CLIMATE CONTROL FOR YOUR PIANO
How a humidity control system can greatly extend the life expectancy of your piano
Changes in humidity are the largest single cause for both the deterioration of a piano's condition over many years, and the speed at which a piano goes out of tune.
As humidity increases during the summer, the wood from which a piano is constructed absorbs moisture out of the air, causing it to swell (this is the same reason doors tend to stick during the summer). This swelling causes the wood fibers to be crushed against one another, destroying the structural integrity of some in the process. Increased humidity can also lead to problems such as keys that stick to their neighbors and rusty pins and strings. Rusty pins and strings are at much greater risk for breaking.
During the winter, the opposite happens. Especially indoors (because we keep our buildings heated), the humidity plummets. This causes the wood to dry out, and the wood fibers pull away from each other. Those fiber that were crushed during summer humidity have no way to hold on to fibers next to them, and a weak spot develops. Over time, this week spot becomes a crack. Additional problems caused by low humidity can include loose hammers and keys that have excessive side-to-side play. Over time, the swell/shrink, crush/separate/crack cycle leads to major structural problems such as tuning pins that will not hold and cracked bridges and soundboards.
The solution to the problem of changing humidity is a humidity control system located inside the piano. Dampp-Chaser, Inc. has developed a system that keeps the humidity inside the piano at exactly 45%--the optimum level, for which pianos are designed. The benefits of installing a system in your piano are numerous. Not only will your piano stay in tune better between tunings, the touch will stay more consistent, and the piano will be less likely to break strings. Additionally, the protection of the integrity of the wood afforded by this system can increase the life expectancy of your piano up to double what it would be without the system.
Jonathan is a Certified Installer of Dampp-Chaser humidity control products. Contact us today to discuss which of their products would be best for your piano.