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Q. To heat or not to heat?

By Paul White
Published January 2000

A dehumidifier can work wonders with condensation problems.A dehumidifier can work wonders with condensation problems.

I recently experienced the pleasure of moving into a flat with enough rooms that I could dedicate a whole room (albeit a small one) to my studio for the first time. I work full‑time and only use the studio on days off, which means the room is barely occupied for a few hours a week. At present I have switched off the heating in the room except on days I intend to use it, but have found in recent weeks that the temperature drops considerably compared to the rest of the flat. Is it unhealthy for the equipment to be in a room which changes temperature several times a day (if the heating were left on) or am I putting it at more risk by letting it get very cold? Also, the other night I saw a lot of condensation on the window — that can't be good, can it?

All of my gear is electronic: there are no guitars or drums, just sequencers, modules, a mixer, monitors, recorders and lots of wires. So, do you think I should leave the heating on or off?

Max Duley

Editor Paul White replies: Condensation is bad news, as it can cause damage to components and metal parts, but lowish temperatures shouldn't be a problem if the air is dry. I suggest you buy yourself a floor‑standing dehumidifier and leave it on permanently in your studio. Mine shifts about a gallon of water every two days, and the studio isn't even damp! It also tends to make the room feel a little warmer. It'll be a couple of hundred quid well spent — it's a small price to pay to protect your equipment.