How To Test Humidity Without A Hygrometer

One may want to understand how to test humidity without a hygrometer. Humidity is the quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere.  Water vapour is the gaseous state of water that is not visible through our naked eyes. Excessive humidity levels can trigger health complications such as allergies, respiratory problems, create a suitable environment for the breeding of mold and mildew.

On the other hand, extremely low humidity levels may trigger chronic dry skin and lips, and itchy nose and throat, and also cause havoc on your furniture. It is, therefore, vital that you get the right balance of your indoor humidity levels. So, how do you measure humidity?

In normal circumstances, you would use a hygrometer to test the humidity levels in the air. However, there are other various ways that you can use to figure out the humidity levels in your home.  Here are easy tips that you can use to measure humidity levels without a hygrometer.

What Is A Hygrometer?

how to test humidity without a hygrometer

It is a device used to quantify the humidity levels of a room or a given environment. The device does so by quantifying the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. Even though there are other types of hygrometers, the most common one is an electrical hygrometer.

How To Test Humidity Without A Hygrometer

Tip#1: Ice Cubes Method

Using ice cubes is one of the simple and yet quickest methods of telling whether your house is humid or not. You only need four ice cubes and a glass of water. When using this method, you should note that the approach will not give you the exact humidity levels in your home, but it will let you know if your indoor air is humid or dry.

Put the four ice cubes in a glass with water and place the glass in the room you want to investigate whether it has low or high moisture content. The spaces under investigation using this approach should not be the bathroom or kitchen. This is because the moisture levels in these rooms fluctuate from time to time, depending on their usage. During the investigation period, avoid accessing the room now and then; otherwise, the movements can influence the outcome.

It is advisable to leave the set-up in the room for about 5 minutes. Once the period is over, you can access the room and evaluate the glass. Check out for condensation on the outside surfaces of the glass; if present, this is to signal that the room is too humid.

To lower the humidity level in such a room, you can consider introducing indoor plants such as Boston fern, peace lily, orchids, among others. Such plants are efficient in absorbing moisture from the air through the leaves.

However, if the glass has no signs of condensation on the outer surfaces, then your room has dry air. Dry air is not suitable for you and other dwellers in your home.

You may require to start using a humidifier. A humidifier is an appliance that increases water vapor into the air. If the glass seems to be on the middle ground, then the moisture contents in your home are okay.

You can run this experiment at any time of the day, and it is a convenient way of finding out how humid your home is.

Tip#2: Wet And Dry Bulb Temperature

A wet and dry bulb test is another easiest and efficient method of measuring the amount of humidity in your home. In this approach, you will need to have a wet-bulb and dry-bulb thermometer.

A wet-bulb thermometer is an ordinary thermostat that uses a moist or wet piece of cloth or cotton muffled around the bulb or bottom of the thermometer. This one is easy to make. On the other hand, a dry-bulb thermometer is a conventional thermometer.

So how do you use this method? To begin with, you need to select a room for which you want to measure its humidity. You also have to bring in a fan in the room and set it in a spot where you will place the thermometer.

With the two thermometers in your hand, shake them well to allow the mercury content in them to drop down into the bulb of each thermometer.

With a cotton ball, soak it in room-temperature water and bind it all over the bulb of the ordinary mercury thermometer. Place this thermometer in the same room with a mercury thermometer that has no cotton ball.

Leave the set-up for several hours or even overnight before recording the temperature reading of the two thermometers. To ascertain the relative humidity level, get the difference between the dry-bulb temperature and the wet-bulb temperature by subtracting the latter’s readings from the former.

For example, if the dry-bulb records 75 degrees while the wet-bulb measures 40, then the relative humidity level is about 35 percent. The variation in readings of the two thermometers is determined by the amount of moisture in the air.

The dry-bulb thermometer will measure how cold or hot the room is. While water vaporizes from the wet-bulb, the temperature readings on the cotton ball will be dropping. The temperature reading will continue falling as more water from the wet-bulb evaporates. More water will evaporate from the cotton ball as the air becomes dry. This is to say low humid room will have more evaporation resulting in a decrease in the temperature readings on the cotton ball. A moist room will have low evaporation, which will mean no significant reduction in temperature readings.

Tip#3: Using Human Hair As A Hygrometer

Naturally, human hair will expand when there is high humidity and contract when the humidity level is low. If you are to use this method, there are extra things that you will need besides the human hair. Here is the procedure;

You will need a blank piece of paper, draw out an arrow and slit It out. Then, come up with a hole at the lowest end of the arrow to have a turning point. The hole you are making should be more significant than a pin’s needle. This is to allow the arrow to move freely.

Next, should be pinning the arrow on a piece of cardboard. Ensuring that it can freely spin without any challenges. Muffle one side of the hair around the pin, pin it on the cardboard at the top of the arrow. Safely wrap the other end of the hair around the arrow. At this point, your homemade human hair hygrometer is ready.

With a blow dryer, blow the human hair for like two minutes and watch how it behaves. The hair will draw back a little, resulting in an upward pull of the arrow. The mark at which the arrow will move to when the hair is blown is the 0% humidity mark. Follow up by spraying a small percentage of water on the hair to moisten it.

When the hair becomes moist, it will expand, allowing the arrow to drop down slightly. The point at which it drops is the 100% humidity mark. You are now ready to measure the humidity level in your room of interest.

Tip#4: Use Your Smartphone

Did you know you can replace a hygrometer with your android smartphone or an iPhone? Modern smartphones come with more than the calling and texting features. You can use them to get more information about the climatic conditions you are in. this is possible with the help of various applications that you can download from your device’s apps store.

You are likely to get accurate results if you are using s model that has inbuilt temperature and humidity sensors. Download apps like Govee temperature monitor, which is compatible with iOS handsets, install and run the application to get the humidity levels of your area of interest.

For android devices, you can use the Barometer & Altimeter app, which is available from the Google Play Store, to read your area’s humidity levels.

Tip#5: Using Ice Method 2

This method is more accurate in giving information about how much humidity is in your house. To use this approach, you need to have a simple thermometer, water, a metal trash can and ice cubes. A water can is used because it is good at keeping both light and heat away.

The main objective of using this approach is to find out the dew point temperature. Dew point temperature is when water saturates the air, and water vapor starts to condense. Here is what to follow;

Fill the can with water to about two-thirds and gradually start adding ice cubes to fill it. Slowly stir the mixture using a thermometer as you filling the can. As the ice is melting, continue adding more cubes to a point you will notice condensation on the outside surface of the can.

Take the temperature reading on the stirring thermometer when you start seeing condensation; the reading will indicate the dew point. A higher reading value denotes more water vapor. That is to say, a high humid room will have high-temperature readings, while low-temperature readings mean the room is too dry (low humid).

Signs That Shows Humidity Level In Your Home Is High

Besides testing humidity levels with the above methods, here are signs to signal high humidity levels in your home;

  • Condensation on your glass windows

If there is too much moisture content in your home, the chances are high that it will start collecting on your windows. The collection of moisture on your windows is called condensation. If you start noticing this, your home’s humidity level is high, and you may need to start working on getting a dehumidifier.

  • Mold Spots

Mold does well in humid environments. Excess moisture accumulation in your home will create the best environment for molds to thrive. Mold can trigger allergies and asthma attack on your family members. Once you start noticing the presence of mold, it is a sign that your indoor humidity level is too much.

  • Musty Smells

You don’t have to necessarily see mold infestations in your home to determine their presence in your home. The presence of a musty smell in your home may indicate the presence of mold in your ceiling, wall, or your carpet. This is to say the humidity levels in your house are too high.

  • Presence Of Water Stains

The emergence of water stains on your ceilings and wall with no probable plumbing leakages could be a sign that the air in your home is too humid. This can lead to pest infestation and rotting of wood materials in your home if no action is taken.

  • Stuffy Feeling

A feeling of being uncomfortable or stuffy is one of the easiest ways of discovering the presence of high humidity in your house. When you start noticing that your breathing is not pleasant and a feeling that your clothes are sticking to your skin, make efforts to dehumidify your house.

Signs of Low Humidity

One may ask themselves, is low humidity bad for electronics? Some of the signs that your home has low humidity include;

  • Dry and itchy skin, which may irritate.
  • Susceptibility to illnesses, especially respiratory complications.
  • Damage to wooden furniture, instruments as air sucks out moisture from them.
  • Static electricity, among others.

What Is The Recommended Humidity Level In A Home?

Ideally, you should be comfortable with a relative humidity level that ranges from 30% to 60%. Anything below or above this range could bring some adverse health effects.

Wrapping Up

Knowing the humidity levels of your home is crucial. A hygrometer is a common tool that people use when looking to measure their homes’ humidity levels. However, you can use either of the above methods to measure your home’s humidity levels if you do not have access to a hygrometer.

Besides the methods above, there are signs that you can look up to determine whether your home is humid or not. Condensation in your windows, the presence of molds, and feeling stuffy are some of the signs of high humidity in your house.

Simultaneously, dry and itchy skin and damages to wooden furniture may indicate low humidity levels in your home.

Take control of your humidity levels in your home to enhance comfort in your home.


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