With winter right around the corner, the cold weather is here and it's time to give some extra love and attention to your acoustic stringed instruments. Ensuring proper humidity levels is key for keeping your guitar in tip-top shape, even through the harsh, cold winter! Not only does proper humidification help to keep the playability and setup optimal, but it will also help prevent any issues that can arise from low humidity, such as cracks in the body and top, bridge lifting, or complete bridge separation. These issues can be unsightly, devalue your instrument, and often are not covered under warranty, which can lead to expensive repairs. Plus let's consider the mental anguish of your beloved guitar taking on easily avoidable damage. Luckily, its very easy to help prevent these issues with the following tips:
1) Use a humidifier!
There are a plethora of options available from simple "sponge" types to self-contained humidification systems such as the D'Addario Humidipak. I recommend the Humidipak due to the ease of use: it automatically regulates the humidity to optimal levels and eliminates a lot of guesswork and constant monitoring. I always invest in one for each of my acoustic instruments in the late fall when the temps start to drop. I throw them in the case or gig bag as directed and forget about it until the spring when it starts to warm up again. NOTE: If you live in especially dry conditions, I do recommend taking extra care and monitoring humidity levels with a hygrometer.
2) Leave it in the case or gig bag when not in use!
Storing your instrument in the case or gig bag when not being played, in combination with the humidifier, will create a nice protective environment at ideal humidity levels, keeping your guitar safe from the harsh, dry winter!
3) Keep away from the heat!
Always take care to store your instruments, whether in the case or on a stand, at a safe distance from direct heat sources such as vents, heaters, or radiators as these can speed up the drying out of your instrument and cause low humidity issues more rapidly.
To wrap up, your guitar is almost like a living tree, as it is constantly taking in and expelling moisture as the seasons and weather change throughout the year, and the above tips can help to counteract climate conditions that can harm your instrument. Keeping in mind how adversely low humidity conditions can affect your instrument, Kraft Music recommends using a humidifier inside a case or gig bag during the colder, dryer months of the year. Check out our selection of humidifiers below and feel free to contact our knowledgeable Sales Advisors for any additional guidance or tips!