Higher-end guitars are typically made of thin strips of glued wood and are very much affected by temperature and humidity. Unbeknownst to many people, the temperature of the room can affect how much moisture the air can hold, so both factors will impact the wood because wood is considered “hygroscopic”, meaning it takes in and gives off water.
If the room humidity is high and the guitar absorbs a lot of moisture, it can expand and swell, which will change the tone and playability. And if the temperature is also high, the glue joints could be weakened and possibly even fail. The same holds true with the glue beneath the bridge.
Conversely, if the environment is too dry and devoid of humidity, your guitar can also be detrimentally impacted. It may experience shrinking, cracking, poor tone or intonation issues.
Another related threat to your guitar is quick and large changes in the ambient temperature or humidity. Because they’re made of different woods or different materials, the different guitar parts will expand and contract at different speeds, potentially causing separation of components.
Try to avoid significantly hot or cold environments. If it’s too hot, it’ll weaken the glue. If it’s too cold and finishes could crack.
Here’s some tips on how to create for a guitar friendly environment:
- Store the guitar in a case with minimal air.
- Use a hygrometer and thermometer so you’re mindful of the temp and humidity.
- Make use of, and adjust accordingly, air conditioners, heaters, humidifiers and even plants to find that sweet spot.
- Keep your guitars away from the direct air inputs like air ducts, A/C vents, radiators, etc…
- Don’t put your guitar in the trunk of a car because of the extreme temperatures they harbor.
To make a long story short, ideally, you’d like to have the environment to be consistently at or around 75 degrees. And a relative humidity level of about 50%. Do what you can to avoid extreme changes in temperature and humidity!