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What type of humidifier is good for the room I keep my guitars?

I have 6 guitars hanging on an inside wall in my basement. One of them is a brand new Martin Acoustic. I'm worried about the dryness of the room over the winter, and I am in the market for a humidifier. Any suggestions as to which one is good?

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I don't know where you live, Don, but my first suggestion would be to get a very good hygrometer (they're really not that expensive compared to what you're preserving so get a good one) and check it at least a couple of times a week. Keep the moisture between 45% and 55% and you should be good but watch it carefully in a basement. Humidity can fluctuate pretty quickly. As far as a brand of humidifier, I don't have that problem so I couldn't help. My issues are just the opposite. Good luck.
i live in nyc and it gets down to humidity levels of 10 and 15% in my guitar room. brutal. i am going to try the planet waves new and improved humidipak contraptions. problem with them so far is that if you have any guitar with anything other than a large soundhole, you end up sort of forcing the pouches through the sound hole. i called them and they told me that provided i was not forcing it too hard it woul dbe okay since the packettes are pretty tough. as an experiment i tried to rip one up and it took alot of effort so i felt better. i hope this works, but i suspect when the rh gets really low i will need to somehow supplement this system. any thoughts on this system?
interesting how you're both in NY. I agree with Weaser, get a hygrometer. no sense getting a humidifier if you don't have to. here inAlberta durng the winter my humidity can drop to as low as 20% in my house. I have to check and fill the humidifier DAILY!!

What kind of humidifier works best: an ultrasonic, an evaporative, cool-mist.... I am on Long Island, NY and have a problem with humidity also.  I did get a hydrometer and a humidity thing a ma jig that has a sponge in it that I put into a plastic "container" which slides between my strings into my sound hole, but I need to get a room humidifier, too. Thanks. Any thoughts anyone?

You're in NY too?!?! That is funny. Well, maybe Syracuse is a little different than the island but I wouldn't think too much, Don. If I can go into a little more specific detail, I do have a humifier on my furnace that I tweak in the winter so I guess I that's what stops me from needing a portable unit (which is what I assumed you meant for the basement). But I wouldn't even consider keeping my guitars in my basement because it's too humid down there especially in the winter. Guess that doesn't help you very much but I'd stick with, whatever you do, definitely get the hygrometer.
The only solution that has worked for me long-term is to keep them in the cases overnight.
I appreciate how wonderful it is to have them on the wall, but even my electrics suffer on the wall or on stands when the weather changes. The cases allow them to adapt slowly and I have been very disappointed in the past when a happy guitar became unhappy just from hanging unprotected... sorry(!)
Mike
I live in central PA where the weather and the home heat can be brutal. Due to recent GAS, I now have more solid top guitars than ever before. (3 Martins, a Sigma DR 41 and an Alvarez). I have wall hangers and stands for all of them, but our humidity has dropped so dramatically that I keep most of them in cases.

Often, I keep one guitar out, but at night a nearby small floor humidifier is running and I also keep a sponge type humidifier in the sound hole...which I check and change twice a day. As for which guitar I have out...I vary it.
I look forward to spring when I can have them out.

My wife has two Ibanez basses...laminited acoustic and and electric, and they don't seem to be affected. I also leave my electric guitars out.

Bottom line...quality acoustic guitars are fragile. It's better avoid risks as much as possible.
The hygrometer of course is good as is running a humidifier (at least here in NY where everything is shut up tight to conserve energy). I purchased one of those little plastic deals with the sponge inside to humidify my Martin, also. After looking the thing over, I took a clothes pin, cut a rectangular piece of sponge and stuck those inside the sound holes of my other guitars. They seem to do the job.
For a humidifier that goes in the soundhole, I like the Oasis model. Some of the sponge units can drip if they're over filled, and that can be a disaster. Of course If you can humidify the whole room, that's much better. A pan of water on a hot plate, a cheap little steam humidifying unit, any of these will work fine, but you do need a Hygrometer to keep track of things. Also: look at your instruments. As a guitar dries out, the back starts to flatten out and the fret ends protrude (not if you have bound fret boards.) These are extreme warning signals.
Honeywell HCM-6012i QuietCare 11-Gallon Console Humidifier


I have been using this to humidify the main living area of my 1400 Sq. Ft house. It is really too small for that sized area yet is still going after 2 years. When it is 15% RH outside or when we have the wood stove burning 24-7....I fill it once AM and once PM. Otherwise once a day or less. And agree with everyone.....go to a cigar shop and buy a couple of the little Hygrometers for about $10 a piece.......

In a smaller basement I would think this would be ideal. I got mine on Amazon for about 100 bones.

Stephen
One more thing on monitoring humidity: make sure you check the calibration of whatever hygrometer you buy. I did some research before I bought mine, and I still ended up with a unit that was off by %15. There's a simple test you can do with a ziploc bag, some table salt and a little water. Just do a search for "calibrating hygrometers".
I used guitar soundhole humififiers (Kysers) until my collection got too large to keep track of my watering schedule! I also like to keep as many of my guitars hanging on the wall for easy access to play. In my experience, a guitar in a case does not get played much. My fix was to dedicate a room for my guitar collection and humidify it. Living near Denver Colorado, low humidity is always a problem.

I use a "Holmes" large room humidifier with an automated humidity set point. I understand that the automated humidifiers work a lot better than the older models did. I also have a Hygrometer in the room to verify humidity. We add water about every 2 days. Also remember to change the humidifier pads about every 6 months.

Since humidifying this room, we found that we rather enjoyed the higher humidity and also added a small unit in our bedroom for human comfort.
Chuck

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