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#2158620 - 09/27/13 02:29 PM Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano
Brent B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Western/Central PA
Hi -

I am in the process of purchasing a home that has hot water baseboard heat. The house is relatively new (built in 2006), but this particular builder often uses this type of heating system for some reason.

I will likely be placing the piano (Estonia 190) in the room shown in the photo below, likely near the windows. As you can see in the picture, there is baseboard heating along the window wall and the wall where the couch currently sits.

Is hot water baseboard heat good or bad for pianos? I've heard that it is not as dry as forced air heat so I'm assuming that would be better for the piano, right? Any input/advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Oh, and there is a piano lifesaver system on the piano (if that makes any difference)

_________________________
Estonia 190

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#2158659 - 09/27/13 03:50 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Hi Brent,

Well, it looks like you aren't getting direct sunlight in that window. This is a good thing if I am correct.

Is it possible to just turn off that length of baseboard? It may be as simple as turning off a valve. If you do not have a dedicated valve, one could be easily installed by a plumber.

However, depending on where you are placing the piano, you might be perfectly fine.

My best advice however is to go directly to the dealer you purchased from and trade up to a new piano in the 7 ft. range immediately! wink
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2158668 - 09/27/13 04:11 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Rich Galassini]
Brent B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Western/Central PA
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini

My best advice however is to go directly to the dealer you purchased from and trade up to a new piano in the 7 ft. range immediately! wink


Hi Rich! That's excellent advice! I just may do that wink

I'm not sure if I can close off a section of the pipe, but that's a good thought. I'll be there during the home inspection next Tuesday so I'll take a look and/or ask the inspector.

Brent
_________________________
Estonia 190

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#2158671 - 09/27/13 04:15 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10457
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
It is likely that the OP can't turn off a section of baseboard heat as the water circulates throughout the house.

If the window does not get direct sunlight I think a DamppChaser system would address and instabilities caused by the baseboard heat.

Then again I am not an HVAC consultant!!!
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2158689 - 09/27/13 04:51 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Steve Cohen]
Brent B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Western/Central PA
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
It is likely that the OP can't turn off a section of baseboard heat as the water circulates throughout the house.

If the window does not get direct sunlight I think a DamppChaser system would address and instabilities caused by the baseboard heat.

Then again I am not an HVAC consultant!!!


I know there is no direct sunlight through the window from noon through the rest of the day (that picture was taken by me at around 12:30). I've never been in the house before noon so I'm not sure how much sunlight comes in through the window in the morning.

I'm meeting the inspector at the house at 8am next Tuesday so if it's a sunny day I'll find out what the morning sun situation is.

Thanks
_________________________
Estonia 190

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#2158696 - 09/27/13 05:05 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3546
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Provided that section of baseboard is correctly sized for the room, I don't see why it would be at all destructive to your piano. If such a system were genuinely raising humidity to an unusual level, I think you would see evidence in other parts of the house, like paint, mould growth, musty smell etc. You could easily measure the conditions in the room using a hygrometer over a period over a week or two while the heating is in use.

I think just the idea of a heating system based on water sends a shudder through the minds of piano owners, but let's not forget that ultimately, it's just a warm baseboard. The water is enclosed, it's not sending a fine mist throughout the house! The temperature of the water isn't especially high and the room is heated slowly. It's a warm glow in the corner - if your piano isn't too close to it, it's probably a lot gentler than a lot of other heating systems. I wouldn't assume that this is going to be problematic. Just measure the conditions and you may find it's perfectly fine and stable for your piano.

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#2158708 - 09/27/13 05:26 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: ando]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10457
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: ando
If such a system were genuinely raising humidity to an unusual level, I think you would see evidence in other parts of the house, like paint, mould growth, musty smell etc.


The concern is too little humidity cause by heat, not too much.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2158712 - 09/27/13 05:32 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 126
I have hot water baseboard radiators just like that in my house. How much of an effect they have will depend in part on what type of boiler you have.

A conventional boiler system circulates water in the temperature range of 160-170F and can cause rapid temperature spikes. Those spikes are most severe near the radiators. Some newer high efficiency boilers are able to operate at a much lower temperature, and heat the home more gradually and evenly as a result. Smart thermostats can also play a role in preventing overshoot.

Regardless of what type of boiler you have, at least you won't have a forced air register blasting hot dry air directly at your soundboard.

I'd be more concerned about the energy efficiency of those windows. I can just imagine that sheet of chilled air forming next to the bank of windows causing a downward draft.

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#2158713 - 09/27/13 05:37 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Have you considered placing the piano on a diagonal by the window and adjacent wall? (upper right corner of photo) That would lessen the amount of proximity of the piano to the baseboard.

You are correct. Circulating hot water heat is not as dry as direct forced air heat and is more even in temperature. Consider a humidifier in the room in the winter months. Humidity can also be increased by means of house plants and other water sources. Aquariums can have the same effect.

The three lower windows could be problematic. If the sun is a problem either morning to night or season to season, mini-blinds on the lower set of windows might be a tasteful solution. Just food for thought.

It appears to be a very beautiful home!

Congratulations.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2158738 - 09/27/13 06:18 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Steve Cohen]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3546
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: ando
If such a system were genuinely raising humidity to an unusual level, I think you would see evidence in other parts of the house, like paint, mould growth, musty smell etc.


The concern is too little humidity cause by heat, not too much.


Oh, ok. We don't have these things in Australia. In any case, if the heating is proportioned to the room, it doesn't need to be any worse than other methods of heating - provided the water is circulated at a fairly constant temperature. Only a measurement will clarify things.

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#2158805 - 09/27/13 08:59 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
It looks to me like the heater is also along the wall behind the couch. This probably means the temp difference between the heater and the room is generally small compared to a smaller radiator heating the same room to the same temp. You may be fine with the piano along the window if you also use the full DC system in PA. Get one of the electronic hygrometers to measure and record RH.

Since you took photo at noon-from the tree shadow I can see south is on the couch side of the room. So you may have sun in the morning which is usually not as intense. Still some widow shading may help.

Have you talked to your technician about it?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2158821 - 09/27/13 10:15 PM Re: Hot Water Baseboard Heat + Piano [Re: Brent B]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1228
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
It's hard to tell without a closer photo, but it looks like that type of baseboard heater might have a flap you can adjust, or even close. The water still circulates through the whole system, but with the flaps closed, very little (if any) heat comes from that section.

Will you be using the fireplace...in the same room with the piano? If you don't have an undercover as part of the Piano Life Saver System, I recommend having one installed.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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