• "We are fortunate to entrust our instruments to his care"
    - Dr. Tracey Laird, Agnes Scott College Music Chair
    "I highly recommend Haasenritter Piano Service"
    - Geary Brogden, Minister of Music, Ramah Baptist Church
    "My Baldwin piano sounds great, never sounded this good since the day I bought it."
    - Karen Douglassville, GA.

Why does Humidity affect the piano?

By far, the one environmental factor that is most responsible for a piano drifting out of tune is the change in humidity from season to season.  As you probably know, wood swells and shrinks with humidity fluctuations, and it just so happens that the piano is more than 85% wood.  Most people with wood floors notice in the winter that cracks appear between individual planks where there was no crack in the summer.  What this means is that piece of wood, and the ones around it, had expanded in the summer as it absorbed the increased humidity.  In the winter, the heat is turned on which dries out the humidity in the air.  The wooden planks shrink as the dry air leaches moisture from the floor and eventually you see a crack (or more accurately, the seam) appear between the individual pieces in your floor.  Even if the thermostat keeps the temperature the same year around, humidity will fluctuate (and often significantly here in Georgia) unless you have a house humidifier and dehumidifier system.  When a piano absorbs humidity, the soundboard (the large piece of wood behind the piano strings) swells slightly and puts more pressure on the strings.  This increase in pressure raises the tension of the strings and drives the pitch sharp.  The opposite happens in low humidity.  Less pressure, means lower tension and the pitch goes flat.  In fact, a quick and significant change in humidity can alter a tuning within just a matter of minutes! 

What can I do to control the humidity? (advice coming soon)