Surprised that your bathroom scale says you gained weight, even if you’ve done your best to lose some pounds? Does it show your weight fluctuating daily? Perhaps you’re not considering one factor—humidity.
Does humidity affect bathroom scales? If you’re wondering the same thing, allow us to explain how exactly this happens. We’ll also delve deeper into the science of humidity and even touch on what you can do to take care of your bathroom scale and keep its readings accurate.
- What Is Humidity?
- Does Humidity Affect Bathroom Scales?
- How to Take Care of Your Bathroom Scale
What Is Humidity?
Before we proceed, it’s important that we define what humidity is first. Simply put, humidity is the amount of water vapor, or the gaseous phase of water, in the air at a given time.
It is often used side by side with temperature. The reason behind this is that the maximum amount of water vapor in the air is highly dependent on the temperature in any given area.
Therefore, you can expect higher humidity levels in areas with a higher temperature and lower humidity in lower temperatures. Of course, this also translates to the fact that there is a higher concentration of water vapor in the air if the humidity (and temperature) is high, and vice versa.
What Does High Humidity Feel Like?
These concepts may seem a bit foreign, but you have experienced high and low humidity before, for sure. For instance, if you have ever felt like the air seems wet, that is an example of high humidity.
With the air clogged with water vapor, excess vapor cannot occupy the air anymore, which causes that “wet” feeling. It manifests with us feeling sticky or sweaty every time it is humid.
Basically, sweat cannot evaporate readily when humidity is high because the air is already clogged with water vapor. It is also why other objects tend to get moist when humidity is high.
Does Humidity Affect Bathroom Scales?
Now, you might be wondering if humidity is even relevant in the topic of bathroom scales. It might come as a surprise to you, but humidity levels have quite a considerable impact on any weighing scale.
Specifically, it can affect both the accuracy of bathroom scale readings and even the longevity of the scale’s shelf life. Let’s discuss this in more detail.
Humidity and Bathroom Scale Accuracy
Weight is easily affected by small changes in water levels in the body. When you live in a highly humid climate, these changes usually manifest as an increase in weight, especially after the body acclimates to increased levels of activity.
Water levels are significant in determining a person’s weight. Because they account for around 60 percent of your total body weight, a slight change in water level can show a marked increase in your overall weight.
How Does Humidity Affect Your Weight?
Your daily water needs depend on the air temperature, as well as the level of activity you take on in a day. The temperature tends to be hotter in high humidity areas, which translates to you needing more water. It can end up increasing your overall body weight, thanks to the added water weight in your body.
In addition, humid environments generally make people sweat more profusely. However, as mentioned, high humidity levels prevent sweat from evaporating quickly. As a result, sweat rolls off the body instead, providing no cooling effect and even adding to your body weight.
The problem doesn’t end here. As the climate becomes hotter and as humidity levels remain high, the body adapts via the process known as heat acclimatization. This process aims to reduce the negative effects of heat stress, allowing the body to cope with increased heat.
By the second day of acclimatizing to heat, the body sweats earlier and at a higher rate, which helps in cooling the body via sweat evaporation. At the same time, it also reduces skin temperature, along with body heat storage.
However, this comes at a price. Heat acclimatization increases the fluid requirements of the body to account for what will be lost due to sweating. In addition, this process improves the body’s fluid balance, causing you to get thirstier. These consequences dramatically increase the water levels in the body, which, therefore, translate into higher body weight.
Humidity and Bathroom Scale Longevity
Humidity can your body weight to fluctuate, causing you to wonder if your bathroom scale is actually working. Apart from that, it does another thing to your bathroom scale: it threatens its lifespan.
Its name may imply that you should place it in the bathroom. However, doing so might be what’s causing your bathroom scale to break so quickly in the first place. If you want your bathroom scale to show your actual weight, it’s best to keep it away from water. That means having it at a considerable distance from your sink, shower, or bathtub.
At the same time, you should also make it a habit to dry your feet before you step on your scale. Why, you ask? It has to do with the fact that bathroom scales aren’t entirely waterproof.
Therefore, in a humid area where so much moisture is in the air, water can later seep through open spaces in your weighing scale. In time, this can shorten the scale’s lifespan and cause it to malfunction.
Additionally, higher humidity is linked to higher temperatures. However, scales perform better at room temperature. Hence, placing them in highly humid areas may end up making them inaccurate.
Lastly, even if your bathroom scale is in a safe spot, a humid environment will cause you to sweat a lot. If you step on the scale with your feet wet, you still risk introducing water on the scale.
How to Take Care of Your Bathroom Scale
Worried that your bathroom scale may not be in its best condition? Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Keep it dry at all times.
From what you already know about humidity, you now understand how water can harm your bathroom scale. From weight fluctuations to causing the device to malfunction, a bit of water can ruin a perfectly working bathroom scale.
As a precaution, it’s best to keep your scale away from highly humid areas. You may want to consider relocating it from the bathroom to somewhere dry, at room temperature. This is especially true if you like hot showers or baths, which tend to make the air even more humid.
In addition, try to wipe your weighing scale with a dry cloth every so often. Wipe your feet before using the scale, too, which helps ensure no water gets into the device.
2. Keep it away from sunlight.
Just as you should keep your bathroom scale away from water, so should you keep it away from sunlight. Placing your scale under direct sunlight can damage its internal components. In the long run, it will make the scale less accurate. If you’re using a digital scale, sunlight exposure can also affect its LED light and change its color.
3. Calibrate your scale after moving it each time.
You might think that calibrating your scale once is enough to ensure its accuracy, but it’s not. Moving your scale can drastically affect its accuracy, so it’s best to keep it in one place if possible.
However, if you really have to move your scale, remember to calibrate it after each move. Doing this ensures that your scale can continue to provide you with accurate and reliable readings.
So, does humidity affect bathroom scales? The answer is a resounding yes. Bathroom scales are handy devices to have at home, but they still require ample care. Even the best bathroom scales aren’t immune to seemingly harmless issues like moisture and humidity.
The next time you weigh yourself, you may want to reconsider if you actually gained weight or if it’s just a consequence of being in a highly humid area. Knowing small things like this can help you use your scale better, and worry less about your weight, too.