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Thread: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

  1. #1
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    I monitor my humidity levels year round with a couple different hygrometers. So far this fall I have only had one day where my indoor humidity dropped below 40%. That was a few days ago and it only was at 38% briefly, then we got some warmer rainy weather.

    Tonight our local low will be around 29 degrees and I am anticipating my heater cycling and removing some air moisture.

    I humidify my bedroom where I have my instruments hanging on the wall so I get humidified too. The evaporative model I use can hold several (4-5?) gallons so I donít have to fill it too often, which is nice.

    I hope you all are humidifying too!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Mine are set up, too. In less than a week, as soon as I started using the woodstove, I went from dumping dehumidifier buckets to filling humidifier buckets. I have exposed uninsulated brick walls in my LR, so it's a constant challenge.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    We're at 40% humidity this morning so I will set mine up today. We've been stable in the low 40% range for a few weeks and that's about the best I can do when winter hits. Usually can stay at around 40-45%.

    When the inevitable polar vortex hits Minnesota in February I run two humidifiers but it's hard to stay above 40% humidity when the heater is fighting -20. Then we go to two humidifiers and a sponge in every case!
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    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    We have hot water heat with radiators, so the air doesn't circulate the way it would with forced air. The humidifiers went into the first floor foyer, bedrooms and music room 2 weeks ago. We have been up and down with temps here, from highs in the 50s to highs in the 30s, but it looks like we are going to be solidly around freezing for the next week or so. RH has been in the 40s with the humidifiers running. In another month or so when the outside temps are in the teens or lower, it will be time for the supplemental house humidifiers and the instrument case humidifiers. Sheesh!
    Kit
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    what is the optimal humidity levels to keep our beloved mandolins happy?

  7. #6
    Registered User Frankie D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    I moved from the So Cal tall pines area where I had to have all instruments cased, to the San Diego area where the humidity inside hovers around 50%, and leaving them all out on stands. The problem is that at times the humidity dips down below 40%, and if it doesn't last for several days, I still leave them out. Probably not the best way to go.
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  8. #7
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Quote Originally Posted by timothylanderson View Post
    what is the optimal humidity levels to keep our beloved mandolins happy?
    Pretty much everything I have read says that the range is 40% to around 60%. I try to shoot for the 40s during winter, but around here, with radiator heat, it can be a challenge to hit 40% without condensation running down the windows and even the walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie D View Post
    I moved from the So Cal tall pines area where I had to have all instruments cased, to the San Diego area where the humidity inside hovers around 50%, and leaving them all out on stands. The problem is that at times the humidity dips down below 40%, and if it doesn't last for several days, I still leave them out. Probably not the best way to go.
    Again, based on what I have read, it is two situations that can cause the problem: First is a rapid change in humidity (or temperature), and second is either high or low humidity that lasts long enough for the instrument to dry out enough, or get moist enough, to get past the elastic limits of materials and/or construction. Hardly an exact science, and I have had the humidity drop below 40% without problems, although I keep my instruments in cases so they will take longer to dry out.

    OTOH, I have several instruments that are over 70 years old (guitars and mandos), that I am sure were not "properly" humidified during their lives before I got them, and they seem to have survived.

    As always, YMMV.
    Kit
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    I live in a northern climate and my old house would have bad condensation problems if the indoor humidity was 40% and it was 0F outdoors. I use a whole house humidifier and maintain a maximum indoor humidity that is limited by slight amount of window condensation, since replacing my windows would far exceed the price of any new mandolin. I play my mandolins during the day and keep them cased with a small Oasis humidifier at night. No problems with playability or buzzing, I refill the case humidifiers about once/week.

  10. #9
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Quote Originally Posted by Elb2000 View Post
    I live in a northern climate and my old house would have bad condensation problems if the indoor humidity was 40% and it was 0F outdoors. I use a whole house humidifier and maintain a maximum indoor humidity that is limited by slight amount of window condensation, since replacing my windows would far exceed the price of any new mandolin. I play my mandolins during the day and keep them cased with a small Oasis humidifier at night. No problems with playability or buzzing, I refill the case humidifiers about once/week.
    I'm to the East of you, but at about the same latitude. As I said above, 40% is a challenge during the winter. I use the Oasis in-case humidifiers, too, although thinking about trying the Boveda style, at least for guitars. They are pretty expensive, though.
    Kit
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMandoKit View Post
    I'm to the East of you, but at about the same latitude. As I said above, 40% is a challenge during the winter. I use the Oasis in-case humidifiers, too, although thinking about trying the Boveda style, at least for guitars. They are pretty expensive, though.
    The Oasis seems to work great. It is also important to use a good quality mandolin case. When I checked with my wireless bluetooth humidity sensor I see about a 5% higher humidity level in a quality hard case as compared to a cheaper hard or soft case.

  12. #11
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Been lucky so far. But that's due to the place having electric baseboard heating. Helps keep humidity up at this time of year. But as Chuck mentioned above, once it gets really cold will still have to run a humidifier. Besides putting humidifiers in instruments in cases.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    Just a thought, guys. I'm reading Neil Rosenberg's 'Bluegrass - A History' at the moment, and he describes how some of the 1930s Bluegrass and Country 'tent shows' could be on tour for up to 6 months. Do a lot of older pro quality mandolins have damage from rattling round in vans and auto trunks without humidity control - or did many escape that?

  14. #13

    Default Re: Finally had to set up my humidifier this year

    My wife has lots of house plants Humidity stays about 60% year round. Check it with 3 humidistats.

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