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Thread: Humidifiers (warm or cool?)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Edmonton
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    Default Humidifiers (warm or cool?)

    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 https://www.evababygear.com/best-baby-humidifier/ 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?
    Last edited by Wiaman; 01-21-2019 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2017
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    We are here talking about room humidifiers I think. I live in Finland and while it is as north as Edmonton or even norther, the weather seldom gets below -20C, now it is -8C, but it is cold yes.
    So a humidifier is needed for us humans too, because we have cold incoming air coming from outside above the window from a channel and when it comes into a warm room it expands and the relative humidity drops to an unacceptable really low level for us and also to our acoustic instruments. The dry skin and eyes, stuck nose etc. can be avoided and in general much easier for the respiration system.

    Regarding human health I think the warm mist humidifiers, working like an electric water kettle, are considered superior because bacteria will be killed. Also they are silent. The drawback is a large electric power consumption. I myself have a central heating to my apartment, so from that comes no moisture. Some other heating systems are better in that regard.

    You can read that some other types of humidifiers need filter changing, are noisy, require distilled water etc. And are still not considered quite safe. Some will spread white stuff, calcium I think, all over the room.
    Cold water humidifiers consume less power and another advantage is that the mist does not first rise up where it is not so efficient. But I prefer the classic hot water humidifier for it's safety and simplicity in operation.

    I don't think electric solid body guitars need much of that, fret ends may become noticeable on some models though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Default

    The simple answer is buy a hygrometer to stay in the room and read the humidity level. Anything above 40% is good and even a steady 35% should be fine for solid body electrics. If the fret ends start to protrude past the fret board and feel sharp it is drying out.

    Buy a good quality hygrometer, cheap ones are not accurate and reliable, ask me how I know. I did a bunch of research and the Caliper IV hygrometers are excellent. You can buy the Oasis brand from Amazon and they are the same manufacture with a different name. Cost is about $30.00 which is dirt cheap for the peace of mind it gives you on thousands of dollars of instruments.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #4
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    I forgot to say that even though I mentioned a room humidifier, I want to pinpoint that if you have an electric air changing system that makes the air run from the room to the exit(s) on the apartment or whatever. Place the humidifier preferably on the central of that room or perhaps closer to the incoming air wall in that room you want to moisture. It needs be inside the room and you can even close the room door if wanting to save on power setting if the device has any.

    Hot water humidifier also removes the effect of that cold feeling the incoming air does or even just one cold wall. But every room needs their own, yes.

    Best hygrometer to me is my skin.

    EDIT
    Actually above 40% humidity may be bad for the structure, molds etc. 35% maybe ok, that is why some solid (top) instruments may need additional case toys which to moisture them. Such a bother lol.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 01-17-2019 at 02:37 AM.

  5. #5
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    Actually 50% RH is pretty dry, not a hope of being bad for any wood structure or mold.
    Buy a hygrometer, the one that has been recommended. It makes sense.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael N. View Post
    Actually 50% RH is pretty dry, not a hope of being bad for any wood structure or mold.
    Buy a hygrometer, the one that has been recommended. It makes sense.
    You englishmen and your moldy houses maybe a "race" that are able to have no health problems from mold. Myself don't have either maybe had them, but many do. What I told also applies more to countries like Finland and Canada and others with colder outdoor temperatures.

    I am not an expert, but l know that what you wrote is in general bullshit. While the word mold maybe is not mentioned in this, that is what the disgusting thing in the picture is:
    https://www.energyvanguard.com/blog/...dity-in-winter

    Over 40% relative humidity in winter is seldom a good idea, but depends of course on the structure you live in.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    We are here talking about room humidifiers I think. I live in Finland and while it is as north as Edmonton or even norther, the weather seldom gets below -20C, now it is -8C, but it is cold yes.
    So a humidifier is needed for us humans too, because we have cold incoming air coming from outside above the window from a channel and when it comes into a warm room it expands and the relative humidity drops to an unacceptable really low level for us and also to our acoustic instruments. The dry skin and eyes, stuck nose etc. can be avoided and in general much easier for the respiration system.

    Regarding human health I think the warm mist humidifiers, working like an electric water kettle, are considered superior because bacteria will be killed. Also they are silent. The drawback is a large electric power consumption. I myself have a central heating to my apartment, so from that comes no moisture. Some other heating systems are better in that regard.

    You can read that some other types of humidifiers need filter changing, are noisy, require distilled water etc. And are still not considered quite safe. Some will spread white stuff, calcium I think, all over the room.
    Cold water humidifiers consume less power and another advantage is that the mist does not first rise up where it is not so efficient. But I prefer the classic hot water humidifier for it's safety and simplicity in operation.

    I don't think electric solid body guitars need much of that, fret ends may become noticeable on some models though.
    The white substance would be mineral deposits not calcium. My apartment was hot so I used a cool mist humidifier. Have also used open water in a dish next to the heat source. Whatever you get make sure it has an adequate water tank, don’t want to refill it every 4-6 hours.
    LACole
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  8. #8
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    Jarmo -

    Please understand that I am not attacking you, but I find your statements here to be quite offensive, and I am not an Englishman myself.

    I would kindly encourage you to rephrase and edit your statement to say what you mean without being condescending and malicious, which is how I am reading this here in NYC.

    We all have our opinions, and I am not denying yours, but I find it difficult to want to read what you say and care about your opinion when you use this kind of language that can be hurtful to others.

    Maybe I am alone in this perception, and if so, and I am in the wrong, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    You englishmen and your moldy houses maybe a "race" that are able to have no health problems from mold. ...I am not an expert, but l know that what you wrote is in general bullshit...
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacole View Post
    The white substance would be mineral deposits not calcium. My apartment was hot so I used a cool mist humidifier. Have also used open water in a dish next to the heat source. Whatever you get make sure it has an adequate water tank, don’t want to refill it every 4-6 hours.
    Thank you for telling what it is. I would hate to have to clean, particularly from my TV screen or computer monitor.

    I too have that problem a bit, the apartment being quite too warm, but that is what it is living in a multistore building with 3 glass windows. My water batteries from central heating feel almost like room temperature after adjusting them low and it is still 22-23C without the humidifier. And the humidifier adds about one degree to that, to my living room I keep it, where my ukes and guitars are too.
    Without a humidifier such a warm room will have something like 20% or less RH. So it is a problem. With a humidifier I have to keep sure that I don't overhumidify. Colder outer wall and condensation.

    BTW I don't agree with all things in that link I posted, just was the first one I found with a quick google search. Particularly it still was about someone living quite south and I think there was none mention about machine air change, that is air gets "vacuumed" from the apartment.

    My humidifier (Ufox 3S) I bought from about 1990, but I had not used for years except now that I'm 60 and suffering more and more from dry air. So maybe that is why it is still working now just as well as new. Good advice about water tank I say yes. Mine has 5.1 liter but it still lasts only about a day with half power setting. And I think it could be too powerful for a small room.

    Filling is easy, just get to a bucket warm water from bathroom, open the lid and pour it in.

    ---------

    Now some other words to other posters. Personalities and bluntness change and depend to a country. We in the north europe tend to be quite blunt and straight and even our jokes can remain unnoticed to some. I have noticed something similar also to all northern native people. That southern people can't get or concentrate more in socializing etc. stuff.

    I noticed a severe bad suggestion for winter time and us living in the north. Also I don't like to be told I need to buy something. Hygrometers are also like toys and their readings false, please don't trust them. What you can maybe do is use them as a power shut down when the humidity level goes too high (regardless what the false or even correct particularly reading is telling).
    My main advice is to keep humidity in winter low as possible but still tolerable to you as a human.

    Your acoustic solid wood instruments then will need toys in their cases maybe.

  10. #10
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    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.
    Last edited by Michael N.; 01-19-2019 at 12:58 AM.

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