I’m sure this has been discussed and I searched a bit but couldn’t find it so I’ll throw it out there again. I recently over a period of 6 mths replaced all my strings on my Thormahlen Swann (36 strings).
If you play regularly then yes, every one to two years is a good time frame. I have to admit to having gone longer than that at times. I actually don’t care for the sound of brand new strings, but of course once they get past a certain point they just sound bad. But I try to keep them going for as long as I can because brand new strings just don’t sound good to me either.
Oh and I also don’t break strings. I haven’t had a broken string on any of my harps in almost 15 years. Keeping the harps in a steady, controlled environment, maintaining them well,
My wife is harpist and she was at the Northsee to stay for a week fore concerts. The place she stayed was about 10 miles from the water. After she comes home we hatd to replace all the gut strings becouse one after the other was breaking.
It is the salt of the ocean what break the string.
I was taught that keeping a harp covered causes more breakage for some reason. The strings need to be able to react to the changes. All I can suggest is putting on a lot more nylon strings, or synthetic strings.
As others have said, I don’t think covering it would make too much of a difference. If it did then each time you uncovered it you would be subjecting it to a sudden change anyway.
I use mostly nylon strings on my main harp with gut only in the middle where nylon strings would need to be so thick as to be wound. I don’t like the feel or sound of the thick nylon strings.
My other harp has carbon fiber strings.
I live on the west coast and can see the bay from my window, but here the temperature and humidity stays almost constant all year round, so I don’t think it is as much the general enviroment as it constant changes in the environment that are the cause.
The last time I broke a string was when I lived in NY with it’s frigid winters and hot, humid summers. Since moving not a single broken string, so I think the lack of dramatic environment changes in general is a big part of why. That and constant tuning of course.