How To Protect Your Piano During The Winter Season

by ivories

Wood is a versatile material, and wonderfully suited to build a piano. However, it is greatly affected by humidity, as are other materials that also make up the piano. Wood is affected by the changes in humidity, especially during winter. There are several things that you need to do to protect your piano from the changes in humidity.

Humidity control system

 

The first step is controlling the humidity in your house. Wood shrinks or swells, depending on the amount of moisture in the air, or lack thereof. The amount of moisture depends mostly on the weather. Relative humidity is the amount of humidity in the air as compared to what the air can hold. Therefore during winter, the air is dry, thus low relative humidity.

To prevent the piano from shrinking during winter, you need to try to keep the humidity levels around the piano constant, or close. You can have a humidity control system installed in your piano. This system is a three in one. It has a humidifier that adds moisture when it’s dry and a dehumidifier that sucks excess moisture. It also has a humidistat which is a sensor that detects either extreme and activates the relevant system.

Humidity gauge

Too little humidity will dry out the wood components in your beloved piano. This throws the piano off pitch, and may cause cracks in the wood. You should then purchase a humidity gauge, which is able to show you the exact level of humidity in the air. Knowing where the humidity levels are at makes it easier to decide what measures to take. They are easily available and very affordable in the local hardware stores.

The next step after buying a humidity gauge would be to buy a humidifier. You will be spoilt for choice as they come in many shapes and sizes. A humidifier will keep your piano pitch in good condition by increasing the amount of humidity in a dry room.

Location of piano

Your piano should be located in a place that is not too warm, nor too cold. Move it away from open windows, or from the path of doors that are constantly being opened and cold air blowing in. If possible, the piano should be located in a room that is evenly heated and has no dramatic changes in temperature. This means away from heaters and radiators.

Tuning

Winter can be nasty and frosty. Extremes in weather take a toll on a piano’s components. The soundboard shrinks during winter. This lowers the string tension and the pitch drops.  A piano that is played regularly needs to be tuned at least once a year, twice if possible. The wisest thing to do would be to time the tuning just when the season is turning. This enables the tuner to adjust the settings in line with the impending season change. Have your piano tuned in fall. The tuner will tune it sharper than usual to accommodate the flat pitch that comes with winter’s dry air. This is advice you can get from any piano tuner in Toronto, and your piano will be better off for following it.

A piano is a sensitive item that needs a lot of care. The fluctuations in the weather and temperatures greatly affect the piano’s performance. The shrink and swell of the wood may easily cause cracks in the wood, ultimately affecting the piano’s pitch. Investing in a piano means you have to invest in ways to keep it functioning for longer. No expense should be too great in its maintenance. It is a work of art that – if taken good care of – can bring musical pleasure for generations to come.