If you’ve ever noticed the fret ends sticking out along the edge of your fretboard or if a fret buzz suddenly appears, your guitar needs humidity control. Changing seasons and weather conditions greatly affect the amount of humidity present and one of the primary functions of home heating and air conditioning units is to remove moisture from the air. The typical acoustic guitar holds between eight and ten grams of water and changes to this balance result in either shrinkage through drying or swelling through over-hydrating of the wood of the guitar. Due to the tension from the strings, this can cause myriad ill-effects ranging from fret buzz and fret-overhang, to warping or twisting of the neck and top. In extreme cases, costly damages in the form of cracks and splits will occur. Improper humidity levels are the main source of instrument repair and moisture control is the key to solving the problem. Taking these steps will ensure the protection of your instrument, be it electric or acoustic.
- Store you guitar in its case when not in use and place a temperature/humidity gauge inside the case.
- Keep the humidity level between 45 and 60% inside the case. A guitar humidifier will usually do the trick but it may also be helpful to use a room humidifier or de-humidifier.
- 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for guitars. Storing them away from direct sunlight or sources of heating and air conditioning will help to maintain a constant temperature.
Humidity control is like an extra insurance policy for the health and well-being of your guitar.