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The Uses of Hygrometers

Last updated date: 24th Feb 2024
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The Functions and Uses of a Hygrometer

You may have heard your elders sometimes say that “the air is humid” when you feel too hot, and your skin feels too sticky. The air’s humidity means that the air has moisture in it. The higher the amount of moisture, the higher the humidity. 

So you may wonder, "How does anybody know if the humidity is higher or lower?" Therefore, a hygrometer device was invented way back in the 1400s by none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Although it has been modified and re-developed by many people, the credit goes to him. The hygrometer measures the relative humidity of the air. Now let us learn more about the hygrometer.

What is a Hygrometer?

As you have learnt above, a hygrometer is a device that measures the relative humidity of the air. You know that everything has some capacity. Similarly, the air has a particular capacity for moisture. Therefore, relative humidity compares the amount of moisture present in the air with the maximum amount of moisture that the air can hold. Hygrometers are used for various purposes. 

10 Uses Of Hygrometer

  • Used To Find the Relative Humidity

As you have already learnt above, relative humidity is all about the amount of moisture in the air concerning its capacity. A hygrometer measures this humidity. 

  • For Measuring Moisture Levels 

A hygrometer is used to measure the moisture levels in the air. The measurement of relative humidity helps understand the atmosphere's moisture levels.

  • Water Vapour in a Mixture of Gases

Suppose a mixture of gases is being used for industrial purposes. Will it always have pure gases? No, because sometimes, water vapour remains, after chemical reactions, in the gaseous mixture. Therefore, measuring the amount is necessary to keep the water vapour levels in check, which is done by the hygrometer. 

  • Used in Various Industrial Processes

The hygrometer is used in industries, especially when something is being produced. humidity levels can alter the nature of the things produced. Therefore, the hygrometer plays an important role in checking the industrial environment's humidity.

  • Weather Forecasting

Humidity levels are also a part of weather forecasting. Therefore, a hygrometer is used by weather forecasters to give the right information to the viewers. 

  • Used in Saunas

Saunas are places that are filled with hot steam. People usually go to these places for cleansing and to refresh themselves. Therefore, in such places, temperature and humidity control is significant. Hence, hygrometers are used in saunas to check the humidity levels. 

  • Used in Incubators

Incubators are where pre-mature babies are kept so they stay in a controlled environment for their care. These incubators also use a hygrometer to check the moisture levels and keep them balanced for the babies.

  • Used for Wooden Musical Instruments 

You must have noticed that in the rainy season, wooden doors and windows usually do not close easily. This is because the wood absorbs the high moisture content of the air. The same happens with wooden musical instruments like violins, guitars, flutes, etc. Therefore, the humidity must be controlled to prevent damage to such instruments. The hygrometer becomes very useful in such places.

  • Used in Museums

Museums contain antique and ancient objects like old manuscripts, etc. The hygrometer is used to check the moisture level in the air, which helps preserve ancient goods. 

  • Used While Preserving Food

Moisture in the air can lead to the growth of microorganisms like fungi in food. This can cause damage to food products, so moisture in the air must be controlled to prevent damage. Hence, hygrometers are used in the food industry to check moisture levels while preserving food.


Isn’t it fascinating that the moisture present in the air can affect our lives in so many ways? And hygrometers play an important role in helping us check the moisture levels and humidity in the air. So, today you have learned about humidity, hygrometers, and the main uses of a hygrometer. You have learnt that hygrometers are devices that help us measure the relative humidity in the atmosphere. As humidity affects many life processes, it is used in industries such as the food industry for controlling the environment's conditions, in hospitals, etc.

FAQs on The Uses of Hygrometers

1. How to test if a hygrometer is working fine?

To test if a hygrometer works well, you can soak a cloth in water and wrap the hygrometer with the cloth for 30–40 minutes. If the hygrometer is very accurate, it will show 100% humidity. However, most hygrometers show 80–90% humidity, which means the hygrometer works fine.

2. What are the types of hygrometers?

Hygrometers are of four types; mechanical, electrical, psychrometer, and dewpoint hygrometer. Mechanical hygrometers are usually made of organic materials like ox gut or human hair. When the material changes due to humidity, it forces the spring to move and gives a reading. 

An electrical hygrometer measures the electrical capacitance, about which you will learn in higher classes. The dew-point hygrometer has a polished mirror that cools at a fixed vapour content, and the dew settles on it. The psychrometer measures humidity by measuring the temperature difference between the two bulbs that the device has.

3. What is the most widely used hygrometer?

The psychrometer hygrometer is the most widely used. The setup of this hygrometer has a wet bulb and a dry bulb. It uses the principle of evaporative cooling. You must know that when water evaporates from a certain surface, the surface becomes cool, and the water molecules take away heat with them when they evaporate. Therefore, the wet bulb always shows a lower temperature than the dry bulb. Since humidity doesn’t allow the water molecules to evaporate, one can see no difference in the readings of dry and wet bulb thermometers.