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  #1  
Old 11-23-2007, 11:51 AM
Paje Paje is offline
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Lightbulb Extreme dry air remedies (room, house)

Greetings,

We've a wave of unusually cold and dry air here in the PNW which is taxing my whole-home humidifier ~ RH% dropped to 38% this morning.

I can keep some of my instruments in a proper, controlled environment in their cases, but I don't prefer that even then. Add cello, violin, dulcimer, etc. ,etc., to all the guitars throughout the house and, for me, it's best to keep the whole house at the proper RH% (my sinuses appreciate that as well, lol). Where I reside (dry summers, wet winters) it is usually not a problem either. That being said, I've had to deploy humidity-adding counter-measures yesterday and today. Thought I'd throw out some of my temporary remedies/ideas and also poll other's for theres.
  • Steamy showers w/no exhaust fan. I use a floor fan to help disperse the steam.
  • Steam clean the carpets. They probably need it anyway, and it's best when it's dry like this.
  • Wet cloth over return and heat vents. This can inhibit the airflow - use as thin cloth as possible.
  • Spray bottle/misting - hit those vent cloths (thin ones dry fast), mist air, curtains, carpet, furniture, etc.,

Again, these are temporary remedies that I employ in these rare & very dry circumstances only. I couldn't imagine doing this every day and, if the weather required it more than a few days here and there in the winter, I'd just use a reserve humidifier.

Any other ideas for emergency whole-house/room humidification?

Cheers,
Paje
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Last edited by Paje; 11-23-2007 at 12:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2007, 12:48 PM
3rd_harmonic 3rd_harmonic is offline
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In my "guitar room" I block the forced air heating and use a space heater. And I have a humidifier that I use to keep the RH up. I put plastic over the windows to keep the condensation from accumulating and freezing ( which would kill the woodwork.)
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2007, 02:59 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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1. For those with an electric clothes dryer, you can unplug the exit air hose and run a short length over to blow into a trashcan full of water. The excess lint will collect on the surface of the water and the warm wet air will be blown into your house.

2. If you can maintain your privacy, take your showers with the bathroom door open and the exhaust fan off. All the moisture goes to the house.

There there's my favorite dorm humidifier:
I just love this one. Somehow, it punches all the right buttons and makes me feel like I'm beating the system at the same time. Why do I feel like I need to beat the system? I suppose that's a discussion for another time. But here's the scheme:

Go down to a local 24-hour convenience store and pick up a package of pecan-cinnamon swirls or cinnamon buns. Now go back to the dorm and brew up a really nice pot of coffee. Invite over you favorite dorm buds for a get-together over free coffee and cinnamon buns. Mmmm.... Deee-lish! They'll think you are quite the host.

Party over? Okay, carefully clean out the shallow aluminum pan in which your cinnamon buns came to remove the sugar and bread. Fill it up nearly to the rim with water. Now, either set it on top of the steam heater coils or heating unit (if applicable or safe) or on the window sill. Its large surface area, conductive aluminum body, and shallow depth make it work great. As the water evaporates, you get free humidity. Your evaporator is a renewable, hungry resource: Keep it full of water at all times. Make a habit of checking it as you enter or leave the room. If it doesn't make enough humidity, have another coffee klatch. Liberate another pan of cinnamon buns and boost your popularity and humidity further.

If I remember right, I think the idea for this came from Margaret Neuhoff, Covenant College class of 1980.

Bob
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:07 PM
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Get a humidifier attachment for your furnace.
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:12 PM
rattletrap rattletrap is offline
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Where I live it is too dry to try to effectively humidify the whole house except with a swamp cooler, which works VERY well. As for my guitar room I use a baby humidifier and pump an average of 3 gal a day into a small room. I've been looking around for something that is less hassle
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2007, 03:15 PM
edman edman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rattletrap View Post
Where I live it is too dry to try to effectively humidify the whole house except with a swamp cooler, which works VERY well. As for my guitar room I use a baby humidifier and pump an average of 3 gal a day into a small room. I've been looking around for something that is less hassle

I use a baby vaporizer / humidifier in my guitar room. It does a pretty good job, but I have to add water to it every day during the coldest parts of the winter.
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:03 PM
Christian G Christian G is offline
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Hey, I'm in Portland too. Is this weather really considered dangerous guitar weather?
I quite like it as opposed to that rain we had a bit ago. Hah.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2007, 05:33 PM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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My 20 gal fish tank (no lid) has kept the humidity at 50 -54% i my 12x12 office. It looks nice too. I have had to add 5 gallons of water in 4 weeks. Sunburst Guppies btw
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:38 PM
Paje Paje is offline
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Good stuff!

I had forgot to post about the dryer option. That's one I've used before as well - quite effective!

The stove-top idea reminded me I should add that dehydrating fruits, etc., probably helps add a bit of moisture (& heat and yummy smells) to the air as well.

Swamp cooler! I imagine that would work!

Christian G ~> when it drops below freezing @ night with high, dry winds (out of the East) and no rain, best keep an eye on that hygrometer. Looks as though our weather has returned to the normal moist and mild again for now.

Cheers,
Paje
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2007, 05:03 PM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Just leave a soup bowl of water on or near your heat source and re-fill as it evaporates. It works and doesn't cost a thing.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2007, 05:46 PM
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Boil water on your kitchen stove. Use your largest pot so refilling is infrequent. For safety, never leave the pot unattended.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2007, 04:50 AM
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I sound like Fittness talking Webber Guitars

Get a 20 extra long fish tank. Skip the hood. Put in non jumping sunburst guppies. Enjoy and get proper humidity! I have now gone through 6 gallons of water in about 6 weeks in a 12x12 room.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2007, 05:52 AM
Health Freak Health Freak is offline
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Get a carbon fiber guitar. :-)
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2007, 06:27 AM
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Is 38% that bad? I've heard guitars should kept at 40% - 60%.

Think of all those old pre-war Martins, Lloyd Loar mandolins, and fiddles, violas, and cellos that are hundreds of years old. The seem to have survived the pre-humidifier world.
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2007, 06:34 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Default Dryer heat/moisture recycling

Here's the simplest solution for reclaiming dryer vent heat and humidity:

http://www.cetsolar.com/extraheat.htm

Just about any hardware store carries some variant of this unit.

HE
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