Under what weather conditions should one tune a piano if one is only going to tune it once a year? I'm thinking about both humidity and temperature. Is it best to tune when the humidity is typical (median or mean), or perhaps slightly above or below average? Same question then for temperature, but of course the temperature of the piano is controlled more by season than weather, since in the winter our house temperature is around 69F/20.5C and in the summer it's around 77F/25C.

I have an upright piano, and am a casual player. Tuning my piano once a year is a challenge, so I'd like to do it at the most optimal time. I live in a particularly hot and dry climate. I understand that I should have a humidifier for my piano, but it's just not going to happen. I realize my piano never plays perfectly, and I'm ok with that. I am hoping that there is some wisdom or rule-of-thumb to guide me here. Searching google resulted in lots of advice about care and the effects of humidity/temperature, but nothing answering my specific question.

  • 1
    More info needed! Where's it kept - by a radiator/ in direct sunlight/in a normally un/used room? What sort of piano frame - wood/iron? How much is it played? What's the challenge? What;s wrong with a bowl of water inside it during the Summer? Why tune it once a year?
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 17:22
  • 20 - 25° would be considered 'temperate' by most people. How does the humidity change throughout the year? How old is the piano? Modern pianos tend to be manufactured in climate-controlled conditions resembling those of the area they will be sold to, then vac-packed for shipping.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 17:28
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    Why not asking the piano tuner? Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


Simple answer: tune it during the conditions which occur for the largest part of the year. No matter what you do, changes in temperature and humidity will change the tuning, but by and large when the conditions revert to those in place when tuned the piano will go back into tune.

You are certainly correct that the ideal situation is to keep the piano in a temperature- andhumidity-controlled room. None of us can afford that :-( .


If you're tuning the piano once a year, avoid tuning it during the high and low extremes of humidity. Often this means tuning it in the spring or fall as opposed to the dead of winter, but it will depend on your climate. It's the indoor humidity that counts. Looking at a chart of outdoor relative humidity can be deceiving. Moderate outdoor RH during cold weather translates to low indoor RH when that cold air warms.

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