Measuring Humidity in your Home using Humidity Sensors

Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor in the air and is expressed as a percentage of the maximum that the air could hold at that temperature. When the relative humidity in your home exceeds 50% – 55%, nasty substances such as Black mold, bacteria, dust mites, viruses & other fungi will accumulate & grow. This is where a humidity sensor comes in to play. When you install a humidity sensor aka moisture meter & maintain humidity below 55%, you will have less chance of mold growth┬áin your home. Also, measuring relative humidity will tell you where the problem areas are in your home and whether your moisture-reduction and control strategies are effective. Maintaining relative humidity below 55% will minimize:

  • Indoor fungus & black mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Bacteria
  • Dust
  • Viruses
  • Other Microbials

The best way to understand how moisture is produced & becomes airborne is via examples. Moisture is produced when:

  • You, your family & pets breathe or perspire, the outgoing air becomes moisture.
  • Plants breathe.
  • Household activities such as doing laundry, showering, bathing, cooking, or washing clothes are done.
  • Air enters your home through the basement or crawls space from the surrounding soil.

Improper levels of humidity can cause long term problems for your health & the condition of your home. Let’s compare the effects of too much humidity versus too little.

Too Much Humidity
Too Little Humidity
Typical Symptoms
  • Allergies
  • Wet stains on Walls/Ceilings/Basement
  • Musty smell
  • Condensation on Windows
  • Growth of mold
  • Breathing problems
  • Stuffy nose & sore throat
  • Static & sparks
  • Chipped lips
Long Term Effects
  • Damage to structural areas of home & its possessions including furniture, beds, other contents.
  • Mold poisoning
  • Discomfort
  • Damage to structural areas of home & its possessions including furniture, beds, other contents.

A hygrometer is a small inexpensive instrument that measures the relative humidity levels of a house. It is also referred to as a humidity sensor or relative humidity indicator. The image below is of a hygrometer that sells for $18.95 at major outlets across America. It typically comes with a 1-year warranty & shows temperature and humidity simultaneously. It also has a memory function installed to recall maximum/minimum humidity readings.