How To Measure Humidity Without a Hygrometer – 3 Simple Ways


how to measure humidity without hygrometer

Okay, you are concerned that the humidity in your home might not be at the most comfortable level and you want to know how to measure humidity without hygrometer or other fancy equipment. Do you know how to make a hygrometer? Would you like to know?


Don’t worry, there are a few easy ways you can do it with everyday household items.


This will help you determine if your home has high or low humidity levels so that you can act and improve it to a comfortable level, which is between 40% and 50%.


But first, being an experienced meteorologist, I have to get you more familiar with the humidity itself so that you better understand how to measure it.

WHAT IS HUMIDITY AND HOW TO MEASURE HUMIDITY WITHOUT A HYGROMETER?


Humidity represents the amount of water (moisture) in the air.


In most cases, it is measured with a hygrometer, which is a non-complicated device that shows the percentage of humidity in the air.


However, if you don’t have one at your disposal, there are other simple ways of doing so.

OPTION #1 – ICE CUBES METHOD

How To Measure Humidity Without Hygrometer - glass with water and ice cubes

The first and the most simple method I am going to cover is the Ice Cubes Method.


As I said, this method is so simple that anyone can do it, and you just need a glass of water, and 4 ice cubes.


Of course, this method doesn’t provide exact humidity values, but rather represents a way of determining if the air in your home is humid or dry.


PROCEDURE:


Now, how do you measure humidity with 4 ice cubes you might wonder.


Well, all you have to do is take a glass with water and put 4 ice cubes into it.


Then, you place the glass in the room for which you suspect the humidity levels are not as they should be.


However, make sure you don’t place it in the bathroom or the kitchen where the humidity levels are not constant and vary each time you use them.


Okay, let’s get back to the glass and the cubes.


Now that you are in the room, place the glass anywhere you want, and make sure you get out of the room because even your movement can change the factors and influence the experiment.


Leave the glass in that room for some 5 minutes.


When the time is up, enter the room and check the glass.


If you discover that there is condensation on the outer surface of the glass, the levels of humidity in that room are high and you might need to consider getting plants that absorb the humidity from the air.


How To Measure Humidity Without Hygrometer - condensation on glass


On the other hand, if the glass is nearly dry on the outer surface, the air in the room is dry and you need to start using a humidifier, especially if we are talking about a baby nursery room. You can learn how to choose the right humidifier for the bay in one of my other blog posts.


OPTION #2 – wet/dry bulb temperature difference

How To Measure Humidity Without Hygrometer - dry bulb and wet bulb thermometer


Another simple way to determine the humidity, only this time as precisely as with a hygrometer, is to do the famous wet/dry bulbs temperature difference test.


I completely understand if you are confused with wet or dry bulbs and to clarify, I am talking about thermometers and their bulbs, not light bulbs.




PROCEDURE:


Another simple way to determine the humidity, only this time as precisely as with a hygrometer, is to do the famous wet/dry bulbs temperature difference test.


I completely understand if you are confused with wet or dry bulbs and to clarify, I am talking about thermometers and their bulbs, not light bulbs.


For this experiment, you will need two ordinary house thermometers (the old-school glass tube ones with mercury).


One, you will use normally, and that will be your DRY BULB Thermometer.


While the other will be the WET BULB Thermometer and you will need to wrap a moistened piece of cotton around the bottom of the glass tube (the bulb) and fix it with a rubber band. Moisten the cotton with room temperature water.


But, don’t do it yet, this is just the heads up for what you need. You will wrap the cotton after the next step.


Before starting the measurement process, make sure both thermometers have the Mercury all the way down into the bulb. You can do that by shaking them.


Now, you can wrap the bottom of one of the thermometers with wet cotton.


When the wet thermometer is ready, place both on the cardboard. But, make sure both bulbs are sticking out and use duct tape to secure them in one place.


AND THEN...


Go to the room you want to check the humidity levels, and use a fan to create air motion, pointed at the thermometers. Leave the fan working for about 5 minutes.


After 5 minutes, check them both and write down the temperatures.


In order to get the humidity percentage, all you have to do is to subtract the wet-bulb temperature from the dry one.


For example, if the dry one is showing 22 degrees Celsius, and the wet one is showing 14 degrees Celsius, the difference, the 8 degrees, is the so-called “depression”.


Mark down the DRY BULB temperature and the depression value.


Now, we need this table:

How To Measure Humidity Without Hygrometer - relative humidity chart


As you can see, the relative humidity, in our case, is 40%, which is actually quite okay 

 

It’s an easy experiment you can do in any other part of your home as well. And, it will show you if you need to invest in a humidifier or simply crank up the heat to dry away the excess moisture. 

 

And, to get an even better insight into what I was just talking about, check out this video: 

OPTION #3 – hair hygrometer


How To Measure Humidity Without Hygrometer - hair hygrometer


Did you know that our hair has the ability to expand when exposed to high humidity, and contract when the air is dry?

 

Based on this fact, we can make a homemade hygrometer with a few household items.

 

Here is what you’ll need 

 


PROCEDURE:


The first thing you need to do is to draw an arrow on a piece of paper and cut it out. 

 

Then, you should make a hole at the bottom end of the arrow, so that it has a pivot point.


But, make sure the hole is bigger than the pin’s needle. This way, the arrow will be able to move freely. 

 

Once the arrow is ready, pin it on the cardboard, and make sure it is capable of spinning without friction. 

 

Now, wrap one end of the hair around the pin, and pin it on the cardboard, above the arrow. 

 

As you might have guessed, the other end of the hair should be wrapped and secured around the arrow.  

 

And, that’s about it, check the picture I provided above to see how your homemade hygrometer should look. 

 

Also, for a better visual explanation, and to see how to mark the gauge, check this video: 

kay folks, now you know how to measure humidity without hygrometer and how to make one by yourself with the materials that every household already has.  

 

So, experiment a little, try all three methods, and let me know how it went.

 

But, to be honest, for the most accurate humidity readings, you will need a factory made hygrometer.

 

The truth is, they are not expensive. But, these little home experiments are fun to try and your kids will love them, like, for example, making distilled water for humidifier at home, so why not give them a shot!