Ask the Violin Doctor - Winter Humidifying Alert
K.J.P. from Deer Park asks:
Do I really need to humidify my instrument?
I never had a problem before and don't like rubber hoses in the soundholes.
The Violin Doctor says:
We don't like rubber hoses either- they damage instruments and are messy. We recommend the Stretto humidifier bags and hygrometer. The Sensor gives a digital readout of how dry it is and the humidifier bag provides humidification for up to two weeks. If you live in a very dry place, you can get a second humidifier for your case.
A humidifier is necessary to avoid cracks whenever an instrument is going to be kept at a low relative humidity (under 35%). Dryness cracks are expensive to repair and are not covered by insurance. And, the past is no guarantee of the future, especially if you move to a dryer place. In general, if the outside temperature is at 32 degrees, it is time to fill up your humidifier and use it!