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I have a Martin acoustic guitar and it's usually kept in its case. I use it about three times a week. The area I live in can get pretty humid, but winter gets a bit dry. It's kept in my apartment - which has a heater/air conditioner.

So I was wondering if I need to use my humidifier all the time?

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2 Answers 2

I totally agree with the above answer, in that the only way to be sure as to what you need is to get a hygrometer and check the humidity. If the humidity is too low, which happens reasonably frequently in heated houses during the winter, the best thing to do is get a case humidifier like this one and leave that in your guitar case. That will help maintain a normal, healthy humidity level.

If your humidity level is too high, you'll find that a small bag of silica gel will quite easily do the trick.

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The best thing is to get a humidity gauge (either for the room or the case) and monitor the humidity (I think the usual range to aim for is between 40 - 60%), then to use the humidifier when the gauge is below that range (but some humidifiers also lower the humidity when it gets too high).

It's important to be consistent. It is often harder on an instrument to go through cycles of lower and higher humidity (such as it would experience if you humidify sometimes but not all the time when it is needed) than to maintain a specific humidity, due to the fact that the wood is shrinking and swelling over and over again

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This seems to make sense, but can you cite a source for this information? –  neilfein Mar 29 '12 at 14:58
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