Brrrrrr! It’s so cold outside. Everyone in Asheville and Weaverville is bundled up and drinking lots of hot cocoa to stay warm. All the staff at Piano Emporium recommend thick socks, a warm fire, and lots of layers. If only it were this easy to keep your piano safe from drastic temperature changes. But don’t worry – you can take precautions to protect your piano.
Humidity isn’t something you normally think about in the winter, but when it comes to pianos, it’s important to consider humidity year-round. Pianos don’t like extremes. Much like Goldilocks (of the three bears fame) pianos prefer temperatures not too hot, not too cold – and they need the humidity to be just right.
Pianos are made of wood, which is great for sound production. Unfortunately, wood is also very responsive to changes in the environment. Water in the air can cause the wood to expand and contract. Why is this a bad thing?
Just some of the problems humidity can cause in your piano:
- Keys and action parts can swell, resulting in sticking and sluggish notes.
- Felts can become hard
- Tuning pins can loosen
- Steel strings can become rusty
In winter, the problem tends to be a sudden lack of humidity. We turn on the heater to chase the cold away, and in doing so, we also remove moisture from the air. If your skin feels dry, then chances are your piano is feeling the effects of the low-moisture air too. So what’s a conscientious piano owner to do?
Do not place your piano near:
- Heating vents
- Drafty windows
- Gas heaters or space heaters
Also, be aware of how sunlight ‘travels’ over the course of a day in your home. Your piano should not be placed in direct sunlight, and an interior wall in your home is always preferable to an outside wall.
The above tips are all simple ways that you can have a dramatic effect on the longevity of your piano. The final way to maintain the correct environment for your piano involves a qualified piano technician. A piano technician can install a humidity control system in your piano. These systems:
- Add moisture to the air if needed
- Eliminate excess moisture
- Maintain the ideal level of moisture in the air within the piano
If you follow the above tips, you can easily maintain the ‘just right’ conditions to keep your piano playing beautifully for years.
Do you have a question about your piano that we didn’t address in this article? You can give us a call anytime at: 828-351-7321 We are happy to help you and answer your questions!