If you work in any industry where humidity plays a key role, such as agriculture or medicine, you’re probably familiar with humidity monitors, moisture meters, and other environmental measurement devices.
The hygrometer is one such device—but how does it differ from other humidity monitoring instruments? And how can you make sure you’re investing in the right type of hygrometer for your business?
You’ll find all the answers you need in this comprehensive guide.
What is a hygrometer?
A hygrometer is a device that measures the relative humidity in a given environment. You can also calibrate these versatile devices to take other measurements such as dew
Hygrometers are suitable for a variety of applications across industries. For example, if you work in agriculture, you might use a hygrometer to maintain appropriate humidity levels within a greenhouse. They’re also used in:
- Saunas and incubators
- Wooden musical instrument care (to prevent humidity damage)
- Industrial humidity control
- Painting and coating
What are the different types of hygrometers?
There are two major types of hygrometers: Thermo-hygrometers and digital hygrometers.
Thermo-hygrometers measure relative temperature and humidity at the same time. Depending on the model, these meters can span different measurement ranges. You’ll commonly find these types of hygrometers in office and HVAC applications.
Digital hygrometers measure absolute humidity, which is how much water vapour there is in a given air volume, and temperature changes, displaying the result on an LCD screen. These models are typically more accurate than other types of hygrometers thanks to their use of a specialised electronic sensor.
Both capacitive and resistive digital hygrometers are available on the market today, each using distinct methods to achieve an accurate, reliable result.
How to choose the best hygrometer for your application
When choosing the best hygrometer for your needs, there are many factors to consider. For example, what type of environment do you need to monitor? Do you want a digital or analogue hygrometer? What about the size and shape of the device?
For industrial and commercial applications, digital hygrometers are a better choice thanks to their ease of use and pinpoint accuracy. You should also consider how you’ll use the device—if you’ll be taking multiple measurements within a broad area, a portable hygrometer will do the trick. Desktop hygrometers are better for pharmaceutical settings.
Hygrometers vs. moisture meters
You might be wondering about the difference between hygrometers and moisture meters, and which option is best for your business. To put it simply, hygrometers measure humidity in the air, while moisture meters measure moisture within an object like paper or wood.
Hygrometers can also take a range of other measurements, including dew-point, wet-bulb temperature, absolute humidity, and relative humidity. On the other hand, moisture meters are typically limited to measuring moisture. They’re also less accurate.
Choosing a hygrometer over a moisture meter is the best option if you:
- Require pinpoint accuracy,
- Need to measure wet-bulb temperature, dew-point, or relative/absolute humidity,
- Need to measure environmental humidity and moisture in the air.
So, if you work in any environment where constant humidity monitoring is essential, investing in a digital or thermo-hygrometer is a smart choice.