Low humidity can irritate the throat and nose, cause dry skin and chapped lips and cause static cling. High humidity causes odors, allergic reactions, sneezing, chronic coughing and a clammy feeling. In your home, low humidity causes loose furniture joints, squeaky floors and buildups of dust while high humidity causes condensation on windows and mirrors, insect infestations, structural rot and mold. You can use a simple hygrometer to test various areas of your home and decrease energy consumption by adjusting humidity while increasing comfort year-round.
When choosing a hygrometer, check the scale of the thermometers to find whether they read in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Several types of digital hygrometers provide multitasking capability. Of course, humidors and musical instrument cases might require their own dedicated hygrometers. Determine where you need to measure humidity, how accurate your readings need to be and what features you require. Margins of error vary from 1 to 10 percent. If you need sensitive and accurate measurements, choose a hygrometer with greater accuracy. You might want to buy a psychrometer to calibrate your hygrometers.
- If you need a record of humidity changes, buy a hygrometer that records data at user-specified intervals.
- Determine whether you need constant monitoring or only spot-checking.
- If accuracy is not critical, choose an inexpensive model with a 5-percent margin of error.
- Choose a hygrometer with a sensor probe if readings will be taken in separate spaces from where results are monitored.
- Portable hygrometers are great for mobility and taking quick readings.
- Outdoor hygrometers are rugged and stand up well to water and extreme swings in humidity.
- You might want to buy a hygrometer with a console sensor and additional sensors to use in multiple spaces.