It’s impossible to talk about pianos, piano tuning, and piano care without talking about humidity.
A first step in understanding how humidity is affecting the piano, is knowing what the humidity is in the home or room where the piano is located.
Not all hygrometers are created equal. I’ve been searching for a hygrometer I can feel comfortable recommending to my piano service customers. It’s the Govee H5075.
This Govee H5177 (available at Amazon for around $20.00) is an accurate digital hygrometer that can be calibrated using the Govee Home app.
The two I got were right on (calibration-wise) right out of the box and are tracking identically, and accurately for both temperature and humidity in our Tucson home (as verified using a Bacharach Sling Psychrometer).
This Govee Thermometer/Hygrometer H5177 is accurate enough to show accurate readings for both minimum and maximum humidity levels over a long period of time. These MIN/MAX levels are very useful for knowing the range of the humidity ‘swings’ occurring since the last tuning or between resets or battery replacing.
Knowing accurate MIN/MAX humidity levels is useful when answering questions and coming up with a plan regarding piano care, service and tuning.
They can be hung on the wall or set on a table and require 3 “AAA” batteries. Changing the batteries, resets everything including any calibration adjustments made thru the app, and the ‘MIN/MAX’ readings. So, try not to change the batteries right before a tuning!!! I’d like to know the MIN/MAX amounts when I get there.
Something else. . . I’m not sure about placing one of these ‘inside’ the piano. I’d suggest putting it close to the piano, at the same level as the piano, but not too close to fireplaces, windows or doors, or hot or cold air returns or sends. You want it to read the humidity level of the air ‘around’ the piano, or in the room. Not necessarily ‘in’ the piano.
So, if you’re interested in the humidity in your home for your own comfort, in addition to the piano and whatever else you may own that is affected by humidity changes, these little Govee devices seem accurate enough for our purposes and are a pretty cool little device.
If you’d prefer an analog hygrometer (no batteries) you might check out the Mavori Analog Hygrometer (available on Amazon).
I’ve not tested one of them myself, but it does have the calibration adjustment screws on the back. If you do decide to purchase this Mavoir, you’ll want to check calibration with a sling psychrometer. I can calibrate it for you during a piano service appointment.