Extremes in relative humidity (anything higher than 50% or lower than 35%) and large fluctuations in humidity (changes from wet to dry or from dry to wet), are a piano’s biggest enemy. Here in the Inland Empire, our indoor relative humidity can fluctuate from the low 20s to the high 60s depending on the current season and weather conditions. These extremes and fluctuations are detrimental to your piano, making it impossible for your piano to hold a tuning beyond the next weather change, and causing serious damage as well.
During periods of high relative humidity, you may notice sticking keys and a sluggish action due to wood parts swelling with moisture. The soundboard and pinblock will also swell, causing the piano to go out of tune. And over time, rust and corrosion will develop on the strings and other metal parts of the piano.
When conditions are too dry, keys and action parts may become loose and wobbly. The pinblock will shrink and develop cracks, eventually causing the tuning pins to lose the torque that is necessary to hold the piano in tune. The soundboard also will shrink and develop cracks, resulting in a loss of soundboard compression which will compromise the quality of sound.
While room and whole house humidifiers/dehumidifiers may provide limited benefits, only a humidity control system specifically designed to be installed inside the piano will create a consistently safe humidity environment for your piano.
The above chart illustrates how dramatically pitch can change when your piano is subjected to humidity fluctuations during seasonal weather changes, and how a humidity control system will remedy this problem. Note also the narrow “safety zone” and the amount of time that a hypothetical piano spends in the danger zone when not protected by a humidity control system (red line). The blue line shows the same piano protected by a humidity control system.
The Piano Lifesaver System consists of basic components which work together to control internal piano humidity, maintaining the recommended relative humidity no matter what the external conditions may be.
Through a cycling action, the Humidistat is calibrated to create a separate environment within the piano, producing a narrow range of average humidity. When the Humidistat, located less than an inch from the soundboard, senses that the wood is dry, it turns the Humidifier on. Then, when the Humidifier has provided enough moisture to the soundboard, the Humidistat turns off the Humidifier and turns on the Dehumidifier. The Dehumidifier carries away moisture from the soundboard on air currents until the Humidistat senses that the soundboard needs more moisture. The System again switches to the humidifying function. The cycle continues day after day, year after year, protecting your piano from external conditions, and maintaining a constant relative humidity of 45%, plus or minus 5%.
VERTICAL PIANO SYSTEM OVERVIEW
GRAND PIANO SYSTEM OVERVIEW
OPTIONAL GRAND UNDERCOVER
An optional Grand Undercover should be added to the system when the piano is located in a large room (for example, an auditorium or church sanctuary). The Grand Undercover consists of high quality speaker fabric which completely encloses the system, dramatically increasing the system’s effectiveness in large spaces.
- Complete Vertical System (Includes Installation) = Approx. $585 (Most verticals)
- Complete Grand System (Includes Installation) = Approx. $685 (Most grands)
- Grand Undercover (Includes Installation) = Add Approx. $170 – $290 to the cost of the system
(varies according to size of piano)
- Service Existing System = $30 (Replace Humidifier Pads and Clean Sleeve)
- 16 oz Bottle of Pad Treatment Solution = $12
DAMPP-CHASER CERTIFIED INSTALLER
Our technician is a Certified Dampp-Chaser Piano Lifesaver System installer and can install a system in virtually any make and model of piano.
Call us at 909-824-2561 if you have any questions or if you wish to make an appointment for our piano services.