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I'm currently playing with relative air humidity and temperature sensor that makes measurements in my living room once every 60s. When plotted the data on a chart I noticed that spikes and dips of humidity very closely correlate with events in the room: i can clearly see a spike when I wake up in the morning and do myself a cup of tea or take shower. Similarly, the chart line plummets when i leave the house. On the other hand temp data doesn't seem to show any response to the events in the room.

The question is: how the speed of moisture traveling in air is defined? When a kettle in one corner of a room starts to boil, how soon will this be detected by a sensor in the opposite corner?

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  • $\begingroup$ An interesting experiment would be to look at how fast humidity changes propagate when you are not there. The reason this would be interesting is that, when you are there, you are both quite large (this does not mean 'fat', just large compared to a mouse, say) and probably moving around a lot, so you will drive a lot of mixing of the air, meaning changes will happen pretty fast. $\endgroup$ – tfb Jan 13 '18 at 21:21
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if there is fan-forced heating in your room or convection moving the air around, the time constant for sharing humidity is on the order of minutes. if diffusion (no bulk air movement) is the only mechanism available, the answer is on the order of hours.

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In a closed window envirinment in a room the fastest way of moving air is convection.

And convection depends on the geometry of the room, the walls, and even furniture. The trace of dust over walls and furniture in rooms not dusted for a while will be kind of an indicator of the flow of air.

If there is draft in the room especially from lower to higher part the flow of convection will be faster.

Depending on the gradient of humidity and temeratur in the absence of ventilation the air will stratify and stagnate in a few hours.

An explanation for your sensor not being sensitive to local fast chenges in temps could be the way it is set up. If it reads infrared readiation, it is possible it'looks' at some distance.

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