How to measure humidity in homePosted by: Santiago Morris | Posted on: May 20, 2023
Air humidity is an indicator that conveys information about the volume of water vapor present in the environment. Percent (%) is used as the unit of measurement here.
Throughout the year, the humidity in the house can vary significantly up or down. Many factors come into play here:
- the time of year;
- the beginning of the heating season;
- weather conditions;
- individual circumstances of human activity (for example, drying laundry in the house, active use of heating devices, etc.).
Despite the fact that this indicator is quite unstable and varies frequently, established its normative values. The norm is considered the content of water vapor in the ratio of 30-60%. The most optimal variant is 45%. This is the microclimate you need to recreate in the house, then you and your pets will always feel well, and the interior will be protected from excessive moisture or conversely dry air.
Why is it important to measure the humidity level in the apartment?
People, pets, furniture and things are equally affected by high humidity and too dry air.
In the first case the following negative consequences inevitably occur:
- deterioration of general well-being (weakness in the body appears, cardiovascular diseases can worsen, in asthmatics high moisture can provoke the onset of an attack);
- mildew appears in the home and begins to grow uncontrollably;
- the high humidity causes furniture and things to deteriorate, and an unpleasant musty smell appears.
Dry air also negatively affects the microclimate in the house. In such conditions, people are more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, breathing becomes difficult, performance is reduced, headaches and allergic reactions may intensify.
Under the influence of dry air plants also begin to die, furniture dries out, finishing materials and natural wood products deteriorate.
From the above information it is obvious that measuring air humidity is an important condition for creating a favorable microclimate in your home or apartment.
How can you check the humidity in the room?
Today there are quite a few different ways to determine the level of humidity in the room. All these methods can be divided into two categories:
- Hardware measurement – this is the most accurate way to measure the level of water vapor in the air. In this case, the humidity is measured with a special device. This is a hygrometer.
- Further in the text we will discuss in detail what a hygrometer is, what kinds it is and which one to choose.
- Using improvised means – such methods do not give accurate figures, but with their help you can find out what prevails in the room: dry air or extra moisture.
For example, as an alternative way to measure the humidity in a room you can use a glass of water, pre-cooled in the refrigerator to +5 degrees. It should then be taken out and left in the room for 10 minutes. If after this time the water dries out, you can conclude that the humidity level is low.
Hygrometer: types, principle of operation
To reliably find out whether the humidity in your home corresponds to the normative values, it is enough to buy a special device. It will quickly and accurately show how things are with this indicator. We are talking about a hygrometer.
Hygrometer is a measuring device, by means of which the volume of water vapor in the air is determined. The principle of operation of this equipment depends on its type.
Let’s consider the main models of hygrometers:
Hair – such a device uses the property of natural human hair to change its length depending on the level of humidity. The results are reflected through a special screen, where there is a scale and an arrow.
The hair hygrometer can show values in the range of 30-100%.
Film – this mechanism is based on an organic film membrane, which also has the ability to change its size depending on the level of humidity. An arrow shows the humidity by moving on a scale of values.
A weighing hygrometer – such a hygrometer gives the most accurate data. However, it is not usually used in home conditions. This device is more in demand in laboratories.
The principle of work of the weight hygrometer consists in the use of special compositions capable of completely absorbing moisture from the environment (calcium chloride, magnesium perchlorate). A certain amount of air is run through this system. Conclusions about the level of humidity are made on the basis of two indicators: the volume of pumped air and the weight of the system (after measurements).
Condensing – in this device, the humidity level is calculated from the dew point, which is determined by means of a cooled metal mirror.
Psychometric – This device is also called a psychrometer. Measurements here are made due to the interaction of “dry” and “wet” thermometer. One of the significant disadvantages of this model is that it does not immediately reflect the level of humidity. It must be additionally calculated using a special table (comes with the psychrometer).
The electronic model is more modern and convenient model of hygrometers. It received the second name “home digital weather station”. They can be electric or battery-powered. The results of measurements are displayed on the display.
As you can see, there are a lot of devices, which measure humidity. However, digital hygrometer models are considered the most convenient in everyday life. They can also differ from each other in terms of technical characteristics and set of options. Below we propose to discuss the key parameters that you should pay attention to when choosing such equipment.
Important parameters when choosing a hygrometer
In order not to get confused in all the variety of hygrometers, when buying this device, you should pay attention to the following important parameters:
- the speed of obtaining results – from this point of view, the purchase of a digital model will be the best option. In this case you will not have to make any additional measurements and calculations;
- error ratio of readings – the smaller it is, the more accurate the data is;
- room for which you buy the hygrometer – if it is a bath or sauna, the device must have a high threshold for heating (not less than 120 degrees);
- additional options – in addition to the moisture meter, the device may have other convenient functions (thermometer, clock, alarm, calendar, etc.).
Before buying a hygrometer, it is a good idea to read the reviews of other users and consult a salesperson.
How to control the humidity in your room: helpful hints
If the hygrometer showed a deviation of the humidity level from the set standard value, the indicator must be corrected to a greater or lesser extent. Specific measures will depend on whether the microclimate in the house is arid or, on the contrary, excessively humid.
If it’s very dry
The fastest and most effective way to deal with dry air in your home is to purchase a humidifier. The principle of operation of this device is to spray micro-particles of water into the surrounding space.
In parallel, you can take the following measures:
- Try to ventilate the room more often – especially during the heating season. Airing will not only increase the humidity level in the room, but also reduce the concentration of CO2.
- If you are afraid of draughts and frosty air in winter, you can buy a system of forced ventilation – breezer. This device will provide a constant supply of fresh air into the room without open windows;
- Try to do more frequent damp cleaning at home, including washing floors and wiping all surfaces with a damp cloth;
- Get rid of sources of intense heat. For example, if you have independent heating in your house, it makes sense to make it quieter. The same rule applies to electric fireplaces and other heating devices;
- You can buy a large aquarium with fish at home. On the one hand, it will release additional moisture, and on the other hand, it will decorate your home and soothe you after a long day at work.
If it’s very humid
Compared to dry air, it is more difficult to deal with high humidity levels. Especially if the cause is due to mistakes made during construction. In this case, only high-quality insulation of exterior walls will radically solve the problem.
As additional measures to combat moisture in the house, you can list the following:
- Be sure to ventilate the rooms. Especially during cooking or water procedures, when humidity in the bathroom can reach 100%;
- Try not to dry laundry in the house. It is preferable to hang things on the balcony or outside (if you live in a private home);
- in the kitchen you should install a high quality powerful extractor hood, because during cooking, a large amount of moisture is also released into the environment;
- During the cold season, it is necessary to take care of sufficient heating of all rooms.
We have come to the conclusion that a hygrometer is a useful purchase, which will help to create a favorable microclimate in the room. It is enough to periodically make measurements and adjust the humidity level as needed. In this case you will always feel excellent!