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  #16  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:41 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal View Post
2. If you humidify your guitar room, it's preferable for your home if it's just the one room, and not the whole house at 40-50%. I think it's ok to keep a smaller room at 40% when it's 5 degrees outside, but if you try to keep the whole house like that, first off, it's pretty impossible, and if it IS possible, you risk creating a good environment for mold and damage to your house.
If you can do it, keeping your whole home at 40-50% humidity is the best thing to do. It's healthier for you and your family, and will not cause mold.

Humidifying a room is preferable to humidifying the guitar, or its case.
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:57 AM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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I was visiting a customer who lives in Millerburg Ohio about 1 hour from you and she brought out her to best guitars to show me. A Taylor and a Martin both tops split down the middle trying to make it through Ohio winter without humidification. She is a older lady and I am sure had the heat up but it can happen.
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
If you can do it, keeping your whole home at 40-50% humidity is the best thing to do. It's healthier for you and your family, and will not cause mold.

Humidifying a room is preferable to humidifying the guitar, or its case.
Howard, if your house is at 50% and the outside temperature is 10 degrees, you will have all that vapor going somewhere, the most noticeable place will be on the windows, the most un-noticeable place will be vapor escaping to the attic, only to freeze, and then to melt when it will become apparent. The EPA even has safety guidelines for this.
Quote:
Outdoor Recommended Indoor Temperature Relative Humidity
+20o F. 35%
+10o F. 30%
0o F. 25%
-10o F. 20%
-20o F. 15%
The context can be found here- http://www.epa.gov/iedmold1/moldresources.html

It would be wonderful if it were a good idea to keep it at 45-50% all winter, but I think I'll rely on the EPA for this advice.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:53 PM
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Here's some more, University of Minnesota- http://www.home-smart.org/how_your_h...ef=795:HYHW_LN
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The University of Minnesota has developed guidelines for the minimum recommended humidity levels for houses. Based on a 70ºF interior room temperature, engineering studies established the following guidelines:

Outside Temperature Inside Humidity

20º to 40ºF Not over 40%

10º to 20ºF Not over 35%

0º to 10ºF Not over 30%

-10º to 0ºF Not over 25%

-20º to –10ºF Not over 20%

-20ºF or below Not over 15%

Plenty of other valid resources out there with the same advice. Just an FYI
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2011, 02:13 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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I'm glad Neal logged on before I did.

All I have to type is, "Yep, what Neal said".
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  #21  
Old 02-27-2011, 02:36 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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If you are a home owner, take the time to check this information out with your local county extension service, building association, and university.

There are places and situations where it is extremely unwise, unhealthy, and **** difficult to try maintain a 50% RH, even a 40% RH. (and other places where it is a sensible piece of cake). There is nothing wrong with 30% RH or 35% RH.

(Heck, where did we put sanitariums in the days before hi tech climate control? In the good, clean, dry desert. Bad lungs? Head for that good dry desert air)

If you have a dry house and are trying to use a humidifier in spot A to keep the humidity up in scattered and remote spots B,C, and D, there is a good chance that by the time you get point D humidified up to snuff, half of the water you pumped out of the point A location to achieve that point D reading went up through the ceiling instead and is currently working away at rotting parts of your roof. A single little box belching out a stream of water vapor is not the same as a properly designed whole house humidification system. (at least get a couple fans, and pay attention to just how much water you are pumping out)
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2011, 02:50 PM
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For many of you who live somewhere in the vast middle of this country, the amount of time you and your house are exposed to really cold weather and extremely dry interior humidity levels may last only a month or so.

When moderate measures no longer serve, there is no harm in keeping your guitar in it's humidified case until the wolf is no longer at the door.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2011, 02:55 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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..........
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Last edited by epaul; 02-27-2011 at 05:54 PM. Reason: duplicate
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  #24  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:10 PM
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Thanks Paul, I appreciate the support. It's an intimidating thing to have a respected member of the forum quote your valid, thought out advice, not only to say it's wrong, but dismissible.. .

Edit: I'd still let him advise me guitar-wise though.

Last edited by Neal; 02-27-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:36 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Thanks Paul, I appreciate the support. It's an intimidating thing to have a respected member of the forum quote your valid, thought out advice, not only to say it's wrong, but dismissible.. .

Edit: I'd still let him advise me guitar-wise though.
I used neither of those terms, Neal, nor did I say anything judgmental whatsoever about your post. I quoted it and then stated my own belief in contrast. That implies your being wrong, but so does stating any contrary position. How you go from there to saying I not only said your post was wrong, but dismissible eludes me. I disagreed. and pointed out what it was I was disagreeing with. That is not a rude or personal criticism of you.

I will say that you are right about cold climates in mid-winter, and that I didn't give that consideration in light of where the OP lives. I stand corrected. Although I think those guidelines do not take into account good insulated windows and a vapor barrier on the inner side of the outside wall. And I think it is in general good to humidify living space when it gets really dry inside. Apparently not so much as to keep a guitar above 40% in cold weather, though.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 02-27-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluside View Post
The folks at my local Walmart are not the most helpful. What department in the store would carry this hygrometer?
Hi B-side…
I'm sorry I missed your question.

In the section with thermometers in it (and outdoor weather stations).

Looks like this...





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  #27  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
...Although I think those guidelines do not take into account good insulated windows and a vapor barrier on the inner side of the outside wall. And I think it is in general good to humidify living space when it gets really dry inside. Apparently not so much as to keep a guitar above 40% in cold weather, though.
Hi Howard and Neal…
I found no offensive info from either of you, but do know that in Wyoming (can't speak for other areas of the country) that if it's cold and dry outside, if I can even hold 40% it's a miracle, and if I push it higher what I end up with is ice on bottom ⅓ the windows, and water dripping onto the bottom of window casings and sills.

It may true Howard that my windows are not the best, but I'm not about to invest in $15,000 worth of new windows to correct it, when I plan on living here only 3 more years and selling the place.

I'm not convinced it would fix it anyway, since the upscale homes of several of my clients and students also suffer from this same icing and condensing on the windows problem. In fact it's so prevalent that the local paper reminds us to wash and wipe dry the bottoms of the casings after these episodes to avoid mold forming there.

I envy you who live near coasts and in the south - your humidity is much more to my nose's liking (I get spontaneous nose bleeds if it is too dry for too long).

I often smile when I hear people recommending that 45%-55% being optimal for guitars because out here the only way to accomplish it would be by extreme measures (perhaps a sealed hyperbaric chamber).

So much of our info is based on (and dependent on) where we live...

Just pitching in my 2 cents worth...thanks for letting me share.


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  #28  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:15 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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If Springfields are out of stock at your Walmart:

http://www.amazon.com/Springfield-91...8862556&sr=8-1

If they are in stock at Walmart, buy three. You won't regret it. (and if one of them is out of whack with the other two, toss it and replace it).

Right now, this is most accurate hygrometer I have owned, I have four of them, and they are spot on:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Humido...8862852&sr=8-8

I was curious, so I bought a bunch of new hygrometers and tested them. I bought two Caliper IIIs, as they were the top recommended digital type on Amazon. They worked so darn well, I bought two more, just to broaden the sample (and to have more of them, I have seven or eight guitars to take care of).

I then bought three Springfields, just to see how they stacked up. They didn't test quite as well as the Calipers, but, near I as I can tell, they are plenty good.

Test #1. I placed all the hygrometers in a baggy with a solution of water and potassium carbonate, which will produce a RH of 43% in a closed environment. As far as I am concerned, this is the single most useful accuracy test you can use for a hygrometer that is intended for guitar use. All the hygrometers did well. One of the Calipers read 42%, two were at 43% and the fourth was at 44%. The three Springfields read 42% , 44%, and 45%. I repeated the test and got the same basic results. All five tested good at 43% RH, a real sweet spot for guitar keeping.

Test #2. I tested all the hygrometers in a baggy with a solution of water and sodium chloride (table salt), which will produce a RH of 75% in a closed environment. The four Calipers were all either at 75% or just a point off. Oddly, all of the Springfields were centered around 65%, plus or minus a couple (one read 62%, the other two were at 64% and 65%.). I re-tested them a couple times, but they insisted on reading about ten points lower than they should have.

Test #3. I packed all three in a stable and identical environment (my kitchen table) and observed them for a couple days. All eight stayed very close to each other. One might be up a point, another down two, but all stayed within a four point range from top to bottom, which was pretty darn impressive.

(These gizmos are pretty darn sensitive, moving one a foot or two this way or that could change the reading by a point, depending on any number of things. Fro sure, the reading you get by a window or wall will be different, often by several points, than the center of a room.)

Test #4. I compared the new hygrometers to my collection of old Radio Shack hygrometers by every method at my disposal. The new ones were better. My Radio Shacks were all four or five or more years old. Do these things gradually lose accuracy? I don't know.



Conclusion. I like the Caliper IIIs. The consistency of the four I have has been impressive. But, the Springfields did just fine. I can't account for their poor performance in the salt slurry test, but they were accurate where it mattered, in the 43% RH of the potassium carbonate test and on my kitchen table (which ranged from 36% to 41% over the course my observations).

At $7 or whatever, I would buy a pocketful of Springfields. But if I was ordering through Amazon, I would also get a Caliper or two. These things are darn useful. After my comparison, I assigned my new batch of hygrometers to duties in various rooms and guitar cases. I discovered I was getting a little close to over-humidifying my guitars. I had grown a little complacent in my methods. Without a couple reliable hygrometers on hand, you really are flying blind.


(I purchased a jar of potassium carbonate on line.)

.
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Last edited by epaul; 02-27-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:04 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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The University of Minnesota's recommended interior humidity levels is based on current data for houses built to current Minnesota building codes (and Minnesota winters). Every fall, we get house "winterization" advice from university extension agents via our local newspapers, radio and TV stations.
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  #30  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:26 PM
epaul epaul is offline
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A link to some useful hygrometer testing information, including RHs produced by various salt solutions.

http://www.kingofthehouse.com/hygrometer/
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