It’s crucial to keep an eye on the humidity level in your house. Humidity, or the quantity of water vapor in the air, may influence not just your and your family’s health but also some of your favorite hobbies.
Understanding and regulating your home’s heating and ventilation may do wonders for your sinuses, keeping airways free and enabling you to breathe more efficiently in terms of health.
Studies have shown that relative humidity significantly impacts several health conditions.
Measuring humidity is especially important for patients whose doctors have prescribed a more optimal humid environment. Measuring humidity is also vital for non-health issues like wine and cigars, which may be just as crucial for you.
If you want to improve the humidity level in your house, you’ll need to understand the units used to measure humidity. There are two sorts of hygrometer humidistats in general.
Understanding the “hygrometer vs humidistat” debate is the only way to decide your needs and the instrument that will best fulfill them.
What Is a Hygrometer?
A hygrometer is a device that measures the amount of moisture in a given space. Its primary purpose is to provide a digital or manual readout. A hygrometer may be purchased as a compact battery-operated gadget or a unit that can be put on a shelf to give a rapid reading.
Hygrometers are commonly lumped together with other air measuring instruments, such as thermometers. Hygrometers are sometimes incorporated right into humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air scrubbers.
In this scenario, one thing to keep in mind is that the hygrometer will not regulate the amount of humidity in the space unless it is used in conjunction with a humidistat.
Different Types of Hygrometers
Hygrometers come in various shapes and sizes, but they all work well to detect and show humidity in a particular area. Here are some of the most popular hygrometers used in houses, research, and industries -
1. Weather House
This is a beautiful early-warning weather forecaster in a small Alpine lodge style. It includes a figure depicting rain and another representing dry weather. The platform rotates to place one on the outside of the chalet and the other on the inside, indicating whether it will rain or not.
This apparatus compares two thermometer readings, one dry and one moist. The relative humidity is calculated using the difference. Psychrometers aren't common in kitchen windows or greenhouses.
However, they are still used in meteorology today. They're also often used in wildland firefighting to identify threats and possibilities.
3. Frost Point Hygrometer
The Earth System Research Laboratory in the United States uses a more complex (and presumably accurate) hygrometer. This laboratory monitors the global distribution of atmospheric water vapor, focusing on those aspects that are mainly linked to climate change.
4. Laboratory Hygrometers
Hygrometers and humidistats are available for laboratory walls, incubators, refrigerators, and freezers. They can measure humidity from 0 percent to 100 percent with an accuracy of plus or minus 6%. Many are water-resistant and exist in both wall-mount and manual variants.
5. Wall Hygrometers
These are often, but not always, used with a thermometer (thermo-hygrometer) to display both temperature and humidity values on the same dial. There are other wall clocks with humidity and temperature dials. These are suitable for residence, office, food storage room, or small greenhouse.
6. Digital Wireless Hygrometers
These are comparatively newer generation gadgets. Wireless hygrometers are available from hardware shops and online retailers such as Amazon, where the hygrometer is wall-mounted and communicates its readings to your smartphone.
What Is a Humidistat?
Humidistats are built-in gadgets that regulate the amount of humidity removed from or introduced into a space. Humidistats are usually offered as a control device built into an appliance rather than a separate item.
Although humidistat-equipped appliances might be more costly, they are typically worth the additional expense since not having one can result in excessive moisture. It's just as harmful to have too much wetness as having too little humidity.
When difference between humidistat and hygrometer, keep in mind that a hygrometer may be used to determine whether a humidifier or dehumidifier is required. At the same time, a humidistat can manage the humidity in a space.
How Does a Humidistat Work?
A humidistat has a sensor element made from a flat plate with two metal conductors. The sensor element is connected to a relay amplifier, which receives the signals given by the sensing elements to deliver exact humidity level measurements.
The humidistat turns on the humidifier based on the measurements if the electrical resistance indicates that the air is too dry and shuts it off once the target humidity level is reached.
A humidistat may also be connected to your thermostat. It can be used to control the humidity level in your house independently of the temperature. If the temperature is high but low humidity, the humidistat prevents the air conditioner from turning on.
When the humidity within the house reaches an unacceptably high level, the humidistat activates the air conditioner and keeps it running until the humidity is lowered.
What's The Problem with A Humidistat?
The humidistat is meant to maintain ideal humidity levels in your house by only using the HVAC system when it is essential, saving you money. On the other hand, Humidistats are seldom precise to the exact setting on the dial. Humidistats, in fact, are often inaccurate by as much as 10% to 20%.
In chilly climes, the issue with erroneous humidistat humidity measurements is that you will tend to inject heated moisture into the air while cool outside. Moisture in these regions leads to the formation of mold or mildew, which can reduce the building instrument lifetime.
In warm climes, the issue with erroneous humidistat humidity readings arises when you configure it to maintain 60 percent humidity. The system might be wrong by as much as 20%, resulting in 80% humidity.
Mold is a real issue at humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. It means that if you use a humidistat, you might rapidly find yourself dealing with a mold issue, especially in tropical and humid areas.
Hygrometer vs. Humidistat: Head To Head Comparison
Hygrometers and humidistats are often confused, and most people use these names interchangeably. There is, however, some distinction between these two names.
#1. Humidistats do more than just monitoring!
A hygrometer is a device that monitors or measures the amount of humidity in the air. Its only function is to provide a reading of the amount of moisture in a space.
On the other hand, a humidistat is a device that is incorporated into an appliance and is used to control the humidity levels in a room. Now you may ask, so why the hell would I need a hygrometer then?
When you purchase a dehumidifier or a portable humidifier, it generally comes with a humidistat, which guarantees that the space is never over-dehumidified or under-humidified.
It successfully monitors and manages the humidity in the air around the device, but it does not detect humidity levels in other areas of your house.
That's why, even though it does not manage humidity levels like humidistats, a hygrometer may be pretty valuable. The measurements from the hygrometer may alter the moisture in the space, resulting in ideal humidity.
#2. Hygrometers can be connected to the instruments too!
Some hygrometers can connect to an electrical outlet in your wall and give a socket into which you can connect your humidifier or dehumidifier. It can come in handy for you if you can't keep an eye on your wall all the time.
They take readings between 30 and 90 percent relative humidity, with a 5 percent margin of error, and switch on and off the equipment as required.
On the other hand, high-quality humidistats precisely manage the air where extra-sensitive warm/hot humidity is needed. Examples are egg incubators for chickens and ducks and ICU units for premature newborns, ill animals, or humans.
#3. What do you need? Humidifier or Dehumidifier? Hygrometer or Humidistat?
A hygrometer can help you evaluate if you need to install a humidifier or a dehumidifier in your house to distinguish between the two. When it comes to the humidistat, you may use it in conjunction with a humidifier or dehumidifier in your house.
So, the bottom line is, you can use both! Some hygrometers are integrated within a humidifier, dehumidifier, or wall unit that includes a humidistat. The humidistat receives a signal from the hygrometer, which causes the machine to raise or decrease the humidity inside the enclosure where it is installed.
Refrigerators, incubators, greenhouses, microwave ovens, controlled warehouses, room humidifiers, museums, precision factories, and saunas all use this. The humidistat function on an appliance will cost you a little extra.
Still, it is vital since the control component may be considered a safety feature, minimizing the chance of over-humidifying the area. When used with a companion hygrometer, you can better control the moisture level in the space.
You may want to know more about humidity now that you know about "humidistat vs hygrometer." The more heat your air can hold, the greater the humidity levels in your house are.
When your home's humidity levels are high, your air conditioner will have to work harder than it needs to battle the humidity as well as the warm air. Low moisture inside your house throughout the winter means you'll be using your heater more since low humidity can't store as much heat.
Maintaining a suitable amount of humidity in your house will save you money on your heating and cooling expenses and improve your health. Dry air may dehydrate your skin while also irritating your throat, sinuses, and eyes.
Not only that, but low humidity may irritate your mucous membranes, increasing your chances of becoming ill. If you opt to use a humidistat to manage the humidity in your house, be sure there isn't too much humidity present; otherwise, mold might form in your home.
Mold may be harmful to your health and the health of those who live in your house. Not only that, but the warmth produced by a humidifier may easily lead to the growth of fungus and germs, which you might inhale.
Inhaling these bacteria- and fungi-laden air may lead to illness and other lung issues. Just as you should keep an eye on your home's temperature, you should also keep an eye on its humidity levels since they play a role in how hot or cold you feel it is.
Knowing the difference between a hygrometer and a humidistat can benefit both your health and your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system.