Our Minnesota climate may be the worst anywhere
for pianos. In summer, we have extremely high humidity causing the wood
parts to swell causing the piano to go out of tune. The wood fibers around the iron tuning
pins are actually crushed from the pressure of swelling wood. In winter, many Minnesota
homes have a relative humidity level of around 15 percent - less than that of
the Sahara Desert. Wood parts dry out - again causing the piano to go out
of tune. If the wood dries out too suddenly, the soundboard and other wood
parts can crack. Repeated seasonal swelling and shrinking of the wood
around tuning pins eventually causes the wood to "give up" and not provide
enough friction to keep the tuning pins from slipping. The piano becomes "un-tunable".
These problems can be minimized if the humidity
level of the piano can be kept fairly constant. Room humidifiers in winter
help somewhat. However, they are not very effective for pianos. In order to get the humidity level up to normal
with a room humidifier -
say 40 per cent - the windows in the house could be rotting from excess moisture
buildup. The solution is to install humidity control unit where it does
the most good - in the piano itself.
We install Life Saver® climate control systems made by
Dampp-Chaser Corporation®. These units are self contained in the piano and
are out of sight. An indicator light flashes when the reservoir needs
water. The reservoir is filled via a watering tube mounted inconspicuously
under the key bed. The reservoir is filled without opening the piano.
The unit attempts to keep the humidity inside the piano at about 40 to 45
percent. These units have proven to be safe and trouble free. The
only maintenance is 1) keep the unit plugged in, 2) fill the reservoir when
needed - in January, about every 10 days - and 3) change the evaporation pads
about once a year.
Call for current prices.