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MMD > Archives > February 2008 > 2008.02.12 > 05Prev  Next

Relative Humidity and the Piano
By Bruce Clark

[ Tom Hutchinson wrote in 080209 MMDigest:

> After putting in the humidifier, I have been able to keep
> the humidity at 50-60%.  It has taken over a month, but the
> problems have disappeared.

I caution everyone about raising the relative humidity too high.
I wrote about this problem before, but I need to tell about it again.

It is a great idea to raise the humidity to 50%.  Yes, it works, but
there are other things to consider.  In my case, suddenly the sheet
rock ceiling in my upstairs hallway started to fall down.  It had
become saturated with excess moisture condensing on it.  The exterior
paint on the house began to peel, and there was mildew growing around
the windows in the upstairs rooms.  This was caused by too much
humidity in an old house.

The most important thing is to keep the humidity as stable as possible.
Get a hygrometer and watch it closely.  Here in central New York, the
humidity of summer can reach 95% and drop to below 15% in Winter.  The
problems start when the extremes are allowed to continue.

Unless a home is air tight and well insulated, be careful adding too
much humidity.  I find it easiest to keep the climate controlled in the
room in which the piano is located and close off other rooms.  We have
a dehumidifier in summer, and try our best to keep the humidity at 35%
year round.  In addition to keeping the player in good working order,
the tuning remains quite stable.

It is better to increase the humidity behind and inside the piano
itself, by placing containers of water in and behind the piano.

Be cautious of those electric heating rods that have wet pads on them
to steam the piano.  This is too much in one spot.

Bruce Clark

 [ Articles on this subject are indexed at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 12 Feb 2008, 14:13:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Humidity, Piano, Relative

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