A hygrometer showing moderate home humidity on the dial.

It’s important to monitor the humidity levels in your home, as too much or too little can cause problems.

Luckily, there are several affordable DIY tools and methods that can be used to measure humidity levels in your home.

The wet and dry bulb temperature test is a great way to measure humidity in a pinch, but it requires two thermometers. The ice cube method is a bit simpler, or you could go with the homemade hair hygrometer hack, which is the most affordable option.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss three affordable DIY tools you can use to measure home humidity, and we’ll also provide some tips on how to use them.

Let’s dive in!

If you’re interested in finding out about ways to reduce humidity in your home without spending money on expensive measuring devices, read our article, “Lower Humidity in 14 Ways (With No Dehumidifier Required)“.

3 Best DIY Tools to Measure Humidity

1. Wet and Dry Bulb Temperature Test

A dry bulb and wet bulb thermometer mounted on a board with a humidity lookup table in the center.
Using a wet bulb and a dry bulb thermometer in conjunction with an appropriate chart or lookup table, we can derive the relative humidity of the air in our home.

The dry and wet temperature test is the most accurate way to measure humidity without a hygrometer. It requires two thermometers: a wet and a dry thermometer.

A dry thermometer is a standard temperature-measuring device found at any hardware store. They are also pretty cheap, and you might have one already.

A wet thermometer is a thermometer with a muslin-covered bulb. To use it, soak the muslin in distilled water and swing it around in the target room. The evaporation process cools the bulb, which lowers the temperature readings.

If you don’t want to wave around the wet thermometer, consider getting a fan running in the target room. The fan will create airflow for the wet thermometer to work reliably.

Turn on the fan and place the wet and dry thermometers in the room. Make sure they are at the same level and not touching each other.

After five minutes, check the temperature readings on both thermometers. These two measurements can be used to look up the relative humidity level on a Mollier Diagram or relative humidity lookup table.

2. Ice Cube Method

A glass full of ice cubes.
The ice cube method can give us a rough indication or the humidity of the air in our home quickly and easily.

The ice cube method is a simple test you can do with just an ice cube and a glass of water.

It’s not as accurate as the wet and dry bulb method, but you can do it with items you probably Let me know hwhave lying around the house.

To use this method, fill a glass with ice cubes until it’s about three-quarters full. Then wait for about five minutes.

If there’s no visible condensation on the outside of the glass, the relative humidity in your home is low. If there is condensation, the relative humidity is high.

I have used this one personally, and while it isn’t the most accurate, it is quick, easy, and free! Taking this approach means you might have to wait a few minutes for the ice cubes to melt and give you a reading, but unless you’re very impatient, that shouldn’t be a problem.

3. Hair Hygrometer Hack

It may seem somewhat implausible at first, but you can make a hygrometer out of human hair.

Hair naturally expands and contracts in response to changes in humidity, so it makes a pretty good relative humidity sensor.

To make this DIY hygrometer, you’ll need a corkboard, some human hair, and a drinking straw or piece of card to make an arrow that will be used to indicate the relative humidity.

You also want to make a tiny hole that can fit a needle toward the bottom of the arrow. This hole should be loose enough to let the arrow move easily but tight enough so that it doesn’t fall out.

Tie one end of the hair to the end of the arrow and secure the other end to the corkboard. Make sure that the arrow is free to move up and down.

Take a blow dryer and point it at the hair for a few seconds. You should see the arrow move up. That’s your zero mark.

Then spray the hair with water (or place the hygrometer in a sealed plastic bag with a wet sponge) and see how far the pointer moves. That’s your 100% relative humidity mark.

You can use this hygrometer to measure the relative humidity in your home by checking where on the scale the arrow is.

This DIY hygrometer is very sensitive, so you may need to calibrate it by comparing it to a real hygrometer. But it’s a fun project and only requires things you probably already have around your house.

See the “how to” video below for a visual aid to construction.

A thumbnail taken from the video explaining how to make a DIY hygrometer from human hair.
This video explains step by step how to make a hygrometer from human hair.

Choosing a Method for DIY Home Humidity Measurement

Now that you know a few ways to measure humidity without fancy tools, it’s time to choose the best method. Each method has pros and cons, as follows.

  • The wet/dry bulb method is the most accurate and complicated.
  • The ice cube method is quick, easy, and free, but it’s inaccurate.
  • The hair hygrometer is fun to make but only gives a rough idea of relative humidity and requires frequent recalibration.

So, which method should you choose?

It really depends on what you need. If accuracy is your top priority, use the wet/dry thermometer method.

But if you just need a quick, easy way to check the humidity levels in your home, go with the ice cube method or the hair hygrometer.

Still, getting a factory-made hygrometer is your best bet. Not only are they relatively cheap, but they’re also very accurate.

And once you have one, you can use it to measure the humidity in your home any time you want without having to do any DIY projects.

What Is Humidity and Why It’s Important To Monitor It?

A digital thermometer and hygrometer sitting on a window sill with condensation on the window behind.
Digital hygro thermometers can give you tremendous insights into the actual temperature and humidity levels in your home.

Humidity is a measure of the concentration of water vapor in the air around us. However, the amount of vapor in the air can vary depending on the temperature and weather.

Too much water in the air can cause problems such as mold and mildew, while too little moisture in the air can cause static electricity and dry skin.

That’s why it’s important to monitor your home’s humidity levels and ensure they stay within a comfortable range.

Of course, a hygrometer is the most accurate way to measure humidity, but you may not always have access to one for whatever reason. That’s where these affordable DIY tools come in handy.

Tips on How To Reduce Humidity Levels in Your Home

Looking out through an open skylight on the slanted ceiling of a home
Opening a window can help to adjust the humidity in a room.

If you find that the humidity level in your home is too high, there are a few things you can do to reduce it.

First, try opening a window or turning on a fan. This will help circulate the air and dry out the humid areas. I rely on this method myself, and it works great. The only issue is that it can take a while to work.

If you have an air conditioner, you can also use that to reduce the humidity levels in your home. Just set it to the “dry” or “dehumidify” setting and let it run. This will remove moisture from the air and make your home more comfortable.

You can also buy a dehumidifier. This is the recommended way to deal with moisture issues in your home, and there are options in every budget. Just empty the water bucket frequently, so it doesn’t overflow.

You can get a whole-house dehumidifier, but this is a significant investment. If you only need to reduce the humidity in one room, I recommend buying a portable dehumidifier. They are much cheaper and work just as well for a small space.

Can Your iPhone Read Humidity?

A picture of the back of an iPhone showing the camera lens.
Unfortunately, your iPhone doesn’t come with a built-in hygrometer, but it is possible to get devices that connect with your iPhone to let you take humidity measurements.

If you are wondering if there’s a way to measure humidity with your iPhone alone, the answer is no.

The iPhone does not have a built-in humidity sensor, so there is no way to use it to measure the humidity levels in your home.

Still, there are devices you can connect to your iPhone and take humidity readings on the go. This setup works great if you’re trying to monitor the humidity levels in your home while you’re away.

One such device is the Netatmo Weather Station. This small, portable weather station connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and has a built-in humidity sensor that can take accurate readings.

The Netatmo Weather Station also has a built-in temperature sensor. This makes it a great choice if you’re trying to monitor your home’s humidity and temperature levels.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, you can also check out the DHT11 Temperature and Humidity Sensor. This small, battery-powered sensor can also be connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth.

It’s not as accurate as the Netatmo Weather Station, but it’s still a great choice if you’re on a budget.

It can also measure temperature, so you can use it to monitor your home’s humidity and temperature levels.

Final Thoughts

Humidity is an integral part of your home’s environment.

If the levels are too high, it can lead to problems like mold and mildew. If the levels are too low, it can make your home feel uncomfortable.

That’s why it’s essential to know how to measure humidity.

Using one of the methods suggested above, you can easily take readings of the humidity levels in your home.

If you’re wondering what the best home humidity level is for winter and summer, why not read our article about this next?

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