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KEEPING YOUR PIANO CLIMATE HAPPY (for more info on general care, click THIS LINK to the relevant page on my other site!)
   After the previous discussion, you might be thinking that owning a piano is fraught with unsolvable problems! Not so! Firstly, most pianos are tough old birds! And with a little thoughtful care, your piano (especially if it is relatively new) will last you a lifetime. Compare that to your car!
Unless you have a perfectly designed space (unrealistic), or have a humidity control system installed, your piano will experience changes in temperature and humidity. But it can cope with that, providing the changes are not too drastic and frequent. The following advice will not climate-proof your piano, but it will help your it to have a long and happy life.

Air-conditioning: Keep you piano away from the direct air-flow!

Heating: The same as for air-con!

Close the piano up when not in use! Easier for an upright – the top usually stays shut anyway. A grand needs to be opened up for playing (unless you are practising from memory! In any case, you won’t hear the full tonal quality of the grand if it’s closed up). Also close the fallboard (the lid which covers the keys). This will keep dust from settling on and under the keys! (Most tuners have come across any number of piano where, over the decades, a mountain of dust has settled under the keys! The solution is simple enough – remove the keys and vacuum the keybed).

Think carefully about where you place the piano in the house! The best position is an inside wall, away from the sun (south-side in the southern hemisphere; north-side for the northern hemisphere). But if you can generally keep the house interior free of large fluctuations in temperature, and keep you piano away from that air-conditioner or heater, the piano should do fine.

Don’t place vases of flowers on the piano! When the inevitable happens (a spillage), water will flow down into the works and cause havoc! (see comments above).

Don’t store the piano in a shed!Certainly not if the piano is any good! Long-term storage in a shed can wreak havoc on a piano. Not only will there be big changes in temperature and humidity, you run the risk of vermin infestations. If you have no plans to use the piano, and there is no room for it, sell it!

Don’t place a water jar inside the piano!!!
This idea comes out of hot, dry climates (such as our own, and some parts of the USA). The thought was that as the water in the jar evaporates, it helps to maintain the humidity level in the wood. However, it not only fails in this (your jar of water will take several months to evaporate, thereby having almost no impact on the humidity level), there is the danger of spillage if the piano is moved.   The jar of water can also attract bugs and water bacteria. The best option is to install a humidity control system, a mechanism which is specially designed to maintain a constant humidity level (42%) in all kinds of weather.

What if the piano is an old wreck
? (Probably only a tuner could determine this properly, although if it looks and sounds like an old wreck, it probably is one!). If it’s beyond repair, the shed might be the only place for it for now. But if it’s in that bad a state, don’t pass it on to someone looking for something to start on! You’ll only be giving them (and a tuner!) a heap of headaches! Either take it to the tip, or contact a piano tuner – he or she might be able to use it for spare parts!

Cleaning the exterior of your piano
: For the wooden parts of the casing, a conventional furniture polish should be fine. If you have something particularly stylish and classy, look up the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Cleaning the keys:
A standard cleaning cloth with a conventional cleaner is usually fine. Best to spray the cleaning agent onto the cloth first. This minimizes the moisture applied to the piano’s surface.