How and how to measure the humidity in the room: an overview of instruments and the best ways

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Julia Oschepkova
Last update: January 2020

The content of water vapor in the air is an important indicator of the microclimate comfort in the room. You must admit that excessive dryness or, conversely, air humidity can extremely negatively affect the well-being of not only people.

An uncomfortable microclimate affects plants, pets, the condition of furniture, walls and their decoration. In order to optimize the microclimate, it is necessary to find out how to measure the humidity in the room and what its indicators are considered optimal for human life?

You can find answers to these and many other questions in our material.

The first signs of a microclimate change

An uncomfortable microclimate can be called any deviation in the relative humidity. Too dry air, as well as excessively wet, harms human health, home decoration, furniture and all living things.

The primary methods for determining fluctuations in humidity and dryness are:

  • unpleasant sensations on the mucous membranes, dry skin unusual for a person, the appearance of cough, frequent colds or allergic reactions;
  • condensation on windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces;
  • the occurrence of mold, dampness;
  • withering of plants;
  • changing the appearance of furniture (drying, bloating of varnished products, etc.).

Any of these changes may be caused by too dry or humid air.

Pay attention to the first signs of increased humidity or dryness - they become an important reason to start measuring indicators.

Plants on the windowsill
Withering of plants on the windowsill, even despite frequent watering, is an accurate sign of too dry indoor air

In order to most accurately measure relative humidity and take any measures to balance this indicator, special instruments should be used.

Moisture Measurement Methods

The indicator of a comfortable microclimate in the room is called relative humidity air. This parameter is calculated based on the vapor content and its interaction with the air.

Relative humidity is measured in several ways:

  • visually and according to the sensations of those who are regularly in the room;
  • using special equipment;
  • using alternative methods.

Let's take a closer look at how you can measure the humidity in the room and what it will take.

Hardware relative humidity measurement

To the most accurate and sought after humidity measuring instruments hygrometers are considered.

A hygrometer is a device that is designed for high-precision measurement of air humidity and is divided into several subspecies.

Electronic hygrometer
For the most accurate measurement of relative humidity in the room, you need to use only high-quality and high-precision instruments. Electronic hygrometers are considered one of the most accurate devices.

The most classic options for such devices are: hair, film and psychometric hygrometers.

Option No. 1 - a hair hygrometer

This type of hygrometer is based on synthetic hair, a measuring scale with an arrow and a spring. When the indicators fluctuate with respect to humidity, the tension of the hair changes, which makes the spring work and display the measured data on the scale.

Such a device can measure readings ranging from 30% to 80%.

Option No. 2 - film-type hygrometer

Such a device consists of a sensitive film and a counterweight, which respond to changes in dryness or humidity. Indicators are displayed on a scale and, as in the previous case, range from 30% to 80%.

Option number 3 - a psychometric device

Hygrometer of psychometric type. This device works on the principle of interaction between two thermometers (dry and wet). The readings that are displayed on the scale of the thermometers must be checked with a special table and calculate the exact data on humidity in the room.

This variety of devices is of three types: remote, station, aspiration. The station hygrometer is considered the most popular.

Psychometric Hygrometer
The psychometric type hygrometer is quite simple, but despite this a fairly accurate device. Therefore, some users prefer these devices.

Option number 4 - laboratory devices

Such devices belong to the category of professional hygrometers used exclusively in laboratory conditions. This subspecies of measuring instruments includes mechanical weighing and condensing apparatus.

Their application requires special skills and knowledge, therefore such hygrometers are not used for home humidity measurement.

Option number 5 - electronic hygrometers

These devices are digital instruments for measuring indoor microclimate. They are compact, easy to use and do not require any special skills from the owner.

Digital hygrometers are equipped with a special sensor and can work both from the network and from the battery charge, depending on the model and its cost.

Digital hygrometer
A digital hygrometer is not only a device that accurately determines the humidity level in a room. It fits perfectly into the interior, and also combines the functions of a thermometer and a clock

Multifunctional digital hygrometers are often claimed by manufacturers as weather stations. These devices allow not only to monitor humidity indicators in the room, but also have a modern design and an amazing combination of options.

Alternative moisture measurement methods

Alternative methods should not be 100% trusted, however, their testimony may be the reason for buying professional measuring equipment.

In addition to special equipment, there are alternative methodshowever, such techniques are not among the most effectiveThey are only able to indicate deviations in the relative humidity of the room.

So how do you measure the relative humidity in the room if the hygrometer is not at hand?

Method number 1 - a glass of water

In order to apply this method in action, you need to draw ordinary tap water into a glass and cool it in a refrigerator to a temperature of no more than +5 ° С. Then, take a glass out of the refrigerator, leave it in the room for 10 minutes and evaluate the results of the experiment.

Humidity measurement with a glass of water
If condensation forms on the surface and walls of the glass removed from the freezer, this indicates an excessively wet indoor climate.

If after 10 minutes the glass dries, you can draw conclusions about too dry air. The optimal result is the presence of condensate, which does not dry out, but does not drip in large drops.

This indicates the normal humidity of the air, comfortable for humans.

Method No. 2 - use of a mercury thermometer

This method is based on a principle similar to the functioning of a psychometric hygrometer. In order to measure the humidity of a room, it is necessary to measure the air temperature with a conventional mercury thermometer and record the indicators.

Then, wrap the thermometer head with a dense cotton cloth or gauze soaked in water and re-measure the room temperature. To obtain accurate indicators, you need to calculate the difference between the first and second measurement and calculate the result according to a special table.

The results of the two above methods for determining humidity can not be called reliable, therefore, to obtain accurate indicators, it is recommended to use professional or home hygrometer.

Hygrometer recommendations

Modern hygrometers differ not only in functionality, but also in size, price and measurement accuracy.

Air Hygrometer
Normative humidity is considered a level from 40 to 60%. Humidifiers or dehumidifiers can be used to create optimal indoor conditions.

The most optimal type of devices are digital devices, for the use of which you do not need to do any calculations and have any professional skills.

Such a hygrometer should be selected based on the following criteria:

  • measurement error allowed by the manufacturer;
  • the width of the range of operating values;
  • heating threshold, if the device is planned to be used in saunas or baths;
  • speed of calculation of results;
  • compactness and mobility;
  • the presence of additional options - hours, calendar, alarm clock, barometer, built-in Wi-fi module and others;
  • price category and manufacturer.

Before buying a hygrometer, you should carefully study not only the characteristics of the devices offered on the market, but also the reviews of customers who have already managed to test the device in action.

Having bought a high-quality hygrometer, you can be sure of the accuracy of the measurements of relative humidity. However, a number of related questions arise about how to normalize the microclimate and what methods, devices to use to normalize indicators.

Tips for creating a comfortable microclimate

Follow the tips regarding the regulation of humidity in the room and be sure of the comfort and health of your household

Airing a room
With low humidity in the room, you should regularly ventilate the room, wet clean at least 2-3 times a week, or purchase a special device for humidifying the air

Instead of a humidifier, you can use climatic equipment with integrated humidification and ionization function.

In rooms in which humidity is above the norm, it is necessary to avoid drying clothes in the room and to ensure good ventilation of the room. Do not forget to regularly use the device for air drying.

Careful measurement and control of relative humidity in any room is the key to the health and well-being of people, plants, animals and the duration of the service of furniture and other structures that can lose their appearance due to excessive humidity or dry air.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

About how to measure indoor air humidity with a glass of water:

As you can see, a good measuring device is only half the battle, the most important thing is to take timely measures to restore the indoor climate and regularly monitor changes in the hygrometer.

Do you measure the humidity in your own home? Using what methods or devices do you do this? Please share your own experiences with our readers. Leave your comments in the box below.

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