For music schools, professional musicians or collectors, climate control is at the heart of preserving prized instruments. From brass to strings to wood, all instruments are vulnerable to damage through exposure to heat, cold and improper humidity. Extreme temperatures and excess humidity can cause brass instruments to expand and shrink. Heat and cold warp strings and wood, and cause the bushings of a piano to swell. Wooden instruments and components also crack in hostile conditions. Ultimately, without climate control, all instruments face degraded sound quality and physical damage that may be beyond repair.
Most instruments are expensive—and highly sentimental—and worth the investment to properly care for them. Moderate and consistent temperatures and humidity can be difficult to achieve in a residential setting, as comfort cooling units are not designed with instruments in mind and do not come equipped with an integrated humidifier. Storage facilities may guarantee temperature control, but humidity is often overlooked. Whatever your preferred solution, instrument storage is best maintained around 70℉ (21℃), with 40-50% relative humidity.