Piano Tuning

How to Protect a Piano from Sunlight [Options to Consider]

Written By :

Fairfax County Piano Tuners

Published on July 26, 2023

Piano owners often wonder how to protect a piano from sunlight. This is a vital consideration, as excessive sunlight dries out wood piano parts. In turn, the piano body might start pulling on its strings or fail to support them properly. Those parts might also start to chip, crack, and splinter sooner than they should.

How to protect a piano from sunlight:

  • Keep the piano along a wall away from windows.
  • Use high-quality window treatments.
  • Install window film.
  • Monitor humidity levels.
  • Use a piano cover.

These are just a few short suggestions for how to protect a piano from sunlight. To ensure you keep your beloved piano in good condition, keep reading. Some added details ensure you understand all your options for protecting it against damage. Also, remember to call a piano tuning contractor near you if you need added services.

 how to protect a piano from sunlight

How to Protect a Piano From Sunlight

Prolonged sunlight exposure risks significant piano damage over time. Sunlight fades the piano's finish, warps the wood, and damages internal components. These issues all affect its sound, overall condition, and value. With this in mind, check out some tips on how to protect a piano from sunlight:

  • Position the piano away from windows. Ideally, keep the piano in a room where direct sunlight does not reach it. If you have windows in the room, place the piano on an interior wall, away from the windows.
  • Use curtains or blinds, preferably blackout styles meant for people who get migraines! Be sure to keep them closed during the brightest parts of the day. Remote-controlled blinds or window treatments on a timer also make it easier to keep them closed when needed.
  • Consider applying a UV-resistant window film to the room’s windows. This film reduces UV rays that enter the room and protects the piano from fading and damage. You can also invest in windows designed to block UV rays or that come with a built-in tint.
  • Sunlight can raise the temperature in the room, leading to potential fluctuations in humidity. Maintain a stable humidity level, ideally between 40% to 50%, to protect the piano. You can use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.
  • When the piano is not in use, consider covering it with a specifically designed piano cover. This offers an additional layer of protection against sunlight and dust.
  • Avoid direct exposure to lamps and spotlights. Position the piano away from any artificial light sources that emit heat or ultraviolet radiation. This includes standard floor lamps and overhead lighting.

Lastly, remember to dust the piano regularly to keep it clean and free from debris and so you can inspect it closely. Consult a professional piano technician for regular maintenance and tuning to ensure the instrument's health and longevity. They can also inspect it for needed repairs and preventative maintenance.

Is It OK to Cover a Piano?

Some piano owners mistakenly think that covering a piano somehow harms it or pulls it out of tune. To the contrary, covering the piano offers many benefits when done correctly, including:

  • A piano cover prevents dust from settling on the keys, strings, and internal components. This keeps the piano cleaner and reduces the need for frequent cleaning.
  • As mentioned earlier, a cover can protect the piano from direct sunlight, reducing fading and damage to the finish and internal components.
  • Some piano covers help regulate humidity levels around the piano. This is essential for maintaining the instrument's health and preventing damage to the wood and strings.
  • A cover can offer a layer of protection against accidental spills, scratches, or other physical damage.

To ensure you use a piano cover correctly, note a few important tips. First, avoid using random or ill-fitting covers that may cause more harm than good. Second, if you use a cover for an extended period, allow for proper air circulation. Prolonged lack of air circulation could lead to moisture buildup, which risks damage.

Also, if the piano is warm for any reason, wait for it to cool down before covering it. Trapping heat can damage its components. Additionally, make sure to keep the cover clean. Washing the cover periodically will prevent any accumulated dust or debris from being transferred to the piano.

technician repairing a piano with damage

Can Pianos Be Left Outside?

In short, the answer is no, pianos should not be left outside. These are delicate, sensitive musical instruments not designed to withstand outdoor conditions. Exposure to the elements can cause severe damage and lead to it becoming unplayable. Note what is meant by that in more detail:

  • Exposure to rain, snow, humidity, and extreme temperature changes can warp and crack piano wood. This risks significant structural damage to its case and soundboard.
  • Direct sunlight fades the piano's finish and damages internal components. It can also cause the wood to dry out and crack.
  • Excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth. These are both harmful to the piano's internal parts and affect its sound quality.
  • Leaving a piano outside may attract pests and insects that might nest inside the instrument. They can also chew on the wood, wires, and other parts and components.

If you need to move a piano outdoors temporarily, make sure it is appropriately protected with a piano cover. Also, ensure it’s placed in a covered area away from direct sunlight and weather exposure. Above all, have the piano inspected by a professional once it’s safely back indoors. Proper tuning and needed repairs can help preserve the piano's value and extend its lifespan.

A Word From Our Piano Experts

Fairfax County Piano Tuners by PianoCraft is happy to help explain how to protect a piano from sunlight. Hopefully we’ve offered some excellent advice you can use! Also, if you’re near the city, call our Fairfax piano tuning technicians. We offer full-scale piano services including tuning, repairs, and rebuilding. For your FREE quote and outstanding piano care, reach out to our team today.

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