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How to keep humidity from ruining your musical equipment

Today, we thought we’d share with you a story about a Southern Louisiana client we recently came across.

This client, in addition to being used to the Louisiana humidity, is also a gifted pianist. In fact, this client had a Bösendorfer piano.

Bosendorfer Piano

If you don’t know much about pianos, well let’s just say a Bösendorfer is not your ordinary piano!

Bösendorfer pianos are Austrian manufactured instruments, which have been built since the early 1800s. They are highly cherished, and highly desired pianos amongst avid pianists.

This particular client called us because of concerns over his Bösendorfer. He was afraid that Louisiana’s swinging weather conditions might damage his prized instrument.

For example, during this past winter when we had several bouts of snow and ice in Louisiana, our client was concerned about their indoor air quality. Specifically, whether or not the heat from his home’s heater would impact the sound board inside his piano and lead to it cracking.

And, during our hot, humid summers, the client was worried that our high humidity levels would impact the sound and tuning of his fine instrument.

Impact of Changing Weather & Humidity

As it turns out, our client had good reasons to be concerned! Pianos are fine musical instruments which require minimal humidity to stay in tune and to operate properly.

Because pianos are primarily made of wood, the changing humidity levels of Southern Louisiana can cause the wood to expand and contract, thus affecting tuning and the sound coming out of the instrument.

Also, too much heat in the winter is also bad for a piano.

In fact, many piano manufacturers instruct their clients not to place their pianos too close to their HVAC systems or vents, as your heater can damage the piano for good.

A pianist without a properly functioning piano is not a happy person, especially when he plays on something as special as a Bösendorfer every day.

As HVAC experts for Southern Louisiana clients, we instantly knew that this particular client of ours needed our assistance in order to protect his prized piano.

Suggested Humidity Control Ranges for Musical Instruments

According to the website, www.showcasepianos.com, pianists should “check (their) room(’s) climate with a thermometer in conjunction with a hygrometer (humidity meter). 40 to 50 percent humidity and temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are a good measure.”

Humidify Control Solutions

In this particular instance, we recommended BOTH the use of a humidifier AND a dehumidifier!

The reason?

Since we have little humidity in the winters when our heaters are running and drying out the air, we recommended the client install a humidifier to raise the humidity level in his music space to the optimal level.

And of course, in the summer when we have more humidity than we know what to do with, we suggested he utilize a dehumidifier to bring his indoor humidity level down to an acceptable level.

While you may not be a pianist, or play a musical instrument at all, we hope this story illustrates to you just how deeply we care about our customers and their needs. We know that you have important possessions in your home – perhaps art that you don’t want destroyed by high humidities or special hobbies you pursue – and we want to help you enjoy these cherished items.

The team at Berner A/C & Heat has air quality & humidity control specialists who will put our heads together to find creative solutions for you.

Call us for help with your special situation at (985) 727-2302 on the Northshore and in St. Tammany Parish, or (504) 822-8080 on the Southshore or in Metro New Orleans.