Using room humidifiers to protect guitars and electronics from winter weather
Whether a room is comfortable depends in part upon humidity. We all know how uncomfortable a hot, humid room can be on a summer’s day. In the winter, on the other hand, rooms can be dry and feel stuffy from a lack of humidity. The effects of low humidity affect not only us, but also our household items, such as guitars and electronics.
Guitars are commonly made out of wood, making many subject to physical changes due to conditions like humidity. In the winter, the relative humidity of a room typically drops as cold air from outside is warmed up by heating devices. This simply means that the air, once heated, has less moisture. Since hot air holds more water than cold air, it will take more moisture to fill the same amount of hot air relative to cold air.
The relative decrease in humidity that results from heating a room can cause the wood of a guitar to shrink. The shrinkage in the wood can lead to a variety of distortions in the guitar’s sound and playability, such as fret buzzing, lowered action and damage to the finish. None of these are desirable, but all can be prevented by maintaining a suitable level of humidity. While there’s no Environmental Protection Agency standard for room humidity, Collings Guitars recommended storing guitars in rooms at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and with a relative humidity of 49 percent.
Low humidity can also negatively affect electronic equipment in general. According to Radio Shack, the static discharge that may result from lack of air moisture can lead to damage to electronic devices.
Risks to guitars and electronics due to low humidity can be counteracted by the use of room humidifiers. By using a humidifier, you can control the amount of humidity in a room where such items are stored and maintain the air moisture at a safe and comfortable level.
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