Humidity and Climate Control for Your Piano
Your piano is made primarily of wood. When moisture levels are high around the piano, the keys can become sluggish, and the soundboard swells. The bridges of your piano are joined to the soundboard and support the strings. The illustrations below demonstrate why a piano goes out of tune even if it is not played.
A very economical and maintenance-free solution to high humidity surrounding pianos is the installation of a Dampp Chaser rod and a Humidistat. Some grand pianos will require 2 or 3 extra Dampp Chaser rods. The Humidistat turns on these heating rods when the humidity gets too high, turns them off automatically when the amount of moisture is just right inside your piano. Where does the moisture go? It evaporates in the warmth created by the Dampp Chaser rods.
For very dry environments, a Humidifier tank can be installed. However, this system needs regular maintenance to be effective. Installing a humidifier to a home heating system is the most effective. Using a room humidifier is helpful providing that is remains in constant use. A good way to determine if there is not enough moisture in the air is to judge your own comfort. If your throat is dry when you wake up in the morning, or your skin needs a lot of lotion, your piano, hardwood floors, ceiling moldings, doors and your wooden furniture are probably warping from a lack of moisture. The ideal Relative Humidity for a piano environment is about 42%.
Climate control systems are installed inside of upright pianos, or underneath grand pianos so they are out of sight. The picture below shows a basic installation.
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