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Piano Humidity Control


Pianos are made primarily out of wood. Wood has many benefits. It's strong, natural, light weight, beautiful and readily available. However, if the air around it is moist, the wood becomes moist and swells. If the air is dry, the wood becomes dry and shrinks. In the Austin area the relative humidity will swing between 20% RH in Winter to 80% RH in Summer. These relative humidity swings will have an adverse effect on your piano.


 In Summer the piano pitch will go sharp, strings or tuning may begin to rust and keys may feel sluggish or even stick, making playing impossible. In Winter the pitch will go flat and keys may start to rattle, making unwanted noises.

The repeated swelling and shrinking of action parts will weaken them, requiring minor repairs. Eventually, major components of the piano like the soundboard or the pinblock may become cracked. If the pinblock becomes cracked, the piano will not stay in tune and the pinblock will require major rework.  Replacing a pinblock generally becomes a major overhaul of the rest of the insides of the piano.


Fortunately, complete humidity control systems designed specifically for pianos are available which will maintain the piano at an ideal relative humidity of between 40-50%. These systems will minimize the adverse effects of humidity changes and should be installed and serviced by a qualified piano technician.


I can install the Dampp-Chase Piano Life Saver System. Call me if you would like more information about this system.

Last Update 06-Mar-2015 Webmaster G. Evensen