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LOW humidity in studio?
Old 8th February 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

LOW humidity in studio?

I have read a bunch about people having trouble with high humidity, but here in the northeast US (and elsewhere), humidity can get down to 17-20% when the heat is on.

I learned long ago to keep guitars in cases, but still, humidity this low means dry skin and throats, high static, and just general discomfort.

I'd love to hear how people are combating low humidity. obviously, use a humidifier, but what are people using? Some models are prone to mold buildup, and most are too noisy for use during regular operation and too weak to really make a difference. For instance, on their website, Santa Cruz guitars says that they have to pump 10 gallons of water a day into the air to maintain 47% in their 900 SF shop when the temperature is below 0 outside. I can only assume that its some heavy artillery used to keep that kind of humidity up.

Thanks for your help!
Old 8th February 2009
  #2
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elambo's Avatar
In Chicago, humidity can be a beast. I went with floor units for several years but they all broke, and relatively quickly. I now have a built-in humidifier installed into both of my HVAC zones, running whenever the heat and/or fan runs. It covers the whole house, but still doesn't have the power to bring my studio past 30% in the middle of winter. I've been looking into stronger units. My acoustic guitars suffer most, and the piano shift out of tune much faster, but with the electrics in their case they're relatively safe.

I certainly would NOT buy the Venta Airwasher again. It was a pain in the ass (had to be refilled at least once a day and required too much cleaning), and when it broke they wanted me to send it back to Germany. Came with a 10 year warranty, but that's not my kind of warranty.

I have an Air-O-Swiss in one room that needs more humidity and it works very well. It's evaporative, which means that it can leave a mist of white chalky particles on certain surfaces (although it only showed up on the surface of the alarm and A/V keypads on my walls).

I've had several Honeywells go bad, but they did pump out a lot of moisture.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that you can't put it too close to your gear. Seems like a given, but I've seen humidifiers less than a foot away from studio gear.
Old 8th February 2009
  #3
Gear Head
 

I recommend using a humidifier that ties into your air handler, since you can tap those into the water line and don't have to worry about refilling tanks and all that. I'm currently using a drum humidifier in my house, which works well up to a point--on colder days it has a tendency to top out in the upper 30s RH. I recently got a Honeywell TrueSTEAM, which steams the water and injects it into the supply duct. In addition to supposedly being more water-efficient than more passive designs, it also periodically flushes out its water tank automatically so you don't get stagnant water and all that. I unfortunately haven't had a chance to install mine yet, but plan to do so this week.
Old 8th February 2009
  #4
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by detached23 View Post
I recently got a Honeywell TrueSTEAM, which steams the water and injects it into the supply duct. In addition to supposedly being more water-efficient than more passive designs, it also periodically flushes out its water tank automatically so you don't get stagnant water and all that.
Do you recall which model? I'm using an AprilAir at the moment but since it tops out around 30 I'm starting to consider: CAREL USA - humiSteam Electrode Steam Humidifier

...which has been highly recommended. But it's costy. If the TrueSteam works well, I'd be happy to give it a try. Seems that, in general, whole-house humidifiers have trouble keeping up with cold days.
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