We know crawl spaces are creepy, sweaty, and confining but, hear us out…
You need to keep an eye on the humidity level in your crawl space, as it can seriously affect the whole house’s overall health. It’s ideal to be able to do this remotely (given the creepy, sweaty atmosphere of the space), and a Raspberry Pi allows this.
Jamie Bailey took to Medium to share his Raspberry Pi setup that allows him to monitor the humidity of the crawl space in his home from a mobile device and/or laptop. His setup lets you check on the current humidity level and also see the historical data over time. You can also set alarms to be sent to you via text or email whenever the humidity level exceeds a certain threshold.
The hardware you need
- Power outlet or extension cord in your crawl space
- Raspberry Pi (3 or 4) or Raspberry Pi Zero W (or WH)
- BME280 temperature/humidity sensor
- Female-to-female jumper wires
The software you need
- The free Raspberry Pi OS (previously Raspbian)
- A Python script (included in this tutorial)
- Jamie used Initial State for data streaming and visualisations, but you can choose a free alternative
Jamie’s walk-through is extensive and includes all the command line code you’ll need too, so make sure to check it out if you attempt this build.
The BME280 sensor has four pins you need to connect to your Raspberry Pi. This will send the humidity data to your Raspberry Pi, which you’ll have already set up to let you know what’s happening remotely.
- BME280 VIN pin connects to GPIO pin 1 (3.3V)
- BME280 GND pin connects to GPIO pin 6 (GND)
- BME280 SCL pin connects to GPIO pin 5 (SCL)
- BME280 SDA pin connects to GPIO pin 3 (SDA)
Once you have all your software sorted and your hardware connected, turn your Raspberry Pi off and take it down to your crawl space (monitor, keyboard, and mouse are no longer necessary). Jamie advises hanging your Raspberry Pi from the floor joists instead of letting it touch the ground, to avoid contact with any water. He put a nail in one of the floor joists and draped the power cord over the nail (see above). Turn your tiny computer on, make sure data starts flowing into your dashboard, and you’ve got yourself remote humidity sensor!
PS We’re English so… is a crawl space the same as an attic or what? Asking for a friend!