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Well, "winter" is here -- we don't get harsh winters down here, but the heater is on more often than not and I'm watching my hygrometer with concern. If we have a rainy day here and there, it's not so bad. But today for the first time, the hygrometer reads 38%. (It's been between 44-50% most of the time since fall).

38%. I don't like that number. But I don't want to get a damp-chaser, and I don't think I need it most of the time.

So I;m considering a free-standing humidifier. Does anyone have one? I've read about the ones that end up spraying white particles, and that doesn't sound too good, so that's one concern I have. I also wouldn't want to have it running all the time, I would monitor it and just use it on days like today when I need to bring the humidity up just a bit.

Any comments or advice welcome!
TIA


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I have 3 humidifiers...2 are running at the moment, probably will need to add one in January. Here it can get way below 20% in the winter. They bring me peace of mind with my instruments and of course better for me and the cats too.

Each one has an inbuilt hydrometer (a must imo) and filters that are replaced every few months or so. I have never had any issues with them and seen no "white particles" hanging around...

BTW. I would not even worry about the instruments until it gets below 30%...but the more stable it is the less problems with tuning.

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Outo, thanks for those comments. Hmm, well, I'll keep my eye on the hygrometer and see if it gets much lower.

In the meantime, I've been reading about ultrasonic vs. evaporative humidifiers, a distinction I was not aware of.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-humidifier/

According to the above, the evaporative kind is the way to go...


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The low tech approach is to turn off ch and ac in the piano room and keep it coolish with some fresh air ventilation and houseplants in the room to do a bit of humidification. That works for me here in the UK, currently piano room is at 66% but we have had lots of rain for a week now.

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What is "ch"? (You wrote "turn off ch and ac")

We already keep the heater set at a lower temp than I would like. It's at 19C right now, the piano room is about 18C. I would be happier with 19.5-20 degrees. And it's too cold outside for fresh air ventilation, plus the outdoor humidity is generally quite low unless we get some rain.

Right now my low-tech solution is to boil some water and take the pot into the piano room! laugh


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I wouldn't worry about 38% for a few days at a time.

Where I live RH goes down into the single digits so humidification is necessary.

I own two models that both work really well. Both models from Aircare

MA1201. Works great but is very ugly.

Second model I own is Aircare 831000 Space-Saver which works almost as good for much easier fill ups

Keep in mind. These models require daily filling and filters will last depending on water quality anywhere between 30 and 90 days.

Filters are not cheap $17 but for me that is a small price to pay to keep the house properly humidified.

Not only piano's but people benefit greatly from proper RH.




















Last edited by Learux; 12/20/19 11:25 AM.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Outo, thanks for those comments. Hmm, well, I'll keep my eye on the hygrometer and see if it gets much lower.

In the meantime, I've been reading about ultrasonic vs. evaporative humidifiers, a distinction I was not aware of.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-humidifier/

According to the above, the evaporative kind is the way to go...


Mine are all evaporators. If I was buying now I would look for easy filling since one must add water daily when the air humidity is very low (although I guess you do not get -25C temperatures outside where you live). One of mine has a tank inside that I need to remove and use the tap to fill. The other two are easier, I can just add water from a can. They are also small in size and easy to place. With all 3 I can select the desired humidity level and they keep it constant in the room. This also means that the pianos don't get badly out tune when the whether changes. The only downside is the cost of filters, but what would we not do for our pianos?

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
According to the above, the evaporative kind is the way to go...

Ultrasonics produce a very fine white dust, it might not be too noticeable if you don't use it a lot, but it really shows up on a black piano. I already had one that I tried to use when I got my piano, had to change to evaporative.

I'd also suggest calibrating your hygrometer. I've never had one that read correctly, mine have been off between 3-6%. There have been a couple threads about calibrating them, but if you google "calibrate hygrometer with potassium carbonate", it's easy to do.

I would echo other posters comments about getting something easy to fill. I have a small one that requires removing the tank and carrying it to the sink, total pain even though I seldom have to fill it because we have a whole house humidifier. I would definitely try to get something you can fill with a bucket.


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I have been using Venta Airwasher humidifiers for years. I wouldn't use any other.

No particle dust, and no messy, smelly wicks to replace.

Venta Airwasher

Regards,


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
What is "ch"? (You wrote "turn off ch and ac")



Central Heating and Air Conditioning.

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Do they actually work? Have you guys noticed the difference?

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Originally Posted by Leon T
Do they actually work? Have you guys noticed the difference?


I am not sure to whom you are addressing your question. My short answer is: Yes.

The Venta AirWashers work very well for me, and they are easy to fill and easy to clean. I have three (different sizes bought at different times, one has been running for more than 15 years!) In my 1600 square foot single-floor townhouse, on a dry winter's day, I can increase the humidity from 36% to about 45% in about eight hours. If I keep them running at lowest speed for 24 hours, the humidity will remain constant between 45% and 48%.

Of course, my experience is based on the mild west-coast climate. In colder climates where dry heating is used more extensively if not constantly, larger units might be required and may need to be run at higher speeds.

Regards,


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That is the reason I opted not to use an airwasher. They look like great machines(albeit expensive).

I just questions the humidification capabilities. During extreme dry Santa Ana events I put easily 8 gallons a day in a 24 hour period in one humidifier

I don't think I have ever heard of a Venta capable of putting that much humidity in the air.


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Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
According to the above, the evaporative kind is the way to go...

Ultrasonics produce a very fine white dust, it might not be too noticeable if you don't use it a lot, but it really shows up on a black piano. I already had one that I tried to use when I got my piano, had to change to evaporative.

I'd also suggest calibrating your hygrometer. I've never had one that read correctly, mine have been off between 3-6%. There have been a couple threads about calibrating them, but if you google "calibrate hygrometer with potassium carbonate", it's easy to do.

I would echo other posters comments about getting something easy to fill. I have a small one that requires removing the tank and carrying it to the sink, total pain even though I seldom have to fill it because we have a whole house humidifier. I would definitely try to get something you can fill with a bucket.

Yes ,but where does one buy Potassium Carbonate ?

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Hi ShiroKuro,
In Vancouver BC our problem is really high humidity and we are quite dependant on using a dehumidifier nearly all year .It is only at certain times when the humidity can fall to 40 or even
at one time to 36 .If we have snow piled up outside it usually hangs around 40 to 38 perhaps
for a few weeks.That is not usual though.
We now just use an ultrasonic humidifier which raises the humidty to about 5 or if we wanted
a few more degrees. It does not have a built in humidifier but it cannot raise the humidty too
high if I set it low.
We have never noticed any white dust at all and we have looked.
The humidifier is in the dining room so far enough away from the piano room.
Perhaps if we had to use this device often we would have to get an evaporatIive humidifier.

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird

Yes ,but where does one buy Potassium Carbonate ?

Amazon


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Well, "winter" is here -- we don't get harsh winters down here, but the heater is on more often than not and I'm watching my hygrometer with concern. If we have a rainy day here and there, it's not so bad. But today for the first time, the hygrometer reads 38%. (It's been between 44-50% most of the time since fall).

38%. I don't like that number. But I don't want to get a damp-chaser, and I don't think I need it most of the time.

So I;m considering a free-standing humidifier. Does anyone have one? I've read about the ones that end up spraying white particles, and that doesn't sound too good, so that's one concern I have. I also wouldn't want to have it running all the time, I would monitor it and just use it on days like today when I need to bring the humidity up just a bit.

Any comments or advice welcome!
TIA


Hi SK, As you may recall, I live just slightly north of you. I use both a humidifier and dehumidifier to augment my central heating and AC, aiming for 40-50% RH year round. I use a Honeywell evaporative humidifier that has a sensor you can set. My house is an open floorplan ranch and this humidifier has plenty of power to keep me in range. I use a separate humidity sensor near-ish to the piano - nothing elaborate. Keeping the humidity up in this range is also good for your house and more comfortable. I put a new filter in it once a year, and clean it. Also use a anti-bacterial in the water.

As the season changes and the outside temperature is in a range when you do not need heating or AC, the humidity can get too high (above 50%). So that's when I use the dehumidifier.

Hope that helps


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I've been looking into this too, but I bought a hygrometer and the room is staying pretty consistently within the optimal band. It has strayed out either side, but only a smidge, so I'm not sure the value in one at the moment. Also most of the ones I saw covered huge amounts of space, whereas I only really wanted one for my music room.

I think one with a built in hygrometer which switches itself off once correct humidity is achieved would be a must, though.

This one was the most consistently well-reviewed and recommended one I could find when researching, although I can't help think its 70 m/sq maximum might make it overkill for my 5x4 music room.

Originally Posted by MarkL

Ultrasonics produce a very fine white dust, it might not be too noticeable if you don't use it a lot, but it really shows up on a black piano. I already had one that I tried to use when I got my piano, had to change to evaporative.


Isn't that only if you live in a hard water area/don't have a softener?

Last edited by The Hound; 12/20/19 07:31 PM.

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Originally Posted by The Hound
Originally Posted by MarkL
Ultrasonics produce a very fine white dust...
Isn't that only if you live in a hard water area/don't have a softener?

Harder water does produce more dust, but even distilled water has some minerals that will produce dust, just less of it. We have soft water, but in our climate a humidifier can run for days or weeks at a time, so it adds up.


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Originally Posted by BruceD
I have been using Venta Airwasher humidifiers for years. I wouldn't use any other.

No particle dust, and no messy, smelly wicks to replace.

Venta Airwasher

Regards,


+1. Ultimately got whole house humidity control but have had very good experiences with Venta.

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