Where to Put Your Piano (Counting to 100: #14)

Welcome to the Counting to 100 Pianos series. I am blogging my way through my first 100 tunings. For previous pianos, check out these:





I recently went to an apartment to do tuning #14. The owners had just been given a free piano, and a beautiful one at that. It needed some work, several keys were sticking, but the insides were neat and clean. 

It was a cool rainy day, and as soon as the heater came on, I knew we had a problem. Where do you put your piano when there are windows, doors, and heaters everywhere? Their piano was at an angle in the corner, attractively placed, right in front of the heater vent. 

Think of pianos as any other piece of wood. If you leave wood in the sun, it dries out and gets faded. If you put  it in front of a heater, it gets dried out. As wood gets dry it shrinks and the seams try to pull apart. The reverse is true about humidity. As woods gets more wet (think summer humidity), it swells. That's why all your doors stick in the summer. Pianos get affected the same way. The more the humidity changes, the more your piano needs to get tuned.  

So, where NOT to put your piano:

  • In front of a window
  • Next to an exterior door
  • In front of a heater vent
  • On top of a heater vent
  • Near and cooling vent
  • Next to another heat source (fire place, pellet stove, oven)
  • On an outside wall
  • Right next to a humidifier

But, where can you put your piano? So many rooms have doors, and windows, and fireplaces...

Ideally, place your piano on an inside wall with no heating/cooling vents. Now, if this is not possible, try to come up with the least offending option:

  • Avoid the rooms with fireplaces, pellet stoves, etc first. 
  • Avoid the heating/cooling vents next.
  • Then avoid those doors that lead outside.
  • Next avoid windows, especially ones you intend to open.

So if your only option is a wall with a heat vent, or a wall with a window, go for the wall with the window and just don't open that window. 

In the end though, remember we don't live in ideal prefect worlds with perfect homes. If you are avoiding buying a piano because you don't have a perfect wall to put it on, buy the piano anyway. Maybe get a slightly cheaper one because you know it will wear faster, but get the piano. Don't let windows and heat vents stand in the way of making music.