Hygrometers have been used for centuries to measure the water content of the air and other gases. Most people are familiar with their use as part of a weather station to indicate the humidity or dew point of the air. However, hygrometers have other uses in numerous commercial and scientific applications as well.

What is a hygrometer?

Designed to measure the water content in the air, a hygrometer has a number of different applications. It is most often used by meteorologists and weather watchers who want to know how humid the air is. The level of water vapor present can have a big impact on the comfort of an air mass, as people who have suffered through hot, humid days or cold, damp conditions well know.

There are other applications where it is essential to know the humidity level in the air as well. For instance, when using a greenhouse, itu001as important to keep the water vapor level constant while growing and displaying certain types of flowers. Incubators for young animals must maintain a specific level of moisture as well. Conversely, storage areas for musical instruments and museum artifacts need to remain dry to prevent damage. In industrial applications, the measurement of humidity is essential in manufacturing or maintaining pharmaceutical products, photographic film, steel, and a host of other products as well. These are just some of the areas where hygrometers come in handy.

What are the different types of hygrometer?

Most people are familiar with the type of hygrometer that records relative humidity. Known as a wet and dry-bulb hygrometer, this instrument uses information from two different thermometers to determine relative humidity, or how much moisture is in the surrounding air compared to how much the air could hold at its maximum.

On the other hand, a thermal hygrometer records absolute humidity. The actual amount of water vapor in the air, irrespective of the current temperature, is indicated by this kind of instrument. Knowing the actual level of humidity in the local environment is vital in industries where measuring moisture is done in areas such as data application centers, where keeping a room at a constant level of dryness can help machinery run more efficiently and provide a longer life span for the equipment.

The most popular type of hygrometers are those that are part of home weather stations. Most weather stations provide temperature readings as well as the dew point temperature, and both measurements are displayed on a digital readout. Digital hygrometers can provide accurate readings of both indoor and outdoor humidity levels by using an external sensor wired to the station that will provide real-time data for humidity. Weather hobbyists enjoy using weather stations that feature a hygrometer for effectively measuring humidity levels both inside and outside.