Caring for your piano
A piano is an amazingly beautiful thing – science and art; geometry and sound; wood, steel and felt producing beautiful music that can make us laugh out loud or bring us to tears.
Caring for your piano is very important, because your piano is very important. To ensure that your piano stays in tip top shape, follow these guidelines.
1. Tuning, Repairs, Regulation
Have a conversation with your technician about tuning frequency and other issues such as repair and regulation. Make sure that communication is good with your technician so that he / she alerts you to additional maintenance items as they are needed. Preventive maintenance is very important with pianos.
Make sure your piano is not directly over or under a heating vent. If it needs to be close to a vent, close the vent. Keep your piano away from direct sunlight, or draw the curtains as necessary.
3. Humidity and Temperature
Humidity is the main thing to be concerned about. Seasonal changes cause humidity changes in the home and pianos are sensitive to this. Wintertime dry conditions makes the piano go flat. Summertime humid conditions make the piano go sharp. At that point the piano is out of tune. The more stable the humidity level in the home, the better the piano will stay in tune.
Put a hygrometer close to the piano so you know what the humidity levels are from month to month. Often it will be necessary to run a room humidifier in the winter time to raise the humidity level a bit, and a de-humidifier or air conditioner in the summertime to lower the humidity level a bit. An ideal humidity level for pianos is 42%, but in the dead of winter that is not practical. Acceptable humidity levels in the winter are approximately 25% to 35%, and in the summer are 35% to 45%. If your piano is in a very dry environment which is hard to humidify, you should consider installing a climate control system in your piano. Bob Anderson is an authorized installer of the “Dampp-Chaser” system for verticles and grands.
Your piano should be kept clean, inside and out. The outside finish can be wiped with a dry micro fiber cloth to clean and remove finger prints. This works well on high gloss finishes. For other finishes use a slightly moist soft cloth followed by a dry soft cloth. Light furniture polish (non abrasive) with a soft cloth may also be used. Always check an out of sight test spot first, to make sure that the cleaner or polish you’re using is ok. The piano keys are plastic and can be cleaned with a soft cloth and any good mild and non abrasive cleaner. The inside of the piano should be cleaned periodically by your piano technician.