Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

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WellyBlues
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Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by WellyBlues »

My guitars are not out at the moment and don't get touched as a result. Which is not good for me. If I had them in the living room then they are more likely to get picked up, even for an unamplified strum.

The thing is the living room temperature can fluctuate a lot in a 24 hour period. Overnight it can get down to say 5C and during the day the heat pump is on the it gets quite warm, say 20C or more. What's the impact of that range of change that frequently on a guitar body and neck? And what difference does it make between solid bodies, semi-hollow, and hollow bodies? My favourite at the moment is a Epiphone George Thorogood signature model which is a hollow-body ES-125 copy, but I do have other body types I could use.

What's the best approach to take for this? Is there another, better way, to do this? e.g. leave in the case and only take out to play?

Thanks.
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by vinylguy »

No you are missing the point completely as what you NEED is another guitar you are happy to keep out.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by olegmcnoleg »

WellyBlues wrote: Sun Jul 09, 2023 9:55 pm My guitars are not out at the moment and don't get touched as a result. Which is not good for me. If I had them in the living room then they are more likely to get picked up, even for an unamplified strum.

The thing is the living room temperature can fluctuate a lot in a 24 hour period. Overnight it can get down to say 5C and during the day the heat pump is on the it gets quite warm, say 20C or more. What's the impact of that range of change that frequently on a guitar body and neck? And what difference does it make between solid bodies, semi-hollow, and hollow bodies? My favourite at the moment is a Epiphone George Thorogood signature model which is a hollow-body ES-125 copy, but I do have other body types I could use.

What's the best approach to take for this? Is there another, better way, to do this? e.g. leave in the case and only take out to play?

Thanks.
I think the colder temp will produce more tension on the strings, the guitar may go sharp. That outs a little more strain on the neck, but I think it is well within the tolerances that guitar makers take into account. If you are worried about it, you could tune 1/2 step down.

I say this a lot, but the bigger impact is humidity, and humidity changes. This is usually not a problem with electric guitars. But acoustics and some semis have issues with swelling tops. If my acoustics are out of their cases, the dehumidifier is on. That way they stay stable and the setup does not wander about depending on the weather.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Lyle »

I keep my electrics out so they're easy to grab, temperature doesn't seem to do much. I have 1 that seems to need a truss rod adjustment as the seasons change but the the rest stay good to go.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by werdna »

I notice that when my guitar is cold, the tuning goes flat.

Neck profile etc unchanged.
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by sizzlingbadger »

My guitars go through the temp change daily too, no long term ill effects so far, they just just go out of tune slightly at different temps as you'd expect.
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by MiniForklift »

I usually have my Strat and an LP out, those temperature fluctuations would be similar to mine I guess as they're in the front room which is not usually heated. I don't notice much if any effect on either guitar, very occasionally the top E might go a tad sharp but that's about it
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by GrantB »

olegmcnoleg wrote: Mon Jul 10, 2023 7:26 am
WellyBlues wrote: Sun Jul 09, 2023 9:55 pm My guitars are not out at the moment and don't get touched as a result. Which is not good for me. If I had them in the living room then they are more likely to get picked up, even for an unamplified strum.

The thing is the living room temperature can fluctuate a lot in a 24 hour period. Overnight it can get down to say 5C and during the day the heat pump is on the it gets quite warm, say 20C or more. What's the impact of that range of change that frequently on a guitar body and neck? And what difference does it make between solid bodies, semi-hollow, and hollow bodies? My favourite at the moment is a Epiphone George Thorogood signature model which is a hollow-body ES-125 copy, but I do have other body types I could use.

What's the best approach to take for this? Is there another, better way, to do this? e.g. leave in the case and only take out to play?

Thanks.
I think the colder temp will produce more tension on the strings, the guitar may go sharp. That outs a little more strain on the neck, but I think it is well within the tolerances that guitar makers take into account. If you are worried about it, you could tune 1/2 step down.

I say this a lot, but the bigger impact is humidity, and humidity changes. This is usually not a problem with electric guitars. But acoustics and some semis have issues with swelling tops. If my acoustics are out of their cases, the dehumidifier is on. That way they stay stable and the setup does not wander about depending on the weather.
Tuning 1/2 step down for acoustics is a solid piece of advice. I do this with mine and only ever bring them to 440hz if I'm with others. They keep tune pretty good over the ups n downs of winter/summer and the 1/2 (or even a whole) tone down keeps the top from bellying as much...IMO.
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by WellyBlues »

Thanks team. I am mostly concerned about possible body damage like warping etc, particularly on the hollow and semi-hollow bodies. Some are tuned to Open D and Open G. I'll tune down half a step for standard.

@vinylguy: what kind of advice is that?!! Do you even belong here? :lol:
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by crowbgood1 »

I'm a cabinetmaker by trade, and from what I've learnt, changes in humidity affect timber movement more than temperature, for example, in summer a cabinetmaker should fit a door with more gap to allow the wood expanding in the moist climate of the winter months. Also of importance is that wood moves mostly across grain and very little along the grain - length ways. Finally, the growth rings have a strong influence as well, hence quarter sawn timber being more stable.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Litterick »

I thought this thread was about storing guitars in a changing room.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Molly »

I was once shocked to pick up a guitar from a hanger and find the headstock and tuners were really warm. When the log burner was going that top 1m of the room got so much hotter than the lower half (yes, I know, obvious if you think about it). These days I'm more mindful and also think about how the sun tracks across the house such that the guitars aren't exposed to direct sunlight.

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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Bitbull »

Related question I had wondering my mind this morning. Guitars that are not often used...should they be stored in a case or better to have them airing hanging on a rack?
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Slowy »

Bitbull wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2024 2:56 pm Related question I had wondering my mind this morning. Guitars that are not often used...should they be stored in a case or better to have them airing hanging on a rack?
Case.
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Re: Effect of changing room temperature on guitars - at home?

Post by Dharmajester »

Earthquake paranoia has led me to keep mine in cases with one out to be played ( rotated ).
I have noticed with wraptails however that at certain times the sitaring effect becomes more prominent which would indicate a certain amount of wood movement. Havn't been attentive enough to be able to accurately attribute it to either temperature or humidity though.
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