Large pipe organs in concert halls and churches need to have the humidity maintained within their organ chambers in order to preserve the dimensions of the wooden sound boards and sliders.
If the air in the organ chamber becomes dry then it will suck moisture from the surrounding wood causing it to suffer dimensional changes. This can cause the sliders to warp and stick, resulting in an unresponsive instrument. If the sound boards change shape then the air will not resonate correctly and the organ will become out of tune.
By maintaining 55% relative humidity (%RH) within the organ chamber the wood is in equilibrium with the air and it maintains its moisture content and shape. This is often achieved with small capacity steam humidifiers that feed low levels of steam into an organ chamber either directly through a fan unit or via a steam pipe.
As well as the organ chamber, the main auditorium and stage area within a concert hall also require humidity control. The preservation of wooden furniture and flooring as well as the musicians’ instruments within the hall requires a level of around 50%RH.
The stage area also needs the humidity maintained in order to provide optimum conditions for the singer’s voice. If the atmosphere is too dry then the vocal performance will suffer as the singer’s nose and throat dry.
- Alexandra Palace, UK
- Christ's Hospital school, UK
- Opera North's Howard Assembly Room
- Royal Albert Hall, UK
- Sydney Opera House, Australia
- The Royal Opera House, UK