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#2040118 - 02/27/13 12:25 PM My piano temperature
Heather McDonald Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/13
Posts: 2
Hello there. I have a piano in my garage, its really cold in there at night time, but warm when i have the fire lit most evenings and its cool during the day. The eratic temperature changes are playing heck with my instrument. A friend told me that the piano in his church has a light bulb inside to keep it at a constant warm temperature. Is that a good idea? Could it damage my piano? Or does anyone have any other good ideas to keep my piano from freezing to death? Thanks smile

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#2040134 - 02/27/13 12:52 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Welcome to Piano World!

I have one of my pianos in an unheated garage. It has a de-humidifying heater-bar installed and I keep it energized. So far, the tuning stability has surprised me...

Good luck...

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2040250 - 02/27/13 03:34 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
Short answer: move it to a space that has a consistent temperature.

I've never heard of the light bulb thing. My only fear would be that the temperature fluctuations might cause condensation to form on the inside or outside of the piano.
If I were in your situation I would use a space heater to keep the room temp as constant as possible.
_________________________

Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist

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#2040281 - 02/27/13 04:23 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Light bulbs are great for EZ Bake Ovens - Not so much for pianos.

Much of this depends on your climate. There would be no solution, other than a fully heated garage, in my neck of the woods.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2040341 - 02/27/13 06:34 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
I would keep it covered with a few heavy, insulated
blankies to help keep it warm.
_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
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#2040346 - 02/27/13 06:54 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Quote:
I have a piano in my garage, its really cold in there at night time, but warm when i have the fire lit most evenings and its cool during the day. The eratic temperature changes are playing heck with my instrument.
A piano and a fire in your garage? This is a joke, right? We get those with quite some regularity here....
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2040446 - 02/27/13 11:06 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Supply]
Heather McDonald Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/13
Posts: 2
No joke smile Its like an extension to the house smile

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#2040602 - 02/28/13 07:55 AM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Another consideration would be large swings in RH. This might be more of a problem than the temperature swings. However, RH and temp. work hand in hand.

Do you have a hygrometer to record the changes?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2040606 - 02/28/13 08:00 AM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1794
I can't imagine the necessity that would require that you keep the piano in the garage in the first place. If you do not have room in your house for the piano, you might want to think about getting a smaller piano. Or incorporating central heating and air conditioning in the garage. It can't be that comfortable to play it out there, either. As long as you have electricity in the garage (which you must, if you play it out there), you should be able to supply some form of temperature and humidity regulation.

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#2040613 - 02/28/13 08:10 AM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Heather McDonald]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
The older I get and the more I participate here on PW, the more I realize that I know little about pianos, less about playing a piano, and less about most everything else. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here… smile

However, with that said, it seems to me that pianos are not as delicate as we think… what about the millions of acoustic pianos of yesteryear that spent their entire lives in homes, churches, buildings, etc… with no central HVAC? Yet, they survived for decades, or even centuries.

Sure, drastic temperature and humidity swings can affect the tuning and other things on a piano, but are they really that delicate? I’m not so sure.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2040826 - 02/28/13 02:50 PM Re: My piano temperature [Re: Rickster]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3707
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Rickster

Sure, drastic temperature and humidity swings can affect the tuning and other things on a piano, but are they really that delicate? I’m not so sure.



I've got to admit Rick, I think you have a point. I can certainly see the point in finely regulating the climate of a valuable piano, but for a lot of old clunkers, they seem to ride out all but the most extreme conditions. My 60's Yamaha U3 has to cope with quite a bit - it's in an open kitchen/dining area. Has to cope with cooking (steam), large temperature changes, an evaporative cooler which can send humidity as high as 75%. It handles it all without any major dramas apart from a bit of drift in the tuning. Certainly no cracks or mechanical problems. The one advantage I have is that I can tune it myself so I don't incur that cost with my variable conditions. My piano is an older model too and the bushes are certainly well worn without being excessively loose. I think that makes older pianos more forgiving too. For a newer piano with new bushings and fresh action with tight tolerances, high humidity could make it unplayable.

So, I think it depends on the piano as to how sensitive it is (or how noticeable an effect) to its climate. If the piano is already worn and one's expectations are relatively low, it makes little sense to waste too much time worrying about this. If you have a really nice and finely regulated piano, your motivation starts to increase. I plan to do nothing with my home environment until such time as I'm lucky enough to have a nice grand piano. But when that happens, I will certainly re-evaluate my home and cooling system.

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