This may sound really bizarre, but I think it deserves consideration.
Down here at the Shore (the New Jersey shore), we have lots of
seasonal customers. During the Winter, they typically close and lock
the house and turn everything "OFF". This includes the heat! As some
of you might know, it sometimes gets really cold in NJ (New Jersey),
and temperatures fall to below "0" F.
Today, while at the home of one such customer, he asked me about
"putting an electric blanket" around the piano during the Winter. While
this initially sounds like a very bizarre idea, it might actually be
fairly practical. Traditional "heater bars"... well, I think we all
know how they work... work in a localized area. The further you move
away from the 'bar', the less effective they become. Furthermore, such
heater bars are not "player piano friendly". (A complete heat and
humidity system, like those offered by Dammp-Chaser, are ineffective
because the customer is not around to monitor the water reservoir.)
After suggesting the use of multiple heater bars placed in specific
locations during the Winter, he said, "How about an electric blanket?"
Frankly, I was caught off guard by that comment. And since I don't
know if an electric blanket would be effective, I decided to pose this
question to the membership of the MMD.
Q: Would an electric blanket, set to 55-60 degrees (or higher) work
adequately to protect an instrument from the freezing conditions of
an unheated home during the Winter?
Naturally, if you can come up with any negative or positive comments,
I would love to hear from you. Frankly, the idea (though
unconventional) sounds relatively 'do-able' to me. A king-size electric
blanket could be 'wrapped around' the body of the piano, providing a
stabilized environment (temperature wise). BTW, it's a grand piano...
Please respond publicly or privately. You can always reach me at:
John A. Tuttle