Your piano is made primarily of wood, a versatile and beautiful material ideal for piano construction. However, being made of wood, your piano is greatly affected by humidity. Seasonal and even daily changes in humidity cause wooden parts to swell and shrink, affecting tuning stability and touch. Extreme swings in humidity can eventually cause wood to crack or warp, and glue joints to fail. This can be especially damaging to the piano’s soundboard and pinblock.
Other materials in your piano also are affected by changes in moisture content in the air. The many felt and leather parts in your piano’s action can change dimension, affecting regulation and friction, or stiffness of the touch. Very high humidity can even create condensation on metal parts such as string, tuning pins and hardware, eventually causing them to rust.
A very practical and effective way to protect your piano is to have a humidity control system installed in the piano itself. These systems consist of three parts: a humidifier for adding moisture to the air, a dehumidifier for eliminating excess moisture, and a humidistat or control unit which senses the relative humidity of the air within the piano and activates the system to add or remove moisture as needed. These systems are designed to maintain the relative humidity of the air within the piano at the ideal level of 42%. The components are installed out of sight, don’t make any noise, and work better than room systems or anything else available. For more information about humidity control for your piano please visit www.dampp-chaser.com.