New and recently rebuilt pianos should be tuned 2 times within the first 12 months followed by 1-2 times yearly. If you’ve just purchased a pre-owned piano then twice yearly should be sufficient. Pianos used for educational or commercial use will require tunings more often.
Instruments should be tuned to A-440 or in some cases A-441. The stability of the pin-block and other internal components will determine this. Your tech will be able to give you advice at to what’s best for your instrument.
Pianos can be damaged by long-term exposure to temperatures outside of the range found in normal living conditions. The ideal temperature for a piano is approx 68 degrees F. The room temperature should not fall below 45 degrees F or exceed 95 degree F for pro-longed periods of time. The greater the temperature variables the more often the piano will need to be tuned. Normal piano moving times are not considered an extended length and will not effect the instrument’s health.
Most often it is a lack of humidity, not an excess, that is the cause of piano damage. Pianos, like other fine instruments require humidity levels of approximnately45%. Your piano’s health is dependent on a robust moisture content being present at all times. Built in home humidifiers are not designed to provide that type of moisture level. At best they’ll achieve 20% during the colder months. Room humidifiers should be used in areas of the country that experience cold, dry winters. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Costco and other stores sell units that can provide adequate humidity if they’re run daily. Be certain the unit can disperse at least 12 gallons of water within a 24-hour period. Purchase a digital read out hydrostat, they’re under $30.00 and will give you a constant understanding of what your piano is experiencing. In extreme situations a room humidifier cannot keep up with the drying effects of many heating types, especially forced hot air or wood based heat. In these situations you may need to put the unit directly under or next to the piano and run it steadily during the coldest months. If you like speak to one of our in house techs about the use of permanently mounted to the piano units made by Dampp-Chaser. We cannot overstress the importance of the proper amount of humidity in regards to the health of your piano. Do not wait until the effects of low humidity damage your investment; be proactive. Low humidity will destroy even the hardiest instrument.
Direct or strong ambient sunlight can harm a piano’s finish. The heating effect will also cause the piano to go out of tune rapidly. Over pro-longed periods ofexposure, direct sunlight will destroy the inner workings of the instrument. Avoid placing a piano in these types of areas. If this is not possible then the use of sun eliminating window treatment or a piano cover is essential.
Keep liquids away from your piano. Beverages spilled into an instrument can do severe and sometimes irreparable damage. Never touch the strings, especially ones made of copper. Do not attempt to clean them; the oils from your hands will cause them to become dull and lifeless in sound. Remove dust from the interior of piano with a large, clean, unused paintbrush. You can blow the remaining dust out with a leaf blower or an air compressor. When possible, closing the lid will provide protection from air borne contaminants from sources like cooking and day to day foot traffic.
The fallboard should be left open allowing circulation of air in and around the keys. Use only a soft cloth, lightly dampened with water to clean them. If extreme grime is present, watered down Windex will work. Never apply liquids directly to the keys.
The case can be cleaned with an extremely soft duster or a damp, clean cloth. Rub in the direction of the grain if apparent. Use as little pressure as possible while allowing the surface be properly cleaned.