Minimum room temperature

Posted by: Ryan Hassell

Minimum room temperature - 12/28/11 08:04 PM

Hello all!

I have several churches that turn their heat down during the week. What would you recommend as a minimum temperature as to not affect the piano. I know that ANY change in temp/humidity will affect it somewhat, but would like to have some general number to tell them. Would this be different for a piano with a damp chaser?
Posted by: Bob

Re: Minimum room temperature - 12/28/11 08:23 PM

About 50 degrees is fine. This is actually beneficial, because lower heat levels in the winter will keep the humidity higher. As a result, the piano will stay closer to pitch throughout the winter months.
Posted by: Monaco

Re: Minimum room temperature - 12/29/11 10:54 AM

Really? Even with the weekly fluctuations from hot to cold (dry to wet) and back and forth?
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Minimum room temperature - 12/30/11 08:16 AM

Really. ... I tune in a couple of situations where the heat is turned off completely and the buildings reach outdoor temperatures in winter, and the pianos are in wonderful shape. I warn them about possible stability issues, but the warnings seem to be unnecessary.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Minimum room temperature - 12/30/11 09:35 AM

Until we tune them. Then a temp of 72 sounds great to me!!!!! grin
Posted by: Bob

Re: Minimum room temperature - 12/30/11 10:17 AM

Really....The OP is in Missouri.......nice and cold outside this time of year. When I had my Chicago workshop, I confirmed that keeping the heat at 50 degrees F when I wasn't in it then warming it up for a few hours to do work kept the relative humidity 35% to 45% during cold winters. Heating to 70 F all the time dried out the air to 20-25% RH. So.....like northern churches, I saved money and kept the RH higher by heating above 50 F only when the space was occupied.

Overheating (above 68 F) in the winter can crack soundboards and loosen action parts - and take the piano 25-50 cents flat in pitch as the RH may be only 7-15%.

Drop the heat to 50 F, which is the lower limit for most thermostats, and gives a 20 degree cushion from getting so cold pipes freeze.

I can't count the times I've tuned in churches with gloves, hat and coat on. Not great for me, but good for the piano.

Note, the opposite does not apply to A/C in the summer. Summer A/C at 79 degrees or less is required, or the RH gets too high for the piano.