Twice a year I have my humidity rant and that time has come again. I was just at someone's house a week or 2 ago and heard that tell-tale raspy buzz, characteristic of a guitar that has dried out. If this kind of buzz is ignored, it can quickly turn into a death rattle. Ugh!! If you're in the Northern Hemisphere and have heat on, HUMIDIFY!! If you're in the Southern Hemisphere and have the A/C on, HUMIDIFY!! Unless you have a Rainsong guitar, this is for you.
Here's something that is posted on my Guitar Technique Tutor web site:
SAVE YOUR GUITAR!
Depending upon where you live, you may be killing your guitar!!
I’m in the north east US and for most of the year, either the heat or the A/C is on in our apartment.
If you reside where:
• the heat is on
• the air conditioner is on
• the air humidity is less than 40%
YOU NEED TO HUMIDIFY YOUR GUITAR NOW!
I suggest you get and begin to use a guitar humidifier immediately. There are several kinds available. More instruments are damaged due to climatic conditions than from any other single cause (not counting being trashed intentionally.) Dryness and sudden temperature changes are the worst culprits.
In the case of an arid environment, not only will the guitar crack from lack of moisture, but when the fretboard dries out, your guitar will buzz and the frets will protrude on the sides of the neck and may give you a nasty scratch/cut.
Get into the habit of monitoring humidity in the room where you keep your guitar. Get a hygrometer (humidity indicator) at any hardware store so you can give your guitar the humidity it needs, when it needs it.
Taking the initiative to humidify your guitar will save you the cost of repairs and will keep your guitar playing its best.
BE SURE YOUR GUITAR IS NOT LEFT NEAR ANY HEATING OR COOLING SOURCE NOR NEAR AN OUTSIDE WALL OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN VERY COLD OR VERY HOT WEATHER.
Remember, your guitar is comfortable where you are comfortable. Don't leave it in an unheated cold basement or attic and likewise don't leave it in a sweltering car or attic in the summer.
I was happy to see our friends at PRS join in the crusade, a week or so ago - it was the first time i received an email blast from them that spotlighted the necessity of promoting humidification, too.
There are a variety of humidifiers available for guitars. There are whole room humidifiers, case humidifiers and several that that go into the sound hole of your guitar, if your guitar has a sound hole. Whatever case or internal humidifier you use, it won't work if you aren't vigilant and re-wet it whenever needed. If your chosen humidifier comes with some kind of humidity gauge, I recommend you get a free-standing hygrometer. I keep mine on a shelf near where the guitars are hung. I check it daily - regardless if it is during the traditional "humidifier seasons" or not.
Dehydration can be deadly for people and likewise for wooden stringed instruments. Humidify and keep on humidifying
~ D A Arlaus, "doing my part to spread the excellence, one guitarist at a time."