Thank you Lolligagger. That’s great. I’ve been searching home comfort sites for tips and recommendations about this topic but I hadn’t thought to look at guitar maker sites to get this type of info. I’ve been keeping an eye on the hygrometer and temperatures inside of my house all weekend and I’m surprised at what I’ve seen so far, especially how quick and sometimes extreme the difference of humidity can get around the house.
According to the chart on the Larrivee site, the relative humidity for a comfortable home temperature (72F or 22C) should be between 42% and 55%. Today, with the heating system off, the temperature in my house is about 18C (about 59F) and the hygrometer reads about 60% humidity !!!
I did a few calculations:
If 72F/22C = 42% to 55%
Then 65F/20C = 38% to 50%
Then 59F/18C = 34% to 45%
So according to this, the humidity level in my house right now at this time of the year is way too high! It should be between 34% and 45% but it hovers around the 60% mark. I had the heat on in the evening Friday and Saturday and it didn’t change the humidity levels that much. The funny (and surprising) thing is that when I open the patio door long enough to have a cigarette and blow the smoke outside, the humidity rapidly drops to 40% - 42%.
When we prepared dinner last night, the heat and steam from the pots on the stove made the humidity climb to well in the 70% (I read 78% at a certain point). And the humidity remained in the 70% until I opened some of the windows which eventually dropped in the 50% range. I think what I’m trying to say here is that unless you live in a house/apartment that has a central climate control, that you not only need a humidifier but you also need a dehumidifier. My house is about 1200s/f on two levels and when I came out of my shower (upstairs), it also made the humidity level climb up to 72% on the lower floor. As the days get colder and colder, the humidity level overall will probably drop but levels change all throughout the day in a house and that’s what can be pretty bad for musical instruments.
I installed a programable thermostat last year and I used to let the temperature drop overnight (to save money) but now, I’m reviewing all of this because I think that I need to keep a constant temperature day and night so that I can regulate the relative humidity around it. I’m looking at getting a dehumidifier too. I might set up the temperature at 20C (almost 66F) constant day and night in which case I’ll set up the humidifier to keep it at 38% and the dehumidifier to remove any humidity above 50% from the daily peaks like cooking, showering etc... You have to experiment and it’s a bit of a pain but it’s well worth it. It’s surprising what you find when you start looking into it. Hope this helps anyone here. Let us know about your experience.