Thomas Piano Service
Piano Tuning and Moving in Schuylkill Haven, Pottsville, and Surrounding Counties
Autumn begins to decrease the moisture content in soundboards causing pitch to decrease...see below!
Humidity Control and Tuning
Seasonal and daily changes in relative humidity cause the soundboard and other wood parts to swell and contract. When this occurs, the pitch generally increases and decreases. Additionally, other piano parts also change dimension with the fluctuation of relative humidity which affects regulation and friction, stiffness of the keys, and the piano's responsiveness to playing. Too much humidity can cause the strings, pins, and other metal parts to rust, and conversely, too little humidity can cause wooden parts such as the soundboard to crack. This phenomena has been known for over a hundred years which is the reason some old upright pianos still have an empty jar in the bottom of the piano. Piano owners felt as though these jars filled with water would help prevent the piano from drying too much during the winter season.
Another benefit of humidity control is tuning stability. There are several factors that contribute towards stability, one of which is a consistent level of relative humidity, preferably 45%. There are several things one can do to control the humidity level around a piano. Piano placement away from windows, outside doors, air ducts, and radiators is generally preferred. Also consider having The Piano Life Saver System manufactured by Dampp Chaser Corporation installed. This system consists of three parts: a humidifier for adding moisture to the air, a dehumidifier for eliminating excess moisture, and a humidistat which senses whether moisture needs to be added or taken out of the air around the piano. This system can be professionally installed by Thomas Piano. Visit Pianolifesaver.com or contact us for more information.