Antique Furniture and Central Heating

When the weather is cold, we all naturally turn up our central heating. We humans may enjoy living in a toasty warm house, but unfortunately your antique furniture probably finds this time of year a bit of a challenge.

Changes in temperature – and the drying effect of central heating – both cause problems for furniture and hasten their general deterioration. Structural weakness in joints occurs because wood glue breaks down faster in dry, warm conditions, and surface cracks become more likely because of changes in humidity.

Putting wooden furniture directly next to a heat source will often cause veneers to lift off, and even lead to wood warping and buckling.

So at this time of year do spare a thought for your furniture and follow the recommendations below.

• Don't put antiques directly up against radiators (or if this is unavoidable, keep the temperature of that radiator as low as possible.)

• Rotate furniture around the room every few weeks.

• Try to maintain as constant a temperature as possible, and avoid fast changes from hot to cold, or vice versa.