Where Should I Locate My Piano?
Table of contents for Pianos & Humidity
Best place to locate your piano
There are three enemies of pianos:
- Unstable environment
- Lack of quality piano tuning service
- Defective parts or low quality parts
High-humidity adversely affects a piano, and low-humidity adversely affects a piano. Even worse, than remaining high or remaining low, is this swinging back and forth, which is what we experience in Kansas City ~ hot, humid summers ~ and cold, dry winters. This swinging back and forth is a serious problem which makes placing your piano in the most stable environment extremely beneficial.
As we have said, common sense is an excellent guide in the care of your Steinway piano. This is especially true when you are choosing the proper site for the piano in your home.
About 70% of your piano is wood, which even though it has been carefully selected and dried, is still “alive,” so to speak… Constant fluctuation in… [humidity] …is definitely bad for your piano’s health. And may lead to more frequent servicing. The action regulation, tuning, and voicing will become unstable.
We urge you to adhere to the following recommendations which will help you minimize wear and tear and help you keep your piano in optimum condition.
- Don’t position it in the path of an air conditioning outlet or a heating outlet.
- Don’t put it near an evaporator cooler or a room humidifier.
- Don’t put it close to an uninsulated outside wall.
If you think of yourself rooted to any of these spots and subjected to the changes of temperature and humidity thereabouts, you will be able to imagine what a piano in the same location would have to endure. Pianos placed in such locations cannot be expected to stay in tune and keep their adjustment. More important, the instrument subjected to such environmental insult may be permanently damaged.
When placing your piano within a room it is important to pick a spot where it will not be hit by direct sunlight. The exterior of your piano is made of wood from the same tree, carefully stained and color-matched at the Steinway & Sons factory. Exposure to direct sunlight will bleach the wood and ruin the piano’s carefully prepared finish.
It is a good idea to place a fairly accurate hygrometer near the piano so you can monitor humidity swings. Room dehumidification, humidification or air-conditioning may be needed to maintain a stable environment. The consideration of these items if necessary far outweigh the increased servicing, which may become necessary if these guidelines are not followed.
Deciding on the best piano location
Select every area in your home where the placement of your piano could be tolerated. Then obtain an equal number of digital hygrometers (humidity gauges) and place one hygrometer in each area for six months. (Be sure to buy hygrometers that will record the minimum and maximum humidity swings) The best place to locate your piano is where it will experience the least humidity swings.