Archive for the 'Piano Heater' Category

Pianos and Humidity
A piano is made from natural materials – wood, felt, leather, and wool. All of these materials absorb moisture from the air. When the air gets more humid, the materials absorb more moisture. Then they give it up again when the air gets dryer.

The moisture content of the natural materials affects their dimensions. This is especially true of the piano’s soundboard. The soundboard is a thin sheet of wood, about 3/8 inch thick, and has a bowed or crowned shape. Blocks of wood called bridges are positioned against the soundboard and press firmly against the strings.

As the relative humidity of the air increases, the soundboard’s moisture content increases along with it — this swells the wood. The soundboard’s crown increases with the swelling and intensifies the pressure against the strings. This raises the pitch of the piano. The opposite happens when the relative humidity decreases.

High humidity also causes the wooden parts of the piano’s action to swell. This can lead to sticking keys and a sluggish, unresponsive action. As the felts on the hammers swell from the humidity, the sound of the piano can become soft and muffled.

Humidity Can Damage a Piano
The repeated changes in the dimensions of the wood as the relative humidity rises and falls can eventually damage the piano. The sound board can crack and glue joints can separate. As the pin block repeatedly swells and contracts, the tuning pins that hold the strings can eventually loosen and the piano will no longer hold tune.

The Heater and or Dampp Chaser piano life saver is a great device that provides tuning stability and protection to an upright or a grand piano soundboard.

Humidity Control
Limiting the swings in humidity in the room’s air will limit the changes to the piano.

However, because of its heater and or Dampp Chaser, its size it is truly limited in protecting the whole piano effectively if the piano is exposed to adverse conditions. In other words, if the inside of your house undergoes huge and rapid humidity and temperature swings from time to time, the Heater and or Dampp Chaser will not take care of this completely.

In our many years of experience dealing with wood-based products in this type of hot and humid climate, like pianos, it’s very important to also treat the whole room. High humidity promotes the growth of mold and dust mites. It can cause rot and damage any wood-based products and the structural integrity of your home.

Keep your room as stable as possible within the relative humidity around 42-65% and stay within 10% range and your piano will be fine.

For more precise regulation of the humidity in the vicinity of the piano’s sensitive sound board, we need to control the humidity inside the piano itself. If you keep your piano with a Heater and or Dampp Chaser in an environment that has relative humidity of below 30% and above 80%, don’t rely too much on the Heater and or Dampp Chaser as a miracle device. This is because your upright or grand does not only consist of the soundboard.

Many piano dealers, piano technicians or piano owners have suggested that Heater and or Dampp Chaser can protect the area surrounding the piano. However, considering the fact that this is a low-wattage system, this sounds impossible. After all, how would a 15 or 20 or 25 watt rod be able to dehumidify a space much larger than the soundboard? And, how would it be possible to reduce the extreme relative humidity around the piano with just a low powered heating rod? It just won’t work. To dehumidify a space with extremely high humidity, you need a high-capacity device that can handle large moisture loads. On the other hand, if the earlier claims were true, the whole-house AC units would only consume a few hundred watts (W) instead of a few kilowatts (kW).

Therefore, you can go with the Heater and or Dampp Chaser, but also make sure that you avoid extremes in your house by using the AC unit and or a dehumidifier coupled with a humidifier when necessary. Get a hygrometer to accurately displays the relative humidity.

Different dehumidifiers come with various features. Make sure you check with the local dehumidifier shops for recommendation. With the right device and measurement, it will help make your indoor environment as healthy and comfortable not only the piano but also to you and your family.


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