in the room then the next best thing is to place the instrument in some type of cupboard and control the RH inside it - effectively creating a micro climate. You can buy cupboard dehumidifiers or humidifiers dependent on what you wish or what you need to do. Of course you can also do a similar thing with an instrument case - i.e. try to control the climatic environment within the case. The objective is always the same though: try to get the RH close to the RH in which the instrument was constructed. For the majority of people that is near 45% RH unless you have had an instrument specially made for a very dry or a very humid environment.

  3. #13


    Well, first of all someone is not clear on what relative humidity even is. 40% or 50% RH means the air is holding 40% of the water it can possibly hold. By no definition is this "humid" nor will it contribute to mold in any way compared to the single digit RH that is easily achieved in cold climates with heating. Mold comes from wet places. If you have trouble with melting snow causing dampness in your home, leading to mold problems in the winter, you need to fix that problem. It has nothing to do with the RH inside.

    If you think 40% RH is a problem, you'd just curl up and die in Singapore or Houston.

    Secondly, EVERY SINGLE instrument manufacturer on earth recommends that wooden instruments be maintained at a reasonable RH during the winter. Most of them list 40% RH as a target.

    And finally, the "cold mist" humidifiers atomize water and spray it out into the air. All those little droplets of air carry with them whatever minerals are dissolved in your water; which then precipitate out when the droplets evaporate, leaving dust all over the place (primarily calcium carbonate, I expect). The hot ones boil the water so what comes out is 100% H2O. The heating elements will get covered with scale and every fall when you take the humidifier out you'll need to chip the scale off, but I would way rather do that than have mineral dust everywhere.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    New England, USA


    Hot air humidifiers also make the room feel slightly warmer, cold air models slightly cooler. In winter, I'll take warmer every time.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2019


    Quote Originally Posted by Wiaman View Post
    Living in Edmonton, where the furnace is extensibly on for 8 months of the year, what sort of humidification protection should I have for my guitars?

    Hwy 1 Tele (maple), Strat (rosewood), BJA LP jr, SG standard, Danelectro RI, and a More or Less Paul (80's clone with Gibson pups and guts)

    They all hang on the wall. If I put them in a case, I'm inclined to sell them not play them.

    I currently have a warm mist humidifier from this list on a very low setting in the 10x12 office where they live. The heat vent into the room is set to about 1/3 open so it never gets too hot in there. It's also in the basement so it's cool in the summer.

    Is this good enough to get the job done? Or is cool mist better?
    As far as I know, most US guitar makers keep around 45-50% humidity in their factories anyway,the real danger is in getting too dry because then it'll start to crack. So a cheap humidifier like parents put in little kids' rooms would work for your guitar room if your app is dry in the winter.

    About temperature - I use a cool mist and am happy enough. I've heard complaints from folks with warm mist humidifiers that white dust gets everywhere, but I don't have that problem with my cool mist.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013


    We 're talking about two different humidity requirements. The humidity requirements of a wooden instrument and a wooden house are different. It's commonly known that wooden instruments like to be at 40 to 50% relative humidity for their health. What may not be commonly known is that same RH will cause excessive condensation in a house when the outside temperature drops below -10F and the inside temperature is around +70F. That condensation around wooden window frames and in the wood framed walls and ceiling will grow mold and dry rot. Where I live in Northern NE, I have to lower my room humidity when it gets really cold out to keep the house healthy. (A bigger investment than my ukes.) The ukuleles must rely on case humidifiers until the weather allows me to raise the room humidity.
    Last edited by kkimura; 03-14-2019 at 05:33 AM. Reason: spelig
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    the we(s)t coast, Canada


    I was pretty amazed to find out my office was 10% RH in the winter even though I'm on the west coast, so even a cheap hygrometer provides me with more information than I previously possessed. My home is generally 40-60% without a humidifier.

    (disclaimer: I"m not telling you to get one, only relaying my experiences ) I've only ever bought cheap hygrometers ($20 or less, digital) and even the worst one was only 5% off the others which were within 1-2% of each other. Maybe if you're doing scientific work they're garbage, but if it's reading 10% humidity, does it really matter that it's actually 5% or 15%? It's too dry. Does it bother me that it's 4-5% off of my other ones? Extremely. But it still tells me enough information to know if my room is too dry or damp or in the ballpark. I'm not as in tune with room humidity as others, so mine provides me with more information than I had before.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2020


    I use a cool-mist and am happy enough. I've heard complaints from folks with warm mist humidifiers that white dust gets everywhere--don't have that problem with my cool mist.
    Difference between-warm mist vs cool mist humidifier
    Last edited by gocrypt; 10-22-2020 at 06:26 PM.

  9. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by gocrypt View Post
    I use a cool-mist and am happy enough. I've heard complaints from folks with warm mist humidifiers that white dust gets everywhere--don't have that problem with my cool mist.
    Difference between
    You got a little bit in the wrong place...

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2019


    Here where I live we have mostly 40-60% and in a well isolated house without cold walls, it's a perfectly healthy climate. Recommendation for people is 50%.

    In winter it can get under 40% the lower limit for acoustic instruments.

    I have a humidifier but normally my 2 balcony plantboxes on top of the radiator is sufficient and they need replenishing about once a week, don't spread calcium and don't use electricity.

    I use destilled- or rainwater for my humidifier to prevent scale build up.

    I have a lot of acoustic instruments but wouldn't bother with solid electric guitars, as said the only trouble might be fret ends protruding a bit.
    Last edited by Poul Hansen; 11-06-2020 at 12:20 AM.
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