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Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? #2771298
10/11/18 03:54 AM
10/11/18 03:54 AM
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NoGameNoLife Offline OP
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Hi guys I’m going to purchase a piano and everyone I ask including my teacher recommend an acoustic over a digital if I can afford it which I can. The thing is I’m scared about the effects of the room temperature and humidity etc. I have plenty of room for the piano but I don’t know what it would take or how to control the climate to ensure I don’t damage the piano. I live in the UK so the temperature is not that prone to extremes or anything but I just want to get an idea of how difficult it is or what I would need to keep the piano in top condition. Thank you very much for any help.

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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771303
10/11/18 04:29 AM
10/11/18 04:29 AM
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wouter79 Offline
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fluctuating temperature usually is not a big issue, I assume we're not talking about freezing but about normal living room ranges.

Humidity is more important to watch. Get a humidity meter and check it's calibrated to start with. You can simply calibrate the old-style analog meters yourself.

In my apartment, it usually stays around 55% in summer but in winter it may get very dry. especially avoiding too-dry is important. When it starts freezing outside humidity will go to 0% outside. I try to keep the room with the piano at least at 40%y.

This humidity issue holds for all wood furniture in your home anyway and your skin also doesn't like low humidity.

If your home is continuously very high, then you risk mould. you might need to (1) turn on the heating or (2) get a de-humidifier in that case. I prefer (1) anyway so if it feels a bit humid I feel cold too and turn on the heater.

Notice that when temp drops (as usual in the evening), humidity will rise. A little bit and briefly is fine but you should not get condensation etc in your piano.

>I don’t know what it would take or how to control the climate to ensure I don’t damage the piano.

My suggestion is to get a humidifier that can keep the room above 40% humidity and use the house heating system in the case humidity goes too high for longer times.

Beware of the different types, for instance you want to avoid those that spray tap water straight into the air as the minerals in the tap water will deposit everywhere in your room then.


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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: wouter79] #2771309
10/11/18 05:04 AM
10/11/18 05:04 AM
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NoGameNoLife Offline OP
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Thanks you very much. Do you have any opinions on the humidifiers that attach to the piano itself? I seen some people mention them.

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771316
10/11/18 05:35 AM
10/11/18 05:35 AM
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Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
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The vast majority of piano owners have never had much concern about temperature or humidity and get by fine. I didn't pay much attention to it except for an old upright which occasionally had a couple of sticky notes after a week of humid weather. We ended up putting a small piano heater in, but only turned on when it was humid.

Most Church, School and hall pianos aren't treated for humidity or temperature either.

My current and previous grand pianos have had damp-chasers, and my own experience is that the grands have been more susceptible to humidity. I'm not certain why, maybe that more of the piano is open to the elements when it is being played - plus the soundboards etc are substantially bigger.

You could ignore the situation initially, and if you end up having an issue, discuss it with your technician at the time.

Above all - enjoy your new piano.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771347
10/11/18 07:29 AM
10/11/18 07:29 AM
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David-G Offline
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Many of the correspondents in this forum are from the US. It is my impression that many homes in the US have air conditioning, and this is an important factor when discussing maintaining the humidity level. But I suspect that you, living in the UK, will probably not have air conditioning. Probably you, like me, will have central heating, perhaps in the form of radiators heated by circulating hot water.

If this is your situation, the main thing to worry about is having the heating on high during frosty nights in winter. During such periods the humidity falls very low, and having the central heating on high makes it fall even lower. My mother used to love to have the house toasty-warm - and over the years, this caused problems with my piano.

But other than that, I would say that "backto_study" has it about right. The vast majority of piano owners in the UK have never had much concern about temperature or humidity and get by fine. But just make sure that during frosty periods in winter, you have the central heating set fairly low in the piano room. Or if you want the heating higher, get a humidifier or a Dampp-chaser.

Having said that, if you go to the trouble of fitting a Dampp-chaser, or using a humidifier in winter (and perhaps a dehumidifier in autumn, when the humidity tends to get rather high), then your efforts will be rewarded by much improved tuning stability of the piano.

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771354
10/11/18 07:56 AM
10/11/18 07:56 AM
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You can ignore the issue but if your piano is subjected to wide enough variations in T and RH it will eventually affect not only the tuning but the mechanical integrity of the piano. Sticking action is one example. The ultimate problem is perhaps a cracked sound board which, while not a life and death crisis, is better avoided.

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771386
10/11/18 09:26 AM
10/11/18 09:26 AM
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Dathka Offline
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I was worried about this too (see my thread here - Grotrian advice)

I've since had a good technician round to give the piano its first tuning and to look it over; as the humidity in my house is relatively high we elected to install a Dampp Chaser humidity control system. So far, so good - although our temperature does fluctuate somewhat (we do not keep our central heating on 24/7) the piano has held its tuning perfectly, and no sign of any problems whatsoever. My tech advised that it's the humidity that needed controlling first and foremost in my environment.

I wouldn't over-think it - go get yourself a great piano!

Cheers,
David

Last edited by Dathka; 10/11/18 09:27 AM.
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771423
10/11/18 11:01 AM
10/11/18 11:01 AM
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JohnSprung Offline
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Humidity is the big issue. You can get an inexpensive (under $40 US) digital hygrometer which records the high and low values. Watch it for a while before you conclude that you have a problem worth addressing.


-- J.S.

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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771452
10/11/18 12:04 PM
10/11/18 12:04 PM
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wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by NoGameNoLife
Thanks you very much. Do you have any opinions on the humidifiers that attach to the piano itself? I seen some people mention them.


I have no opinion on these but I don't like water near my piano. I prefer to have the whole room at a decent humidity because it seems more stable to me than a piano-only approach and because my other stuff including myself also doesn't like very low humidity.

Also damp chasers are very expensive, the cheapest is 400 pounds. An evaporative humidifier is around 80 punds. eg (I have no experience with this one, just an example)

https://www.amazon.com/AirCare-MA0800-Whole-House-Console-Style-Evaporative/dp/B002AQUK9S


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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: wouter79] #2771461
10/11/18 12:24 PM
10/11/18 12:24 PM
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Posts: 22,121
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by wouter79
[...] An evaporative humidifier is around 80 punds. eg (I have no experience with this one, just an example)

https://www.amazon.com/AirCare-MA0800-Whole-House-Console-Style-Evaporative/dp/B002AQUK9S



One caveat about humidifiers that use wicks, as does the above AirCare: Mold can build up on the wicks, they have to be replaced regularly, and if not replaced soon enough, the air they expel can smell foul.

That is why I use humidifiers that don't have wicks. The Venta AirWasher is my choice:

https://venta-usa.com/

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: BruceD] #2771480
10/11/18 12:52 PM
10/11/18 12:52 PM
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wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by wouter79
[...] An evaporative humidifier is around 80 punds. eg (I have no experience with this one, just an example)

https://www.amazon.com/AirCare-MA0800-Whole-House-Console-Style-Evaporative/dp/B002AQUK9S



One caveat about humidifiers that use wicks, as does the above AirCare: Mold can build up on the wicks, they have to be replaced regularly, and if not replaced soon enough, the air they expel can smell foul.

That is why I use humidifiers that don't have wicks. The Venta AirWasher is my choice:

https://venta-usa.com/


Yes you must keep them clean. FAIK this holds for ALL air treatment devices. Just bathe the filter frequently in chlorine, no need to replace them very often. Once a year or so is enough.

I prefer wicks above most other methods because (1) they use extremely little even when running (typical 5W or so) (2) the emit only water vapour, not the minerals in the water (3)) you can put in normal tap water (4) very little noise, only slow turning fan.


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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771487
10/11/18 01:13 PM
10/11/18 01:13 PM
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dhull100 Offline
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Studies have shown that the Venta style units emit much less (nothing is zero) mold / bacteria. Steam whole house humidifiers seem to be the absolute lowest emitters of organisms.

Last edited by dhull100; 10/11/18 01:13 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: wouter79] #2771512
10/11/18 02:52 PM
10/11/18 02:52 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,121
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by wouter79
[...]Yes you must keep them clean. FAIK this holds for ALL air treatment devices. Just bathe the filter frequently in chlorine, no need to replace them very often. Once a year or so is enough.

I prefer wicks above most other methods because (1) they use extremely little even when running (typical 5W or so) (2) the emit only water vapour, not the minerals in the water (3)) you can put in normal tap water (4) very little noise, only slow turning fan.


One advantage to the Venta AirWasher is that there is no filter; the water itself is the filter. Of course this means that the base that holds the water has to be emptied and cleaned regularly, but it's just as easy as washing a dish or a saucepan. I usually clean mine with dish detergent and warm water once a month. The rotating discs that circulate the water through the air are of hard non-porous plastic and they can be rinsed with warm water each time the base is washed.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771607
10/11/18 06:12 PM
10/11/18 06:12 PM
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Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
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I'd agree with JohnSprung - a hygrometer (which you may already have in your home if you've got a weather station etc) will show trends. Then, discuss it with your technician. You'll have the technician visit while the piano settles into the environment, and one thing they should advise on is the environment the piano is in.

My DamppChaser cost more like $1500 about 10 years ago - but local markets could be different. It's a drying and humidifying one.

Here, while there are times when humidity is low, the biggest problem I've noticed is when the humidity increases. We've had afternoon storms followed by showery nights come through in the last few days - today the humidity is in the high 70s, rather than the normal 45-55 range. I'm presently researching a dehumidifier - retailers are out of stock as they tend to sell more in the middle of summer when humidity peaks, in the meantime, I'm using my A/C on dry, which keeps the inside less humid. That's for the piano's benefit, not mine grin (HeHe).


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: backto_study_piano] #2771634
10/11/18 07:30 PM
10/11/18 07:30 PM
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David-G Offline
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
today the humidity is in the high 70s, rather than the normal 45-55 range.

Can I just ask ... is this indoors or outdoors?

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771648
10/11/18 08:30 PM
10/11/18 08:30 PM
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Minneapolis, MN
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DDobs Offline
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I have a new piano and bought a Venta humidifier. This summer and early fall, I didn't have to humidify at all - with either A/C or no A/C, the rh has been upper 30s to mid-50s. I plan to turn the Venta on as soon as I turn on the central air heating and things get too dry.


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Learning Beethoven Bagatelle Op. 126 No. 1
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Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: David-G] #2771661
10/11/18 09:57 PM
10/11/18 09:57 PM
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Queensland, Australia
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Was 75 out, 69 inside at dawn. Down to 67 inside and out at the moment (1pm). Temp is only 21 degrees, so A/C isn't going to help.

This will be the pattern for the next 3 or 4 days - then the rain will continue but with higher temperatures, and generally the RH reads lower a bit.

Which is why I'm looking at a dehumidifier.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771689
10/12/18 12:54 AM
10/12/18 12:54 AM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Same here to have that humidifier, the past last few weeks gone over 70 up to 75 .At the moment it's 65 .But then Vancouver BC is a temperate rain forest .So a piano in a rain forest !!?

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771745
10/12/18 07:24 AM
10/12/18 07:24 AM
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I have an AirCare humidifier and in our area we have extremely hard water. I haven't had to deal with mold or stagnation. I try to disassemble it and clean the tank regularly with bleach water to keep that down. My issue is that the wick gets crusty and hard with mineral build up do to the hard water. Since I use it about 7 months out of the year, I go thru about 5 filters every winter even though use conditioner that are supposed to keep down the mold and bacteria as well as soften the water. Otherwise, the wick doesn't absorb the water and the unit cannot keep the RH high enough. Does Venta make a unit large enough for a 2500+ square foot space?

Re: Maintaining room temps for new acoustic piano? [Re: NoGameNoLife] #2771808
10/12/18 10:11 AM
10/12/18 10:11 AM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Sorry I meant oh to have a dehumidfier .But it is getting cold here so the humidty is dropping due to the furnace heating coming on .

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