Weather Station Advisor https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com Fri, 16 Nov 2018 22:56:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 26 Thoughtful Weather-Related Gifts for Weather Geeks & Meteorologists in 2018 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/gifts-for-weather-geeks-and-meteorologists/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/gifts-for-weather-geeks-and-meteorologists/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 03:59:10 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2888 Finding the perfect gift for the weather geek or meteorologist in your life for Christmas, a birthday, Father's Day or any other special occasion, can sometimes be difficult. Weather enthusiasts are a dedicated bunch and seemingly have just about everything weather-related. So how do you find something they don’t have already? Let us help. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 26 best gift ideas for weather enthusiasts both young and old. Don’t buy a cheesy mug or personalized shirt—buy a thoughtful and cool weather gift this holiday season.Here Are 26 Meteorology Gift Ideas For Weather Lovers This Christmas1.

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Best gifts for weather geeks and meteorologists

Finding the perfect gift for the weather geek or meteorologist in your life for Christmas, a birthday, Father's Day or any other special occasion, can sometimes be difficult. Weather enthusiasts are a dedicated bunch and seemingly have just about everything weather-related. So how do you find something they don’t have already? Let us help.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 26 best gift ideas for weather enthusiasts both young and old. Don’t buy a cheesy mug or personalized shirt—buy a thoughtful and cool weather gift this holiday season.

Here Are 26 Meteorology Gift Ideas For Weather Lovers This Christmas

1. Ambient Weather WS-2902A 10-in-1 WiFi Weather Station

The Ambient Weather WS-2902A is currently our favorite home weather station and it's our top pick among weather gifts for enthusiasts. It’s packed with a complete range of instruments to measure weather conditions at home. Also included is comprehensive smart home support (IFTTT, Alexa, Google Home) and user-friendly WiFi connectivity. For the price, this is currently the best value weather station on the market. The WS-2902A is sure to make any amateur weather enthusiast or professional meteorologist very happy this holiday season.


2. AcuRite 02027A1 Indoor Outdoor Thermometer

If a complete home weather station is a bit too much, a great alternative is the AcuRite 02027A Indoor Outdoor Thermometer. A nice additional feature with the 02027A1 which is not always included on other desktop digital thermometers is a barometer and forecaster, which over time will “learn” about your climate. As a result, this increases the accuracy of its forecasts.


3. Midland WR400 Desktop Weather Radio

Another weather gift to consider (if the weather geek in your life doesn’t own one already) is a weather radio. We’ve reviewed the Midland WR400 and can say with certainty that it is one of the top models available on the market. With SAME code support to give you both an audible and visual notification of current weather warnings, these devices are a must-have in severe weather-prone areas.


4. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather Radio

If you need a weather gift idea for the outdoorsy type, the Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather Radio is a good choice. This radio features 3 sustainable power sources to recharge the device: a solar panel, a hand crank, and a rechargeable 2600mAh battery. It can also be powered by 6 AA batteries as a backup power solution. The radio itself receives the AM, FM, and weather (WX) bands, and a built-in flashlight may come in handy during power outages.


5. Emergency Survival Kit

If the weather enthusiast in your life likes to be prepared for when disaster strikes, consider an emergency survival kit. The kit we recommend—the Complete Earthquake Bag—includes everything you will need to keep you safe, warm and fed after a severe weather disaster. The smartly-packed bag is complete with food and water, first aid, hygiene kits, shelter, warmth, tools, and off-the-grid light and communication. All of it comes in a waterproof bag with enough supplies for up to three days. Just be sure to select the bag that contains adequate supplies for the whole family (versions are available for one to as many as six people).


6. SensorPush Wireless Thermometer & Hygrometer for iPhone/Android

A great weather gadget gift is the SensorPush wireless thermometer and hygrometer for iPhone and Android smartphones. The sensor connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth for remote monitoring of temperature and humidity. The SensorPush app visualizes the real-time data and offers the capability to set alerts for when the conditions change. You can also add on a SensorPush G1 WiFi Gateway (sold separately) for data and alerts via the Internet.


7. Kestrel 3000 Pocket Weather Meter

Kestrel is undoubtedly the market leader when it comes to handheld weather instruments. The Kestrel 3000 is one of their more budget-minded models, it includes wind, temperature, and humidity sensors. Don’t assume the 3000 is cheaply made though. Kestrel has become known for accuracy and durability across their whole range, and this device gets as good reviews as its far more expensive siblings.


8. AcuRite 02020 Portable Lightning Detector

If you’re looking for a weather gift for dad, AcuRite’s Portable Lightning Detector might be a great option. When it detects a strike, it can alert you via audible, visual, and text-based alerts, as well as give you an idea of how far away the strike was so you can take cover to protect yourself. The portable, weather-resistant design with a no-slip clip for easy attachment to a belt or backpack makes this gadget perfect for boating, fishing, golf, camping, and other outdoor recreational activities.


9. AcuRite 00795A2 Galileo Thermometer with Glass Globe Barometer

This Galileo Thermometer and Glass Globe Barometer from AcuRite is a great conversation piece and decorative ornament that is both functional and visually pleasing. The Galileo Thermometer works on principles developed by Galileo Galilei. As the temperature changes, the individual floats inside the sealed glass cylinder rise or fall in proportion to their respective density and the density of the surrounding liquid. Each bulb inside the Galileo Thermometer represents a different temperature, the temperature is then determined by reading the metal tag of the lowest floating bulb in the thermometer.


10. Amymami Storm Glass

The storm glass is another unique weather-related gift that is best used as a decorative conversation piece. The enclosed glass is filled with a liquid mixture of chemicals that are said to crystallize and change based on differences in temperature and atmospheric pressure which makes it possible to predict the weather several days in advance. We’ll admit we’re not sold on the accuracy either, but it sure makes for a good conversation piece.


11. Stratus Precision Rain Gauge

If your daily activities are affected by the rain, or you need a weather gift for a meteorologist who will surely be concerned about accuracy, Stratus Precision’s CoCoRaHS-approved rain gauge is a great gift. These rain gauges have been certified for their high degree of accuracy when it comes to rainfall readings. They are used by the CoCoRaHS network of precipitation observers who supply data to a wide variety of organizations and individuals including the National Weather Service, other meteorologists, emergency managers and city utilities.


12. Hand Painted Gnome Rain Gauge

If accuracy is less of a concern for you and you need a gift for the weather buff who likes to spend some time in the garden, then this Hand Painted Gnome Rain Gauge could be a cool gift. The gnome holds a small rain gauge capable of measuring up to 5” of rainfall. We also like the fact that the tube is plastic rather than glass. Many of these smaller decorative rain gauges use glass tubes which can break easily.


13. Rome Grow Old with Me Sundial

The oldest known instrument for telling the time, a sundial, when set up correctly will give you an estimated time of day based on the sun’s angle which casts a shadow pointing to the time on the sundial itself. With Roman numerals and a cast iron baluster pedestal, the Rome Grow Old with Me Sundial will be an eye-catching display in any garden.


14. The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras

This book tells the story of one of history’s greatest storm chasers Tim Samaras. Unfortunately, Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and team member Carl Young were tragically killed by the 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma tornado. Samaras and his team contributed a great deal to meteorologists' understanding of tornadoes, as well as storm chasing itself. If you're looking to purchase a gift for a weather enthusiast that has any kind of interest in storm chasing, he or she will find this biography a great read.


15. Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey

Weather photography is an art form, and many storm chasers take thousands of pictures over their lifetimes to document their chases. Jim Reed is one of these people, but his book isn’t just a bunch of pictures. Instead, he tells the story of the hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe weather he’s encountered in terms of these event’s larger meaning within our changing climate.


16. Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

The hurricane on September 8, 1900, in Galveston, Texas remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. The hurricane destroyed the town and killed over 6000 people. Even Issac Cline, a resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau in Galveston at the time failed to grasp the true extent of the hurricane that landed on the city that morning. How did the hurricane strike without adequate warning? And why didn't the newly formed U.S Weather Bureau take this storm seriously? That is the main theme of this non-fiction thriller from author Erik Larson.


17. Weather Guide 2019 Wall Calendar

Calendars make great stocking stuffer gifts at Christmas time. The Weather Guide 2019 Wall Calendar features 52 pages of stunning weather photography and historical weather events, along with all major public and culturally important holidays. We’d recommend purchasing the Weather Guide Calendar in addition to one of the other gifts recommended in this list.


18. Storm Chasers: Greatest Storms DVD

Dr. Josh Wurman and his team of extreme storm chasers Reed Timmer, Joel Taylor, and IMAX Filmmaker Sean Casey describe their most dangerous and exciting moments over the years in this special feature event from the Discovery Channel reality TV series.


Weather Gifts and Toys for Kids

If you’re looking for a toy or gift for younger science-loving kids and couldn’t find something in the list above try these weather-related gifts and toys for kids.

19. 4M KidzLabs Weather Lab Science Kit

While it obviously won’t have the accuracy of the professional home weather stations for adults, 4M’s weather station kit is a great way to introduce kids aged 8-15 to meteorology. It includes a functional wind vane, an anemometer, a thermometer, and a rain gauge. The kit also includes instructions to perform a variety of weather-related science experiments.

Recommended Age: 8 and up


20. 4M KidzLabs Tornado Maker Science Kit

Another cool weather gift for kids is the 4M Tornado Maker Science Kit. It comes with everything necessary to transform a recycled soda bottle into a tornado maker. It does require a bit of assembly so this would be a project that is best done with adult supervision.

Recommended Age: 8 and up


21. Discovery Kids Extreme Weather

The Discovery Kids Extreme Weather Kit gives you everything you need to create your own artificial snow, a tornado vortex, an erupting volcano, and even a solar oven. Some of these experiments may make quite the mess, so again we’d recommend you do these experiments with your kids!

Recommended Age: 12-18 years


22. Backyard Safari Storm Chaser Weather Pod

Another neat weather-related gift for kids is the Backyard Safari Storm Chaser Weather Pod. Think of it as essentially a portable weather station for kids. It includes a wind vane, anemometer, thermometer and rain gauge, and consists of a collapsible three leg stand so it can be placed just about anywhere. Also included are a small field guide and a storm chaser patch.

Recommended Age: 5-12 years


23. Learning Resources Weather Tracker

The Weather Tracker could potentially be a great present for young aspiring meteorologists, an elementary school teacher or a science educator. Students and weather enthusiasts can track daily weather observations and create their own weather maps using dry erase markers, and vinyl cling weather symbols.

Recommended Age: 8-13 years


24. The Everything KIDS' Weather Book

Most weather science books are written at a level which may make them hard to understand for children. The Everything KIDS’ Weather Book tries to address that and does it well. It describes in easy to understand terms how the weather works and what causes it. The book was written by a renowned television meteorologist in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Joe Snedeker.

Recommended Age: 7-12 years


25. The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting

If your child shows an interest in learning how to forecast the weather, we’d suggest this book. Written by meteorologist Mark Breen, it explains the basics of how the weather works, and how to use what you observe to predict future conditions.

Recommended Age: 7-11 years


26. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather

For younger kids who are in preschool up to grade 3, the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather is the best educational weather book. Like the other books we’ve suggested, it explains the basics of meteorology in simple and easy to understand terms, but where this book is better than the rest is in the photography. Scientific facts and explanations are accompanied by 100 colorful photos that will be sure to capture the attention of a curious young mind.

Recommended Age: 4-8 years


We hope this list has helped you find the perfect present for the weather geek in your life. If you’ve bought a weather-related gift in the past which was well received or if you have a gift idea that you think we should add, please let us know about it in the comments.

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What’s the Difference Between a Hurricane, Tropical Storm and Tropical Depression? https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/difference-between-a-hurricane-tropical-storm-and-tropical-depression/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/difference-between-a-hurricane-tropical-storm-and-tropical-depression/#respond Sun, 21 Oct 2018 06:32:54 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2863 Satellite image of Hurricane Florence moving closer to the coast of the Southeastern U.S. on September 12, 2018.(Image Credit: NOAA)Hurricanes are ferocious storms that cause widespread damage and devastation when they strike land. A hurricane doesn’t just emerge out of thin air. Instead, it goes through a process of development, with each stage having a different name. Some tropical disturbances never become hurricanes, but they still can cause a significant amount of damage in their own right.What are these different terms used by meteorologists, and what do they mean? Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms you’ll need

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Hurricane Florence satellite image

Satellite image of Hurricane Florence moving closer to the coast of the Southeastern U.S. on September 12, 2018.
(Image Credit: NOAA)

Hurricanes are ferocious storms that cause widespread damage and devastation when they strike land. A hurricane doesn’t just emerge out of thin air. Instead, it goes through a process of development, with each stage having a different name. Some tropical disturbances never become hurricanes, but they still can cause a significant amount of damage in their own right.

What are these different terms used by meteorologists, and what do they mean? Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms you’ll need to know.

What Is a Tropical Disturbance?

A tropical disturbance (or tropical wave) is an initially disorganized area of low pressure. Often there are no clear signs of rotation. Although, when a disturbance gets better organized, it may begin to show signs of rotation as it starts to form into a tropical depression.

As we said earlier, not every disturbance in the tropics forms into a depression. In reality, only a small percentage do. Winds are not typically that powerful in a tropical disturbance. Normally sustained winds will be less than 30mph or so. However, rainfall may be extreme in some cases, leading to flooding in affected areas if it passes over land.

In special cases where a tropical disturbance may affect land, the National Hurricane Center has recently started to issue advisories to warn the public much like they already have done for tropical depressions, storms, and hurricanes. This gives those that may potentially be in harms way more time to prepare.

What Is a Tropical Depression?

When a tropical disturbance becomes organized enough and has clear rotation with maximum sustained winds below 39mph, it is classified as a tropical depression. Most tropical depressions have maximum sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph, although they may often gust to tropical storm force. Like tropical disturbances, depressions can produce extreme amounts of rain, and the strongest winds may be enough to uproot trees from the saturated ground.

What Is a Tropical Storm?

As a tropical depression becomes even more organized and its circulation tightens up, its winds will also begin to increase. Once it has sustained winds at or above 39mph and no higher than 73mph, it is upgraded to a tropical storm. Tropical storm status is when a storm is given a name. The major ocean basins around the world have their own list of names to be used each year.

With the stronger winds and heavier rainfall, tropical storms typically produce both wind and water damage. While there will be a good deal of flooding inland, the wind can also cause minor coastal flooding too as sea water is pushed onshore. The tropical storm’s tighter circulation also provides some degree of spin for the individual thunderstorms that make up these systems, increasing the chances for tornadic activity, causing even more severe damage.

What Is a Hurricane?

Tropical storms that continue to organize and develop will soon produce sustained winds at 74mph, and often far higher. When this occurs, a tropical storm is upgraded to a hurricane. On satellite, the hurricane’s appearance is distinct—the clouds clearly move in a circular fashion, and in stronger hurricanes take on a buzzsaw-like appearance with a circular area at the center with no clouds and calm winds called the “eye.”

The threat from a hurricane is threefold: wind, rain, and storm surge. Winds in hurricanes are severe enough in most cases to cause significant structural damage, especially to less robust structures like patios, awnings, roofs, and mobile homes. Tornadic activity becomes much more common in the strongest rain bands, which only exacerbates the damage. Rain from hurricanes can total upwards of a foot or more depending on the forward speed of the hurricane itself.

Perhaps most dangerous of all is the storm surge. The hurricane’s strong winds blow across the sea surface, building up massive waves that push water inland. The combination of the force of the water being pushed onshore combined with the ferocious winds will rip apart coastal structures, making these areas some of the most dangerous places to be in a hurricane.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Hurricanes in the United States are classified by the speed of their sustained winds on a scale known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The classification aims to help the public understand more clearly the potential and the severity of destruction from a hurricane. Storms are rated from Category 1 to 5, with anything Category 3 or higher considered a “major hurricane.”

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

While not a perfect match for every hurricane as it does not take rain or storm surge into consideration, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale has still shown over time to be a reasonably accurate predictor of the type of damage to expect and it is straightforward and easy to understand.

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What Country Has the Most Tornadoes in the World? https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/what-country-has-the-most-tornadoes/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/what-country-has-the-most-tornadoes/#respond Sat, 13 Oct 2018 07:12:30 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2854 Tornado in Colorado, USA. The United States has more tornadoes each year than any other country in the world.Tornadoes stand alone as the most destructive form of severe weather on the planet. They are a violent funnel of rapidly rotating air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The winds within a tornado regularly reach in excess of 100 mph (and in the strongest well above 200mph), a feat rarely replicated even in the worst severe thunderstorms.Luckily, your chances of getting caught in a tornado are pretty low. Tornadoes are typically small, often less than a few hundred yards across,

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Tornado in Colorado, USA.
The United States has more tornadoes each year than any other country in the world.

Tornadoes stand alone as the most destructive form of severe weather on the planet. They are a violent funnel of rapidly rotating air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The winds within a tornado regularly reach in excess of 100 mph (and in the strongest well above 200mph), a feat rarely replicated even in the worst severe thunderstorms.

Luckily, your chances of getting caught in a tornado are pretty low. Tornadoes are typically small, often less than a few hundred yards across, and it takes a particular set of conditions to trigger their development. This said, there are certain countries (and especially certain regions within these countries) where conditions are favorable more often for tornado development.

Your best bet if you’re looking to see a twister comes in the United States and Canada, which collectively account for three-quarters of the world’s tornadoes! But there are a few other “hot spots” around the world that deserve mention, including a few that actually might surprise you. So where are tornadoes most common? Keep reading.

1. United States

At well north of 1,200 tornadoes annually most years, the US by far has the most tornadoes in the world. While tornadoes develop almost anytime and anywhere year-round, they most commonly occur in the Midwest and Southeast, especially in the late Spring and early Summer. However, the strongest tornadoes are most likely to occur in the Southern Plains. The deadliest tornado in US history was the Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925, which killed 695 people in Missouri (11), Illinois (613), and Indiana (71).

2. Canada

While Canada is larger than the United States in terms of land area, it only has a tenth of the number of tornadoes that the US has. Even with such a wide disparity, this is good enough for second overall. Most of its tornadoes happen in three of its provinces—Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario but the strongest tornado in the country’s history, an F5, occurred in Elie, Manitoba on June 22nd, 2007.

3. England

The third country on our list might surprise you, but England actually has more tornadoes per square mile than any other country in the world. An average of 34 tornadoes strike the country per year, which works out at 2.2 per 10,000km sq. You’ll typically find most of England’s twisters in the Thames Valley, close to the cities of Reading and London.

4. New Zealand

New Zealand is another small country with a large number of tornadoes given its size with an average of about 20 per year. However, a majority of its twisters occur on the country’s northern Island, home to the capital Auckland. In fact, Auckland itself has been hit by deadly tornadoes, including one in Albany in 2011 that killed one person and injured 16 others and in Hobsonville in 2012 which killed three people.

5. Japan

Yet another island nation with a significant number of tornadoes given its size is Japan. As with New Zealand, the country averages about 20 tornadoes annually. But what is different about Japan from the other places is it’s fairly new to the list. Whether by natural cycle or changes in the Earth’s climate, the number of tornadoes—known as tatsumaki here—are increasing in number.

6. Australia

While many think of just the Outback when Australia comes to mind, portions of its coasts are actually quite temperate, and stormy too. Many of the country’s 16 or so tornadoes that occur every year happen in the southwestern portion of the country, and a few of its tornadoes begin as waterspouts, which are common.

7. India

India’s monsoon season can sometimes produce tornadic activity, especially in the eastern part of the country. Its strongest tornado occurred in April 1963 in Assam, killing more than 100. While the Assam tornado was quite devastating, many of the stronger tornadoes occur in Bangladesh, the country to the east.

8. Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s generally flat topography and climate make it ripe for tornadic activity. Making matters worse, the commonly poor construction of homes in a significant portion of the country make tornadoes all the more dangerous. In 1964, a tornado in the Khulna Division killed 500, and on April 26, 1989, the Daulatpur–Saturia, Bangladesh tornado which occurred in the Manikganj District, killed more than 1,300 and injured 12,000, making it the single deadliest tornado in the world.

9. South Africa

Much of the African continent does not see tornadic activity, but portions of South Africa are no stranger to their wrath. In fact, former leader Nelson Mandela nearly lost his life in a tornado on the Eastern Cape in December 1998, where he reportedly was protected by his bodyguards who piled on top of him as he took cover on the floor of a local pharmacy.

10. Argentina

South America’s tornado hotspot is Argentina. While only about seven or so tornadoes hit the country every year, the tornadoes that do happen can be quite strong. Its strongest tornado (and the strongest in the Southern Hemisphere) to date is an F5 that moved through the small town of San Justo on 10 January 1973. At 300 yards wide, it damaged nearly 500 homes and killed 63, injuring 350 others.

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How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage Without a Garage https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-protect-your-car-from-hail/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-protect-your-car-from-hail/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 08:06:43 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2753 Hail storms are a nightmare for car owners. They're not only extremely destructive, but sometimes the widespread nature of these events can quickly bring repair shops to a standstill. Thousands of drivers will be seeking repair services to fix their broken glass and heavily dented cars, meaning you might be stuck with a damaged car for an extended period.So, what do you need to know about getting your vehicle repaired if you get caught in a hail storm, and what can you do to prevent hail damage in the first place? In this post, we will answer some of those

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Protect your car from hail damage

Hail storms are a nightmare for car owners. They're not only extremely destructive, but sometimes the widespread nature of these events can quickly bring repair shops to a standstill. Thousands of drivers will be seeking repair services to fix their broken glass and heavily dented cars, meaning you might be stuck with a damaged car for an extended period.

So, what do you need to know about getting your vehicle repaired if you get caught in a hail storm, and what can you do to prevent hail damage in the first place? In this post, we will answer some of those questions.

7 Ways to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage

1. Watch the Sky and Monitor the Weather

How can you avoid hail damage? The simplest thing to do is to stay alert when severe weather threatens by monitoring a weather app on your mobile phone. When the National Weather Service issues warnings for severe thunderstorms, they will also provide alerts if there is potential for hail. We should mention that not all hail is necessarily destructive, though.

Golf ball-sized hail can cause considerable damage to cars

Golf ball sized hail can cause considerable damage to cars.

To break glass or dent the sheet metal of cars hail needs to be bigger than the size of a quarter, while hail that is golf ball sized and larger will cause considerable damage. The good news is that a majority of hail-producing storms create hail smaller than this, so the likelihood of being caught in such a storm without any warning is pretty low.

2. Invest in a Carport

If you don’t have a garage but have space and a few hundred dollars to spend, it’s smart to purchase a carport. They’re reasonably easy to set up and cost less than the deductible you’d have to pay for any hail damage. There’s also the added benefit of keeping your car in the shade, which helps to keep it cooler on hot days and prevents UV damage to your paint and interior.

3. Get a Car Cover

Car covers can provide protection if you purchase the correct one. Standard car covers are typically nothing more than fabric. They are intended to protect your vehicle from damage due to UV light, rain, dust, and dirt so they will not adequately protect your car from hail.

Amazon does sell a specialized inflatable hail protection cover which will provide the necessary protection. Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive so other options may make more sense for you especially if you don’t live in a particularly hail-prone area.

4. Cover Your Car with Blankets

A poor man’s option to the inflatable car cover might be blankets, which may help to cushion the blow of unusually large hailstones. Make sure you are covering the entire car with blankets, and especially the side windows which are much more easily broken.

5. Place Your Floor Mats over Your Windshield

Another low-cost option that will at least save your windshield glass is using your floor mats to cover your windshield glass. While it won’t protect your side glass or your car’s body, it may keep the windshield from cracking and/or breaking, allowing you to drive your car away after the hailstorm passes.

6. Take Cover in a Safe Location

If you know a hail producing storm is on its way, it’s a good idea to leave the area, or at least find some type of cover if you can’t get away from it. Do not park your car under a tree—it does not provide adequate protection, and strong winds may bring down branches and/or the tree itself, potentially putting you at risk of injury or death.

Instead, think of things such as covered parking garages, underneath a sturdy gas station or bank drive-thru awning, or aside of buildings facing the direction from which the storm is coming in from. The key here is to find as much shielding as possible, both from the side and especially the top of your car.

7. If You're Caught Driving in a Hail Storm Slow Down and Find a Safe Place to Pull Over

Getting caught in a hailstorm while driving is frightening, but you need to act quickly and calmly. First, stay in your vehicle. Hailstorms can become quite large and fall at an exceptionally high rate of speed, which can cause serious bodily harm. Use your car as protection.

Next, slow down. Racing through hail is not going to lessen the damage to your car, in fact, it might make it worse. The combination of you moving through the storm at a high rate of speed combined with the fast fall of the hail is a recipe for disaster.

Finally, find a safe place to pull over, and find cover if possible using the tips we just discussed. You might also be able to use a highway underpass to pull over, however, do not stop on the road itself (this can cause a dangerous bottleneck and lead to more accidents). If the shoulder of the road is already filled with cars, you’ll have to find somewhere else to go.

If you cannot find a safe place to stop, angle your car so that the hail is hitting your windshield versus your side windows. The windshield glass is much thicker and able to withstand larger hailstones without completely shattering compared to your side or rear windows.

Ford has produced a video on how to drive in hail with the above tips and more, which we highly recommend watching, so you know how to deal with hailstorms if you get caught driving in one.

Does My Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

It depends. If you are carrying comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, chances are you’re covered for any repair costs after paying your deductible. If you lease or have a loan on your car, you’re required by law to carry both comprehensive and collision coverage. Once you fully own your vehicle, you’re not required to carry comprehensive coverage, and in many states, you don’t need collision either.

At a minimum, you must carry liability insurance to cover the damage and injury of other drivers and property. If your insurance is liability only, then there is no hail damage coverage. For more specific information, check out this article to learn what’s covered, and what’s not.

Conclusion

While hail damage isn’t always preventable, we hope that the tips we’ve provided here will help you be better prepared to protect yourself and your car if you are faced with an impending hailstorm or are caught driving in one. If you live in a hail-prone area, we’d love to hear any tips you may have to share with others based on your own experiences. Let us know in the comments below.

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What Is a Storm Glass and How Does It Work? https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/what-is-a-storm-glass/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/what-is-a-storm-glass/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 03:15:23 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2730 A storm glass is a weather predicting device with crystal formations that supposedly change based on impending weather. However, can this device predict the weather accurately? We wanted to answer the most common questions surrounding storm glasses, and explain why it is likely that they do not work as well as some may claim.What Is a Weather Predicting Storm Glass?Storm glasses contain a mixture of chemicals which are said to crystallize in a way that makes it possible to predict the weather several days in advance, typically one to three days.The storm glass was popularised by Admiral Robert FitzroyAt the

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storm glass

A storm glass is a weather predicting device with crystal formations that supposedly change based on impending weather. However, can this device predict the weather accurately? We wanted to answer the most common questions surrounding storm glasses, and explain why it is likely that they do not work as well as some may claim.

What Is a Weather Predicting Storm Glass?

Storm glasses contain a mixture of chemicals which are said to crystallize in a way that makes it possible to predict the weather several days in advance, typically one to three days.

Admiral Robert Fitzroy

The storm glass was popularised by Admiral Robert Fitzroy

At the time that storm glasses first appeared (sometime in the 1700s), barometers—a reasonably accurate way to predict the future weather—remained relatively expensive. Most had to rely on cheaper methods of weather prediction, so sometime in the 17th Century an unknown inventor created the storm glass, but we don’t know why or how they did it. Storm glasses would eventually rise in popularity in the mid-1800s after British Naval Officer Admiral Robert Fitzroy used them aboard the HMS Beagle, which also happened to host a young Charles Darwin doing his initial research on evolution. This is why the storm glass is often called an Admiral Fitzroy Storm Glass.

Fitzroy was a weather enthusiast, and over the course of his expeditions, he examined the behavior of a storm glass to better understand how it worked. The relationship between the liquid’s behavior and the corresponding weather conditions used today derive from Fitzroy’s work aboard the Beagle.

Fitzroy became so enamored by the storm glass that he pushed for their use throughout the UK to help early meteorologists predict the weather better and more so after an 1859 storm which took many by surprise, resulting in hundreds of deaths at sea.

Storm glasses fell out of favor late in the 19th Century as mercury barometers became more affordable. These days, they have become little more than a conversation piece, and many may not even know that such a device ever existed.

How Does a Storm Glass Work?

Even today we do not entirely understand how these devices work, or how the crystals inside form and change shape. The truth is that there just haven’t been many studies done to figure out the process. The most common ingredients inside these devices include ethanol, distilled water, ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, and camphor, although different storm glasses may have different combinations of these ingredients.

The version of the storm glass used in Fitzroy’s time was not completely sealed (typically by only a rubber cap) so pressure changes may have had some kind of effect. Today’s versions are hermetically sealed, which would likely mean the changes would have something to do with temperature differences outside the glass.

While research is slim on the storm glass (even when they were more commonly used), several studies over the years seem to suggest crystal growth is affected by temperature more than anything.

Is a Storm Glass Accurate?

These same tests also showed to be no better than a 50/50 chance of being correct, essentially leaving the predictions up to chance. Our opinion is that storm glasses should not be relied upon as a legitimate weather instrument but more of a conversation piece for your office or coffee table. If you’re looking for precise weather forecasts for your local area, invest in a home weather station instead.

Most home weather stations use barometric pressure to make predictions on weather conditions, over time barometric pressure has shown to be a much more accurate method of forecasting.

How to Read a Storm Glass

As we mentioned earlier, Robert Fitzroy popularized the current method to read a storm glass. Below is the chart used by Fitzroy and others to read a storm glass.

Storm Glass Liquid Appearance

Weather Forecast

Cloudy with small stars

Thunderstorms

Clear

Sunny and fair

Small, isolated stars during winter

Sunny and fair weather followed by snow in 1-2 days

Large, isolated flakes

Cloudy and humid, snow in the winter

Flakes which rise and stay in the upper part of tube

Winds in the atmosphere, changeable weather

Cloudy

Rain or rain soon

Strands forming near the top

Windy

Small floating spots

Fog

Crystals at the bottom

Frost

Does a Storm Glass Work Indoors? Here Is Where You Should Place It

Storm glasses are not intended for outdoor use, so if you purchase one, keep it indoors. They should also not be placed in a window that receives direct sunlight, or somewhere that may experience sudden temperatures changes during the day. Keep your storm glass away from walls facing the outside or near heating and cooling ducts.

How to Make a Storm Glass

Most of the chemicals used to produce the liquid inside of a storm glass are potentially hazardous. Inhalation of these chemicals could make you sick, and you should take care when handling any of the chemicals and prevent exposure to bare skin. We recommend that you buy one instead of making it yourself, especially considering many of the required chemicals can be difficult to obtain.

However, if you really want to make one, there is a way to do it. We recommend checking out the video below. You will need 100 proof vodka, camphor, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride. If you can obtain these materials, you’ll be able to make one on your own.

Be very careful and follow the video’s safety instructions to prevent any issues from occurring.

Weather Predicting Storm Glass Reviews: The Best Storm Glass to Buy

If making your own seems too dangerous, or you can’t obtain the materials necessary, then we’d personally recommend the Amymami Storm Glass on Amazon. This teardrop-shaped storm glass has received solid reviews across the board, although as we’ve mentioned above, don’t expect the predictions to be accurate.

Click here to buy the Amymami teardrop-shaped storm glass on Amazon

However, if you keep all of this in mind, and are a weather enthusiast (or know somebody who is), a storm glass will be a great conversation piece or gift. For more great weather-related gift ideas, take a look at our list of the best gifts for weather geeks.

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How to Use a Rain Gauge to Measure Rainfall at Home https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-use-a-rain-gauge/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-use-a-rain-gauge/#respond Sun, 05 Aug 2018 07:56:08 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2688 Knowing how much rain is falling in your backyard can be very useful for many homeowners. Perhaps you’re a gardener and need to measure the rainfall, so your plants get enough water to grow their best. Maybe there’s a creek running through your house and knowing the amount of rain that it takes to cause flash flooding might help you protect your property before the flooding starts.Whatever the reason, this article explains what a rain gauge is, where and how you should place it, and the types of rain gauges available.What is a Rain GaugeRain gauges are weather instruments used

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stratus precision analog rain gauge

Knowing how much rain is falling in your backyard can be very useful for many homeowners. Perhaps you’re a gardener and need to measure the rainfall, so your plants get enough water to grow their best. Maybe there’s a creek running through your house and knowing the amount of rain that it takes to cause flash flooding might help you protect your property before the flooding starts.

Whatever the reason, this article explains what a rain gauge is, where and how you should place it, and the types of rain gauges available.

What is a Rain Gauge

Rain gauges are weather instruments used to measure precipitation. While the name suggests that its sole function is to measure rainfall, some gauges will allow you to measure frozen precipitation like snow and sleet as well.

As we mentioned earlier, rain gauges are quite useful for outdoor enthusiasts, but any weather enthusiast should have one in their kit. They also play an important role for meteorologists, during severe weather events the measurements from your rain gauge can be sent to the National Weather Service, where they use the data to issue more accurate reports.

How to Read Your Rain Gauge

If you have a digital gauge, it’s just as simple as reading the measurement from the display, but for analog rain gauges, it’s a bit different. While we suggest you visit this page on the CoCoRaHS website where they have a detailed guide, we’ll summarize the instructions here as well.

On the side of your gauge, you will see markings that indicate the amount of rain within. As rain falls, it will fill up the tube. What you will notice is that the surface of the rainwater appears curved, this is called a meniscus, which is caused by the liquid coming in contact with the sides of the tube. Read the measurement closest to the lowest point at the base of that curved surface, and you’ll have your measurement.

For analog rain gauges that allow for measuring the water content in the snow, typically you’ll need to remove the inside tube and let the snow to fall into the larger container.

Proper Placement of a Rain Gauge

Your measurements aren’t going to be worth anything if you don’t place your rain gauge in the correct location. To put it in the simplest terms, keep it out in the open and off the ground. However, there are some more specific considerations to keep in mind:

  • The general rule of thumb is to keep the rain gauge twice the distance away from the height of the nearest obstruction (e.g., placing a gauge 20 feet away from 10-foot tall trees).
  • Place the gauge at least 2-5 feet off the ground on the side of a pole, with the top of the cylinder several inches above the top of the pole to prevent splash back.
  • Make sure the top of the rain gauge is level.
  • Keep the gauge away from sources of artificial precipitation that can affect the readings, such as sprinklers.

Types of Rain Gauges for Your Home

Analog Rain Gauges

analog rain gauge

Analog rain gauges are the cheapest and most straightforward of the options. They consist of either an acrylic or glass cylinder with measurements in inches and centimeters or millimeters.

Among analog gauges, we recommend the Stratus Precision Rain Gauge. While more expensive, this gauge is actually the recommended model for observers participating in the CoCoRaHS precipitation measurement network due to its top-tier accuracy.

Digital Rain Gauges

La Crosse Technology digital rain gauge

Digital rain gauges are more expensive than their analog counterparts but have the capability of being able to monitor rainfall without you having to read the gauge itself manually. In most cases, these gauges use what is called a “tipping bucket” mechanism. As rain falls, it drains from the funnel into these buckets. Each tip is tabulated (typically equal to a .01” per tip) and sent to the console.

While some digital rain gauges just measure precipitation, they aren’t as useful as a gauge that also measures temperature or other variables, like the La Crosse Technology 724-1710 Digital Rain Gauge with Thermometer. We recommend considering a digital rain gauge that can also measure temperature as well.

Home Weather Station Rain Gauges

Ambient Weather WS-2902 home weather station

Perhaps the best way to measure rain is through a personal weather station, which not only measures rainfall but also many other weather variables such as, wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. Take a look at our weather station reviews to see the top models on the market. Unlike most of the other types of rain gauges, a home weather station also gives you the opportunity to monitor your readings over the internet thanks to built-in WiFi connectivity.

In the end, we recommend you consider this route instead of a digital rain gauge, as most personal weather stations are built to a higher level of quality compared to a digital rain gauge and they offer a lot more functionality.

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La Crosse Technology V10-TH Indoor Outdoor Thermometer Review https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/la-crosse-technology-v10-th-review/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/la-crosse-technology-v10-th-review/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 12:57:41 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2659 CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON For some of us, a professional home weather station is overkill. Many of us are just curious as to what the conditions outside are before we venture out each day. For these people, we recommend a good indoor outdoor thermometer, and La Crosse Technology’s V10-TH fits that bill.While this thermometer operates just fine as a standalone unit, we strongly recommend that you take full advantage of the V10-TH's WiFi capabilities. When you connect the thermometer to WiFi, you gain access to live NWS (National Weather Service) forecasts and information, and you'll have the ability to view

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For some of us, a professional home weather station is overkill. Many of us are just curious as to what the conditions outside are before we venture out each day. For these people, we recommend a good indoor outdoor thermometer, and La Crosse Technology’s V10-TH fits that bill.

While this thermometer operates just fine as a standalone unit, we strongly recommend that you take full advantage of the V10-TH's WiFi capabilities. When you connect the thermometer to WiFi, you gain access to live NWS (National Weather Service) forecasts and information, and you'll have the ability to view your weather readings remotely via the La Crosse View mobile app. It also connects to the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) which automatically sets your time and date.

Why do we think the La Crosse V10-TH is one of the top options for those looking for solid performance at an affordable price? Read on and find out.

Pros

  • Large, easy-to-read console
  • Forecast data from the NWS
  • Easy app-based setup
  • La Crosse View app allows you to monitor data remotely and add additional sensors

Cons

  • Station daily high/low isn’t clearly displayed when WiFi connected
  • Not built for more demanding weather watchers

Our Verdict

The La Crosse Technology V10-TH is an excellent indoor outdoor thermometer that will give you an accurate snapshot of your local weather each day for a very affordable price. The internet connectivity which provides access to NWS data and remote monitoring through the La Crosse View smartphone app are handy features that give this thermometer the edge over its equally priced competitors.

>> Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews on Amazon <<

Included Instruments

Display Console

The V10-TH sports a large display console which measures in at 7.8 inches in height, and 6.4 inches wide. The display elements themselves are quite large, with indoor and outdoor information across the top right, NWS forecast information on the top left, and time, date, and textual information across the bottom.

La Crosse Technology V10-TH Console

The display has five levels of brightness (we found brighter settings might be too bright at night or in dark rooms though) and foliage in the forecast area changes with the season (an entirely non-functional feature, but a nice little touch). Trend arrows visually inform you of whether temperature or humidity is rising or falling, and battery level indicators let you know when it’s time to change the batteries.

Setup of the unit is relatively easy if you choose the WiFi connectivity option, as the entire process is completed through the app. You’ll need to keep two things in mind, however (1) your WiFi network strength, and (2) keeping the outdoor thermometer/hygrometer sensor within the range of the console.

La Crosse Technology V10-TH Sensor

In either case, you should have no problem here as the sensor itself has an impressive 400ft range. We had no issues here ourselves.

La Crosse View App

Most budget indoor/outdoor thermometers don’t usually include smartphone app connectivity. So, we must commend La Crosse Technology for enabling the V10-TH to work with their View app. The La Crosse View app is available for both iOS and Android. The same app is also used for La Crosse’s more full-featured home weather stations. Below are some screenshots of the app's interface.

La Crosse Technology view app outdoor sensor
La Crosse Technology view app indoor sensor
La Crosse Technology view app data

The primary functions of this app include the ability to monitor your station’s readings over the internet and share them with friends, view historical data, and set alerts and set up the various NWS information that will cycle across the bottom of the display.

As we’ve mentioned already, you’ll complete the setup process for the V10-TH through the app, which we’d recommend as the non-WiFi setup can be a little tedious. All you need to do is install the batteries, place the sensor and console in your desired location, and then open the app. Then you have to scan a barcode on the back of the device and enter your WiFi network and password information, and in about one or two minutes the station connects.

Make sure that you’re connected to 2.4GHz WiFi and not 5GHz! The V10-TH supports 2.4GHz only, and if you attempt the setup while your device is connected to a 5GHz network, it will fail. We also recommend naming your console and your sensor differently in the app, such as their location, so you know which is which (you can also change the background picture of the sensor data to show their location if you’d like).

The console also has a feature called Data Stream, which can show various NWS data, including wind, snow, and sky conditions, and the probability of thunderstorms, hail or tornados. You can even program it to show custom personal messages.

We found the app pretty straightforward overall, if not a little on the barebones side. However, for what it does, the app works sufficiently well and is bug-free, which is something we find aggravating with a lot of low-cost weather instruments with internet connectivity.

What We Really Liked

The ability of the station to pull forecast data from the NWS rather than using an internal barometer to forecast future conditions is a definite plus. While many station manufacturers claim your station “learns” over time, sometimes using barometric pressure changes to make forecasts isn’t very accurate.

NWS forecast data also allows the device to display temperature and precipitation forecasts too, which we think is overall much more useful than merely using icons.

Accuracy is also in an acceptable range for digital thermometers, but not as precise as the more expensive personal weather stations.

What We Didn’t Like

Surprisingly enough, the NWS connectivity again. Here’s why: when you have WiFi connectivity enabled, the high and low data displayed on the console screen is pulled from the NWS, and not your station (you can find these in the app, however). There is a way to view overall high/low record data by holding down the “TEMP” button, but it doesn’t automatically reset daily (however, we will note that non-connected stations will see their own data instead).

Are There Better Alternatives?

Not really. In this space, there is a wide disparity in quality between digital thermometers, mainly because there are so many options. Most of the ones you see in department stores are of considerably lower sensor quality, which will result in less accurate readings. The V10-TH is one of the best that we’ve had the opportunity to test so far.

If you would like to see some more high-quality indoor outdoor thermometers, we suggest that you take a look at our indoor outdoor thermometer guide. If you’re looking for better accuracy and a whole lot more functions for a reasonable price, we’d suggest splurging on the Ambient Weather WS-2902 weather station instead. We rated it the best home weather station for the price.

Should You Buy It?

Among indoor outdoor thermometers, the V10-TH gets our endorsement. While it has its quirks, none of them are deal breakers. The price, which comes in considerably below most of the top home weather stations makes this an attractive option for those just looking for a way to get a quick look at the weather before heading out for the day.

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Best Large Room Humidifier Reviews in 2018: Top Ultrasonic & Evaporative Models https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/best-large-room-humidifier-reviews/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/best-large-room-humidifier-reviews/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2018 04:23:39 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2448 Excessively dry air in your home can lead to a variety of issues. If you’re suffering from dry skin, sinus congestion, cracked lips or nosebleeds it’s more than likely that the humidity inside your home is too low and you need a humidifier. A humidifier can increase the moisture in the air and protect you and your family against these common problems. They're particularly useful during the winter months when the humidity naturally drops, and we start cranking up our heating systems which dry out the air even more.You may know someone that has tried using a humidifier and has

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Best large room humidifier

Excessively dry air in your home can lead to a variety of issues. If you’re suffering from dry skin, sinus congestion, cracked lips or nosebleeds it’s more than likely that the humidity inside your home is too low and you need a humidifier.

A humidifier can increase the moisture in the air and protect you and your family against these common problems. They're particularly useful during the winter months when the humidity naturally drops, and we start cranking up our heating systems which dry out the air even more.

You may know someone that has tried using a humidifier and has been left feeling disappointed or ripped off.

Usually, this is because they have opted for a small portable model that does not have enough power to humidify a sizeable room. You do not want to waste your money on one of these smaller ineffective units!

If you want to make a meaningful impact on the humidity levels in your home, you need a large capacity humidifier designed for large rooms.

With a powerful large capacity humidifier, it’s easy to increase the humidity level at home!

We’ve reviewed and rated the best large room humidifiers that can rapidly increase the moisture in the air and automatically maintain the appropriate humidity level to make your home more comfortable this winter.

Best Large Room Humidifier Reviews

There are a lot of different humidifiers to choose from and knowing which one is best for you can be confusing and overwhelming. Based on research and testing as well as a careful assessment of user reviews, we have put together this comprehensive list of the best humidifiers for large rooms.

1. Best Humidifier for Large Bedrooms: Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

Coverage Area: 750 square feet
Type: Ultrasonic, Cool, and Warm Mist
Tank Capacity: 6 liters/1.5 gallons
Runtime: Up to 36 hours
Weight: 4.92 pounds
Dimensions: 11.3 x 7 x 10.5 inches

The Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier is the best choice if you need to increase the humidity in a medium to a large sized bedroom.

Stylishly designed so that it fits into modern home decors, this humidifier sports a sizeable 1.5-gallon tank. In practical terms, this means that you can leave the unit running overnight without any need to worry about the water supply running out.

There's also no need to worry about the noise of this unit if you choose to run it while you sleep. It’s a large ultrasonic humidifier that has been engineered for quiet operation. Even when operating at full capacity, the machine emits only 36dB of noise. There is also an option to turn the display off if you have a problem with the brightness of the screen at night.

If there’s such a thing as a luxury humidifier, the Levoit LV600HH would fit the bill. Not only is it reliable, quiet, and well-built, but it also has some extra features to make your life just a little more comfortable.

One of the more useful features on the Levoit LV600HH is the humidistat. It allows you to to set a target humidity level that will be maintained automatically.

You can even operate this unit with the included remote control, so you don't need to get out of bed to adjust the humidity levels in the middle of the night!

The built-in timer and waterless shut-off features also make it easy to ‘set it and forget’ so you can focus on what’s important in life and put daily air care out of your mind.

The unit also comes with an aroma box so you can enjoy the relaxing and healthy benefits of essential oils and therapeutic scents. It’s almost like turning your home into your own personal spa!

Depending on your preference, you can choose between cool mist or warm mist to disperse from the two 360 degree rotating nozzles which can cover an area as large as 280 square feet.

This humidifier is not only easy to use, but it’s also straightforward to clean and refill. The large opening at the bottom of the tank gives you easy access to fill the reservoir and to clean it to prevent any mold.

This is a premium unit that works perfectly in large sized rooms. It’s quiet, reliable, full of great features, and the mist output level can be adjusted with ease. If you want the best humidifier for a large room, we highly recommend the Levoit LV600HH.

Click here to check the price of our #1 recommendation: the Levoit LV600HH on Amazon


2. Best Humidifier for Large Living Rooms and the Whole House: Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area: 3,600 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 3.6 gallons
Runtime: Up to 36 hours
Weight: 14 pounds
Dimensions: 20.5 x 21.5 x 14.5 inches

The AIRCARE MA1201 is a heavy duty multi-room humidifier that can cover a whopping 3600 square feet. If you need a device that can maintain the optimal level of humidity throughout a large living area or the whole house, this is the ideal choice.

This humidifier features a massive 3.6-gallon tank, which will last for 36 hours of operation. Although this makes the unit quite hefty when full, the wheels on the base of the AIRCARE MA1201 ensure that it is still easy to move around.

With this unit, you have the option of four different fan speeds, with an easy to read digital display that tells you which mode is currently in operation. You can also use this interface to set a target humidity level which the unit will work to maintain.

During the evaporative process, a built-in wick filter adds invisible moisture to your environment as the humidifier moves dry air through the wet filter. The wick filter also traps mineral deposits, so it outputs only fresh air.

While the AIRCARE MA1201 is a very capable humidifier, it is quite large, and it will stand out in your room. You will want to consider ways of hiding it behind other furniture.

Click here to see the powerful Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 on Amazon


3. Best Budget Option: Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier

Coverage Area: 400 square feet
Type: Ultrasonic
Tank Capacity: 1.6 gallons
Runtime: Up to 50 hours
Weight: 4.25 pounds
Dimensions: 14.4 x 12.5 x 7.7 inches

Not everyone has loads of cash to spend on a brand new humidifier. That does not mean you have to go without though!

This high-quality unit by Everlasting Comfort is a great budget-friendly option.

With a 1.6-gallon tank and a high mist output of up to 270ml/hour, this unit is perfect for use throughout the day and night with minimal need for refilling. The Everlasting Comfort ultrasonic humidifier can run for up to 50 hours before it needs to be refilled, which is outstanding.

The 360-degree rotating nozzle disperses water vapor throughout the room quietly and efficiently. In fact, the humidifier is quiet enough to leave on at night without disturbing your sleep.

The Everlasting Comfort humidifier does not require any filters. For the budget conscious user, this is perfect as it reduces the ongoing costs of running the unit. The automatic shut-off feature also helps to ensure the humidifier is not running without water to prevent any damage to the unit.

One particularly interesting feature is the essential oil tray. Using this, you can add a scented oil of your choice which will then be dispersed around the room along with the water vapor.

At the end of the day, this is a reliable budget humidifier for big rooms, but it does lack some of the more advanced controls and features of more expensive units.

Click here to get the budget-friendly Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic on Amazon


4. Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area: 1,000 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 4 gallons
Runtime: Up to 24 hours on high settings
Weight: 9 pounds
Dimensions: 13.5 x 19.5 x 10.5 inches

The Vornado Evap40 evaporative humidifier is an effective way to add extra moisture into the air in your home. It utilizes a unique vortex system of air circulation to boost humidity rapidly and evenly throughout the room. Rather than the typical circulation used by evaporative coolers, this vortex system speeds up the circulation of the air to all corners of the space. With this method, the Evap40 can humidify an impressive 1,000 square feet.

At the highest speed, the 4-gallon tank will run out in 24 hours, but if a lower setting is used the humidifer can last much longer. With such efficiency, it reduces the number of refills required making your life a little easier.

Although there is no digital display, the dials for setting the humidity level and fan speeds are easy to use and very intuitive. You can set the level of humidity you desire, and the unit will shut off once that level is reached.

The humidifier itself is well built and has an eye-catching and unique design. You can immediately tell that this model will stand up to a lot of use and the manufacturer backs their product with a 5-year warranty.

While this is not the most functional unit on the market, for the price and size of the humidifier, the area it can humidify is quite impressive.


5. Essick Air AIRCARE EP9 800 Whole House Pedestal Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area: 2,400 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 3.5 gallons
Runtime: Up to 60 hours
Weight: 27 pounds
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 27.25 inches

The AIRCARE EP9 800 is a whole home humidification solution. Weighing in at a hefty 27 pounds, it can humidify an impressive 2,400 square feet.

Despite the large size and weight, the unit is easy to move due to the inclusion of wheels on the base. The design is stylish, allowing this pedestal humidifier to fit in with your home decor.

With a capacity of 3.5 gallons, the AIRCARE EP9 800 can run for up to 60 hours between tank refills. When you do need to refill the unit, there is an easy to use spout.

You can control this unit with the simple digital display on the front of the humidifier. There is a total of nine fan speeds you can choose from, depending on how large an area you need to cover and how fast you need the air humidified.

On the display panel, you can also specify your desired humidity level. Once this is reached, the unit will shut itself off, conserving energy and water in the storage tank.

Made in the USA this high-quality large capacity humidifier is the perfect choice for increasing the moisture throughout your whole house or large living areas. If you only need to humidify a small space such as a bedroom, then this large unit is probably overkill.


6. Vornado EVDC500 Energy Smart Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area: 1,000 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 2 gallons
Runtime: Up to 12 hours on high settings
Weight: 8.9 pounds
Dimensions: 12.2 x 18.9 x 8.1

The Vornado EVDC500 is a very ergonomic and stylishly designed humidifier that can cover an impressive 1000 square feet, despite its small size. Like other Vornado humidifiers, this model utilizes their proprietary ‘vortex’ fan system to humidify all the air in the room quickly.

Where the EVDC500 differs from other models is its focus on energy efficiency thanks to the energy smart DC motor and smart energy saving mode. The manufacturer claims that this model uses 90% less energy compared to a Vornado AC motor-driven humidifier.

With the smart energy saving mode, which is activated by the push of a button, the unit can stay operational but draw as little as 1 watt to keep you comfortable. The humidifier will also shut off when the target humidity is reached and when the water tanks are empty.

The next best feature on this unit is the easy to fill water tanks. While other humidifiers make the refilling process a real chore, the EVDC500 makes this process seamless.

Two separate 1-gallon tanks are on each side of the humidifier and can be taken off for refilling. The large openings on these tanks make refilling and cleaning a breeze.

With a 5-year overall warranty and a 10-year warranty on the electric motor, you can rest assured that this humidifier will last the distance.


7. Vornado EV200 Evaporative Whole Room Humidifier

Coverage Area: 700 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 1.5 gallons
Weight: 6.4 pounds
Dimensions: 10.2 x 18.8 x 9.1 inches

The Vornado EV200 evaporative humidifier is one of the smaller units in the Vornado lineup. It has many of the positive features of the larger models, but only sports a 1.5-gallon tank capacity and is only suitable for spaces up to 700 square feet.

This model also utilizes the unique vortex action to circulate the humidified air through the room. The fan has two speeds that you can alternate between as needed along with auto-humidity control to achieve and maintain your ideal humidity level.

On the highest setting, the EV200 will consume approximately 2.6 gallons per 24 hours. However, on lower settings, this consumption can be reduced.

When it is time to refill, the designers have tried to make the process as painless as possible. This unit uses the same two tank design as other more expensive units in the range.

These tanks can be removed and refilled using the large openings. Many users also appreciate the access these large openings give for cleaning the interior of the reservoirs.

Like other humidifiers in this range, the company offers a lengthy 5-year warranty. This highlights the company's commitment to quality and their unwavering faith in the sturdiness of their products.


8. AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area: 2,700 square feet
Type: Evaporative
Tank Capacity: 6 gallons
Runtime: Up to 70 hours
Weight: 14 pounds
Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.5 x 22.5

The AIRCARE 831000 evaporative humidifier is a heavy-duty unit designed to humidify large spaces up to 2,700 square feet. If you have large rooms, especially in an open plan living layout, this humidifier is an excellent choice.

With the 6-gallon tank, the unit can run for as long as 70 hours when using the most economical setting. This allows you to set it and forget, without the constant worry of having to refill the tank.

The reservoir itself has a wide opening that makes refilling with a jug easy and straightforward. Should you need to move the unit around, it has been made easy due to the caster wheels fitted on the bottom.

You can cycle through the humidity settings and different fan speeds using the control panel on the front of the humidifier. With the adjustable humidistat, you can set your desired humidity level, and the unit will automatically maintain it and shut itself off once the set humidity level is met.

Regarding build quality, this is a sturdy unit. It is built in the USA using quality parts and materials, so you can trust it to keep on working for years to come.

While this may be a great unit if you are looking to humidify your whole home, it may be a bit too heavy duty if you only want to use it in a single room.


What Is the Recommended Level of Humidity Inside Your Home?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done comprehensive research on the topic and concluded that indoor humidity levels should be kept below 60% and ideally between 30-50% at home.

Humidity levels over 60% encourage the growth of mold, bacteria and dust mites, while levels below 30% can cause other concerns like dry, itchy skin, nosebleeds and sinus irritation.

The more advanced humidifiers have a built-in humidistat which you can use to set your preferred humidity level in your room. It is also a good idea to have a hygrometer as a backup to give you accurate readings of the relative humidity. Click here to see our guide on the best hygrometers to use with your humidifier.

How to Choose the Right Type of Humidifier for a Big Room

There are many different types of humidifiers, and they all have unique pros and cons, which can make choosing the right model for a large room difficult. Every manufacturer also makes big promises, but it can be hard to figure out whether the humidifier will suit your specific needs.

To help you make the right choice, we are going to look at the different types of humidifiers that are available. The following information will help you to understand how they work and which one is best for you.

1. Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifier

Ultrasonic humidifiers are the latest in humidifier technology and can be an excellent choice if you want a model with minimal noise. They work in a way that sounds complicated but is actually quite simple.

Ultrasonic humidifiers create a visible mist by using a high frequency to send vibrations through the water. As the water vibrates, water droplets form, which are then distributed through the room, increasing the moisture in the air.

The main benefit of these units is that they do not need noisy fans to operate. Not only does this save electricity, but it also makes them super quiet which is perfect for use in bedrooms at night.

Some users experience problems with ‘white dust’ when using ultrasonic humidifiers. This residue is a result of the minerals in tap water that are left behind after the mist lands on furniture or others surfaces and dries up.

While the residue is not harmful to most people, it could potentially be problematic for people with asthma or other lung/sinus health conditions. The only real solution to prevent white dust is to use distilled water instead of hard water.

Large ultrasonic humidifiers are a good option, especially when noise needs to be kept to a minimum. However, they are more suited to medium to large-sized bedrooms rather than large living areas or the whole house.

2. Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative humidifier mechanism

Evaporative humidifiers are by far the most common type of humidifier amongst the large-sized models. This type of humidifier has been around for a long time and can be particularly useful for larger rooms.

Evaporative humidifiers rely on both a fan, a wick filter and a water reservoir to operate.

The wicks, which are made of a permeable material, pull water up from the storage reservoir. The fan blows dry air into the moist wick, causing the water to evaporate. The purified mist is then circulated around the room, increasing the humidity level.

With this effective and simple system, you can get guaranteed results very quickly, but there are some disadvantages as well.

First of all, the fan can be quite loud on some units, mainly when the highest setting is used. This can disturb your sleep if you wish to keep the humidifier running overnight. In addition to this, the wick filter needs to be replaced approximately every 4-8 weeks which incurs an extra cost and can prove to be an annoying chore.

Despite these negatives, the vast majority of big humidifiers are evaporative as the powerful fan makes them very efficient at humidifying spacious areas. If you are looking to humidify a large living area or even your whole house at a fast pace, then an evaporative humidifier is the best option for you.

3. Whole House Furnace Humidifiers (AKA In-Duct or HVAC Humidifier)

HVAC furnace humidifier

Many people, especially those building new homes or doing extensive renovations are having whole house humidifiers fitted. These humidifiers are installed as a part of the heating/HVAC system and deliver moist air alongside the home's heating or cooling.

These systems can be quite effective and have the benefit of being unobtrusive. However, there are some key reasons why we do not recommend going down this path.

The most significant disadvantages to these systems is that they are expensive and limited by the existing ducting in your home. While the air near the ducts will be humidified, other areas of the room can miss out. At least with portable ultrasonic or evaporative humidifiers, you can move the unit to where it is needed the most.

You will also need to consider the cost of having a furnace humidifier installed by a professional. It is definitely not a cheap option, and the ongoing maintenance can hurt your back pocket.

Warm Mist vs. Cool Mist Humidifier for a Large Room

Warm mist humidifiers work by heating water into steam. The entire process is not only very inefficient, but it can also be unsafe for children.

With hot steam and heating coils, it is possible for children or even adults to be burnt. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against the use of warm mist humidifiers in homes with children.

Despite this, some people do like the warmth that the steam gives. At the end of the day though, the risks and extra costs aren’t worth this small difference as they are no better or worse than humidifying a room compared to an evaporative or cool mist ultrasonic model.

Our top product recommendation, the Levoit LV600HH is a hybrid model that can produce warm and cool mist at levels that can be easily adjusted, giving you the best of both worlds if you desire a warm mist model.

Choosing Your Humidifier Based on Room Size

Now that you have an idea of the best large humidifiers on the market, you face the challenge of selecting the correct one for the size of your house or a particular room. Unless you get a unit suitable for the size of the area you want to humidify, you may be disappointed with the results.

Big living areas require a large humidifier

Before even looking at a humidifier, get an approximate measurement of how many square feet your room is. Then when choosing a model, you can compare your measurements to the capacity of the unit.

As you will have seen in the reviews above, we have listed the coverage area for each recommended unit. These are the guidelines given by the manufacturer. They’ll give you a good indication of what size room the humidifier is best for.

Once you have chosen a suitable humidifier, you need to then look at things such as efficiency, noise level, and portability. There is almost always some kind of trade-off when making this choice.

For example, the most powerful console units are noisy and heavy due to their evaporative cooling process and large water reservoirs, but portable devices can lack the power for large spaces. At the end of the day, only you can decide which humidifier will suit your needs.

The frequency of refilling is also something to consider. The more portable the unit is, the more often you usually need to refill it which can be a bit of a chore. If you plan to run the humidifier for long extended periods, then you may want to look at a larger model that is less portable but has a big water reservoir.

If you need a humidifier for a smaller area, particularly bedrooms, then you should get an ultrasonic humidifier. While they're not as powerful as an evaporative humidifier—the advantage is that they make very little noise which allows you to have an undisturbed sleep through the whole night.

What to Look for When Buying a Large Humidifier

In addition to the considerations outlined above, we have put together a brief list of other important features to look for. As long as you do your research now before you make a purchase, you are guaranteed to be happy with the humidifier you end up choosing.

Ease of Use

First of all, you want a humidifier that is easy to operate. This includes being easy to change settings, move around, clean and refill. The controls should be user-friendly—look for a model with a digital display and remote control for the best experience, such as our top pick the Levoit LV600HH. If you want an evaporative humidifier, then ensure that the wick filter is straightforward and inexpensive to replace.

Variable Speeds

One of the biggest complaints people have about evaporative humidifiers, in particular, is the noise they generate. To help you control this, you should look for humidifiers where you can adjust the intensity of the fans and subsequently the noise level. A humidifier with multiple fan speeds will also help you to increase the humidity across a larger area rapidly when required.

Timer

Another useful feature that you should look for is a timer. A lot of people like to set a timer overnight so that the humidifier runs for a fixed period as they’re sleeping and then shuts itself off automatically.

Humidistat

Humidistats are pretty much a necessity in a modern humidifier. They allow you to set a target humidity level and then the humidifier will automatically shut down or activate as needed to maintain that level.

Waterless Automatic Shut-Off

Choosing a model with waterless automatic shut-off is a great way to ensure maximum efficiency. This function detects when the tank is empty and shuts the unit off, saving electricity and preventing unnecessary wear and tear on the humidifier.

We rated the Levoit LV600HH the best large area humidifier on the market because it has all of these important features and many more.

Why Is Cleaning and Maintaining Your Humidifier so Important?

Before you rush out and buy a humidifier, it's important to understand that you will need to regularly clean it to see the full benefits and to prevent any health hazards. If it is not frequently cleaned, a humidifier can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. The EPA recommends cleaning humidifiers every third day.

Although evaporative models can be very effective, they also require a bit of extra maintenance. The wick filters in the evaporative models need to be replaced approximately every 4-8 weeks to keep the humidifier working efficiently. Many factors affect the life of the wick, including the amount of use and water hardness. You’ll know when it needs to be replaced when the filter becomes hard and is no longer absorbing water properly.

We also recommend using a Bacteriostatic Water Treatment which is specifically designed for evaporative models to prevent the growth of bacteria and algae in the filtration system. This treatment will eliminate any unpleasant odors and maximize your humidifiers effectiveness.

If you choose an ultrasonic model, it is recommended to use distilled water in the tank. Tap water can have a higher mineral content (hard water) and can leave a white residue (white dust) around the area where your humidifier is being used.

Below, we will outline how you should clean a humidifier.

How to Clean Your Humidifier

How to clean your humidifier

Firstly, make sure to turn your humidifier off and unplug it from the wall outlet before starting any cleaning maintenance.

Draining, rinsing and changing the water in the tank before each use is ideal to help eliminate any bacteria that may have started to grow inside the container. Periodically, the tank will need to be wiped down and cleaned with mild detergent and water to remove any buildup of impurities.

Preferably twice a week you should do a deep clean of the base. For this, you can use a diluted vinegar solution to clean the unit and remove any mineral deposits. Then use a diluted chlorine bleach solution to disinfect the humidifier which will prevent any bacteria and mold growth that may occur.

Ultimately, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the humidifier you have purchased.

Which Large Capacity Humidifier Is the Best Choice for Your Home?

Overly dry air inside your home can impact your family’s quality of life. Especially when using heating systems in the winter, the air inside your home can be rapidly stripped of moisture causing several annoying problems—ranging from irritated sinuses to nosebleeds to itchy eyes and long sleepless nights. Fortunately, a humidifier is a simple solution that accurately increases the moisture in the air to combat this age-old problem.

If you have large rooms or a large home with open plan living, you may think it is impossible to humidify the air effectively, but you would be wrong. As you will have seen in the above reviews, there are many models on the market suitable for use in large homes. It is true that some units are substandard and are hard to keep clean, but if you choose the right product by following our recommendations, you will be amazed at how quickly and easily a humidifier can work.

If you’re looking for a full suite of luxury features or a unit for large bedrooms, in particular, we recommend the Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier. Its efficiency, user-friendly controls, and quiet operation make it the perfect choice if you want to leave a humidifier running overnight in your bedroom while you sleep.

If you need a humidifier for large living areas or even a solution for the whole home, then the powerful Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Evaporative Humidifier is your best option. With its impressive ability to humidify large spaces for extended periods, thanks to its big tank capacity and evaporative humidifying process, this heavy duty unit will not disappoint.

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What Is the Ideal Indoor Humidity Level at Home in Summer? https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/ideal-summer-indoor-humidity-level/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/ideal-summer-indoor-humidity-level/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 02:05:00 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2396 During summer you may have noticed that the relative humidity in your home is higher than in winter.Relative humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. It is a percentage of how much moisture the air could hold at the given temperature. Warm air retains more moisture while cooler air retains less, this is the reason why the air is more humid in summer than in winter.Along with skin and respiratory issues, incorrect humidity levels can also wreak havoc with the structure, safety, and appearance of your home. Whether it’s maintaining your property or your health, out

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Ideal humidity at home in summer

During summer you may have noticed that the relative humidity in your home is higher than in winter.

Relative humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. It is a percentage of how much moisture the air could hold at the given temperature. Warm air retains more moisture while cooler air retains less, this is the reason why the air is more humid in summer than in winter.

Along with skin and respiratory issues, incorrect humidity levels can also wreak havoc with the structure, safety, and appearance of your home. Whether it’s maintaining your property or your health, out of control humidity levels can put a serious dent in your wallet.

So what is the most comfortable humidity level for your home in summer? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor humidity levels should be kept below 60 percent relative humidity and ideally between 30 and 50 percent.

It’s easy to measure the levels in your home, by using a hygrometer. A hygrometer is a small gadget that measures the relative humidity level and temperature quickly and easily.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the problems you may experience with high humidity, what levels are considered ideal and various solutions to manage the humidity levels in your home.

First up, let’s explore some of the problems that high levels of humidity in summer can cause.

What Problems Can I Expect from High Humidity Levels at Home?

Air that is too humid can cause several problems, affecting not only your personal comfort and health but also the safety of your home.

Here are just some of the problems that excessive levels can cause:

Health Issues Caused by High Humidity

High levels can cause discomfort for most people, particularly during summer.

When it’s hot, your body tries to cool itself naturally through sweating. However, when it’s humid out, the environment interferes with this cooling process as our sweat does not evaporate easily in humid weather. You end up sweating more as your body’s natural cooling process can’t work efficiently —which is not only uncomfortable (and unsightly) but can lead to dehydration if you don’t drink a lot of water.

This excessive sweating can also trigger skin conditions such as heat rash, itchiness and excessive bacteria growth on the skin.

High humidity levels in your home can also encourage the growth of mold and bacteria. Mold spores can cause health issues, including various respiratory ailments. When it’s humid, it also creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites which can lead to problems for people living with Asthma and people who have allergies.

Damage to Property Caused by High Humidity

Harmful mold caused by humid conditions

Excess moisture in your home can lead to damage and promote harmful mold growth.

The damage caused by it being too humid isn’t limited only to your health, it can also damage your home and its contents.

Just some of the damage an excessively humid environment can cause to your property includes:

  • Wallpaper and paint peeling.
  • Wood expansion that causes windows and doors to stick.
  • Mold growth that can compromise structural integrity and damage furniture.
  • Bacteria growth which can cause unpleasant odors.

To avoid these common problems related to excess humidity, it’s essential to strike the right balance inside your home.

How to Reduce Humidity Levels at Home in Summer

Getting your humidity at home just right can be a bit of a balancing act. We know high humidity levels can cause a range of issues, so it's important to keep your indoor humidity under control. As we’ve covered earlier, you should aim for somewhere in the middle of the EPA's recommended range of 30-50% relative humidity. So, how should you go about achieving this if your humidity levels are too high in summer?

Try Opening a Window

The cheapest way to try and dehumidify your home is to open a window or two and let the air in your home circulate. If it’s particularly humid, you can try using a fan to push the air out of the window, just like how an exhaust fan in a bathroom works.

You also have to remember that appliances like clothes dryers can spike how humid the air inside your home is, so either air dry your clothes outside or make sure you keep a window open while using a dryer.

The problem with trying to dehumidify your home by opening windows is that if the humidity level outside is higher or the same as the level inside your home then it won’t work.

You also have to bear in mind that opening a window may increase the temperature inside and could cause you more discomfort from the extra heat.

Use a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are designed to soak up excess moisture from the air, making them a good way to lower humidity levels in your home for a more comfortable and healthy living space.

They work by moving air over refrigerated coils, which draw moisture from the air and drip it into a tank. You may only need to use a dehumidifier in certain areas in your home, such as basements, storage spaces, and laundry rooms, to moderate humidity in these moisture-rich environments.

Doesn’t My Air Conditioner Dehumidify the Air?

Yes, an air conditioner is one way to dehumidify the air in your home and it can be a very effective solution. However, the most significant caveat is that an air conditioner is not designed to maintain a balanced ambient humidity level, and in fact can dry out the air too much if used for prolonged periods.

If you’ve spent any time working in an air-conditioned workspace, or if you run your HVAC unit around the clock at home during summer, you will have most likely experienced the effects of low humidity.

If you notice:

  • Your skin and eyes getting dry and irritated
  • Your allergies are more inflamed than usual
  • Your sinuses are under attack—leaving your nose dry and cracked

Then it’s not humid enough.

So if it’s too humid without an air conditioner, but AC units can also dry out the air too much, then what’s the solution?

Using A Humidifier In Summer

Humidifiers can be used during summer

Use a humidifier in summer when your air conditioner is removing too much moisture from the air.

Running a humidifier alongside your air conditioner during the summer months gives you the best of both worlds. The air conditioner will keep the temperature stable and at a comfortable level, while the humidifier will help maintain the perfect level of humidity inside your home.

Using a cool mist humidifier over summer can help increase humidity without heating up the room. Not only are these models cheaper and safer than warm mist humidifiers they are also far more suitable for use in hotter temperatures.

If you opt for a cool mist humidifier, daily cleaning is essential for healthy air quality. Make sure you don’t leave the water in the device for more than 24 hours.

While it might seem counterintuitive, summer is no time at all to pack away the humidifier. If your air conditioner is drying out the air in your house in the summer months, then a humidifier is the ideal solution to maintain a comfortable and safe indoor humidity level.

If you need help choosing a humidifier for your home, check out our comprehensive buyer's guide on the best large room humidifiers to make sure you purchase the perfect model for a healthy and happy home.

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Best Weather Radio & Emergency Radio Reviews for NOAA Alerts in 2018 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/best-weather-radio-reviews/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/best-weather-radio-reviews/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2018 00:41:25 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=1184 Severe weather can strike at any time, and when it strikes, your power might go out, and communication networks may go down. It’s not wise to assume that our modern technology will work no matter. What if your computer, TV and mobile phone stopped working in a disaster situation? Who would warn you of an incoming tornado or hurricane? Where would you go for information? And, how would you communicate with the authorities? Most people would be left in the dark during a serious weather event. Don’t be caught off guard—be prepared with a NOAA weather radio in your home

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Best Weather Radio Reviews

Severe weather can strike at any time, and when it strikes, your power might go out, and communication networks may go down. It’s not wise to assume that our modern technology will work no matter. What if your computer, TV and mobile phone stopped working in a disaster situation? Who would warn you of an incoming tornado or hurricane? Where would you go for information? And, how would you communicate with the authorities? Most people would be left in the dark during a serious weather event. Don’t be caught off guard—be prepared with a NOAA weather radio in your home and workplace.

A weather radio with a backup power source is the only truly reliable medium to receive weather and disaster alerts so you can stay in touch with what’s going on around you. These special radios receive alerts as soon as they’re issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The best weather radios are equipped with technology that automatically turns the radio on when alerts are broadcasted, so you’ll be ready in case of any severe events, from tornadoes and hurricanes to fires and chemical spills.

Best Weather Radio Comparison

Image

Model

Power Source

Public Alert Certified

SAME Tech

Weight

Midland WR400

(Best Desktop Weather Radio)

AC, 4 AA Batteries

Yes

Yes

1.6 lb

Midland ER310

(Best Emergency Radio)​

Rechargeable 2600mAh Battery, Hand Crank, USB, Solar, 6 AA Batteries

No

No

1.0 lb

Midland WR120EZ

AC, 3 AA Batteries

Yes

Yes

1.0 lb

Eton FRX5BT

Rechargeable 2000mAh Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

No

Yes

1.375 lb

Sangean CL-100

DC, 4 AA Batteries

Yes

Yes

1.1 lb

Eton Scorpion II

Rechargeable 800mAh Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

No

No

0.66 lb

Sangean MMR-88

Rechargeable 850mAh Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

Yes

No

0.86 lb

RunningSnail NOAA Weather Radio

Rechargeable 2000mAh Battery, Hand Crank, USB, Solar, 3 AAA Batteries

No

No

0.68 lb

Kaito KA700

Rechargeable 2000mAh Battery, Hand Crank, USB, Solar

No

No

1.7 lb

Types of Weather Radios

How do you choose the best weather radio? Let’s first talk about the difference between a desktop weather radio and an emergency radio, and who they’re most suitable for. Then we will get into the best weather alert radio reviews where I'll reveal the models that you can rely on during a severe weather event.

Desktop Weather Radios

Desktop Weather Radio

Midland WR400 Desktop Weather Radio

Desktop weather radios are exactly what the name suggests—they sit on your desk plugged into an AC outlet for power. They broadcast weather alerts when they’re issued in your area, and they can even double as a bedside alarm clock. They can also run off batteries as a backup power source but are not designed to be portable. Most models here come with a display which highlights the threat level of the alert (warning, watch, advisory) along with the type of emergency event that is active (hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm, flooding, etc.).

Emergency Radios

Emergency Radio

Midland ER310 Emergency Radio

Emergency radios, on the other hand, are designed to be more portable as they run primarily on internal power and are typically weatherproof and shockproof. They have a robust construction with a rechargeable battery instead of having to plug them into AC power. The best emergency radio models can be charged by using a hand crank or solar power, which makes them great for ‘off the grid’ situations, outdoor adventures or times where the power is out for an extended period.

Some emergency radios have extra functions, such as a built-in flashlight and a reading light. They also include the capability to give your phone a quick boost of power to make an emergency call.

Don’t think you just need to be a survivalist or ‘prepper’ to own an emergency radio. Every home should have some type of emergency kit just in case, and an emergency radio is a vital piece of equipment to have in that kit—being prepared and informed can save your family’s life.

Do You Need a Desktop Weather Radio or Emergency Radio?

An outdoor enthusiast would find an emergency radio more versatile, as it can be used both indoors and outdoors on camping and hiking trips.

My recommendation is to have a desktop radio at home beside your bed ready to alert you of any incoming threats and then have an emergency radio packed away ready to go in your survival/emergency supply kit for incidents where the power might go out or if you need to leave your home in a hurry.


Features to Consider When Shopping for a Weather Radio

There are a lot of options available when it comes to purchasing a weather radio. With that said, some are not as reliable as others, and some models don’t include important features. Below we have listed the features we think you should look for to get the best weather radio.

NOAA Weather Radio Broadcasts

Public Alert and NOAA All Hazards Logos

A weather radio is exactly that first and foremost. Any one you choose should have the “Public Alert” or “NOAA NWR All Hazards” logo (some will have both, which is even better). These are third-party standards used to certify weather radios, and both programs were developed in conjunction with the NOAA and the National Weather Service.

Public Alert radios, in particular, meet a stricter technical standard. These radios must be able to receive area specific alerts and be able to turn off non-relevant ones (like coastal flood warnings for those that live inland). They must play a tone before an alert is broadcast, and include an external jack to power notification devices such as a strobe light.

Weather radios will be able to tune to the following seven frequencies which the National Weather Service broadcast through.

  • 162.400 MHz
  • 162.425 MHz
  • 162.450 MHz
  • 162.475 MHz
  • 162.500 MHz
  • 162.525 MHz
  • 162.550 MHz

These stations are not accessible with standard radios.

SAME Technology

The best NOAA weather radio models support SAME, short for Specific Area Message Encoding. This feature allows the radio to ignore weather alerts that are not for your area. Most people will only want to hear the alerts that are for their county, not the whole state or country. This also minimizes the risk of any “false alarms” from events that are a few counties away from where you live.

Power Source and Battery Life

Your typical desktop weather radio always comes with an AC power cord. However, these radios also have batteries as a backup, so they will still run for a short period of time after power is lost. This will work for most people but aren’t practical in emergency situations where power can sometimes be out for days or even weeks.

Those that need more portability or options to power the device without AC power or changing batteries might be better served by an emergency radio. These devices have an internal rechargeable battery, and all you need is either sunlight or the turning of a hand crank to give it enough power to operate (most can be quickly charged via USB ahead of potentially hazardous weather).

In any case, look for a weather radio that also has a battery life indicator, so you’ll be notified before the device runs out of power. Additionally, only consider an emergency radio that has a rechargeable battery with at least a 2000mAh capacity so it can stay operational for longer periods.

Audible Alerts and Flashing LED Warning Systems

Make sure your weather radio has a loud audible alert that you will hear. If you have hearing difficulties, get a Public Alert certified radio. These radios have a jack to attach an external warning device, like a strobe light.

Durability

Durability is an especially important quality to look for in emergency radios. You will want a solidly constructed device with a shockproof case, as it will be knocked around quite a bit when you’re on the move in an emergency situation. A waterproof case is also nice to have so it can survive any wet weather.

With desktop radios you will want a bit of durability—these units are intended to give you years of service, so purchase a unit with a robust construction and not something cheaply made.

Size and Weight

Your size and weight considerations when choosing a desktop weather radio or emergency radio are going to be something you’ll need to judge for yourself. Small and portable weather radios are easier to carry around and are better for emergency kits, but are typically a bit more fragile and aren’t as loud. Larger radios give you better sound and are usually more durable, but they can be awkward to carry around.

Flashlight & Reading Lamp

Kill two birds with one stone in your emergency kit and get a radio with an integrated flashlight and reading lamp. If the power’s out, these features will come in handy. An integrated flashlight does seem to be a standard feature on most emergency radios. However, desktop weather radios will not have this luxury so keep that in mind when making a buying decision.

Smartphone Charging

The best emergency radio devices now come with a USB port to provide a quick charge of your mobile phone. I caution you not to expect your phone to get a full charge off a radio, but it will be enough to make an emergency call at least.


Best Weather Radio Reviews

Which radio should you pick? We’ve researched dozens of the latest desktop weather radios and emergency radios and read genuine reviews from other consumers to produce the rankings of the models below. Here are the top rated weather radios on the market.


1. Best Desktop Weather Radio: Midland WR400

Dimensions: 5.5 x 7 x 2.2 inches
Weight:
1.6 pounds
SAME Technology:
Yes
Public Alert Certified:
Yes
Power Source:
AC, 4 AA Batteries

By far the Midland WR400 is the best NOAA weather radio available. It doubles as an AM/FM alarm clock too, which makes it a great replacement for your current alarm clock. A large, bright screen displays the time, battery life, and current alerts. The device also has four radio presets for easy tuning.

Since this is a Public Alert certified weather radio, you’ll be able to connect an external alerting device, but one of our favorite features here are the customizable alerts. Say you live well inland in a county facing the water. Marine warnings are irrelevant to you, and the WR400 can filter them out. Or perhaps you only want to be alerted to warnings, and not watches. You could set up the WR400 to alert you only to issued warnings, limiting the amount of times the radio goes off during severe weather events.

Sound quality is commonly cited as one of the WR400’s top features, with good reception being the main contributor. That’s often an issue with other weather radios, and clear signals are necessary for the SAME alert system to work.

We could see however that the WR400’s screen may make it an impractical weather radio for the bedroom of some users. One customer review did say the screen was too bright even on the “dim” setting.

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Large clear display
  • Good reception
  • Customizable alerts
Cons
  • Display might be too bright for the bedroom of some users

2. Best Emergency Radio: Midland ER310

Dimensions: 9.6 x 3 x 6.8 inches
Weight:
1 pound
SAME Technology:
No
Public Alert Certified:
No
Power Source:
Rechargeable Lithium Ion 2600mAh Battery, Hand Crank, USB, Solar, 6 AA Batteries

Midland has also produced the best emergency radio on our list, the ER310. This radio has a 2600mAh capacity rechargeable battery that can be charged three ways, via the hand crank, solar power and USB. The radio may also be powered by 6 “AA” batteries as a backup. The Midland ER310 has support for AM and FM radio as well as the NOAA weather radio band.

This radio has a built in 130-lumen flashlight and even a USB port to allow you to charge your smartphone or other USB powered devices. With a 2600mAh internal battery, regular use will net you about 32 hours of radio time. The company says that even from a dead battery, just an hour of sunlight should be enough to power the radio for 45 minutes.

Other useful features include a strobe light SOS feature (flashes S-O-S in Morse code), and an ultrasonic dog whistle to assist search teams in finding you if you get lost. We think the Midland ER310 is the best weather radio for your emergency kit or outdoor adventures as it’s reliable, robust and includes all of the essential features to help you survive any disasters.

Customer reviews often cite impressive sound quality from the speaker and ease of use as high points of the ER310. You simply can’t go wrong here.

Pros
  • Great audio quality
  • Multiple charging options
  • Large battery capacity
  • Included flashlight with strobe light SOS
  • Compact size
Cons
  • Lack of memory buttons
  • No waterproofing

3. Best Cheap Radio: Midland WR120EZ

Dimensions: 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches
Weight:
1 pound
SAME Technology:
Yes
Public Alert Certified:
Yes
Power Source:
AC, 3 AA Batteries

The WR120EZ desktop weather radio gets high marks because of its affordable price and strong feature set. It can display weather alert messages on its screen in three languages – English, Spanish, and French, and has a loud 90dB siren and flashing LED warnings to let you know whether the alert is an advisory, watch, or warning.

It is Public Alert certified so even at this price you’ll still be able to filter out unnecessary alerts, and attach external warning devices to the radio. Reception and audio quality is impressive, however not as robust and clear as the WR400. 3 AA batteries give you a backup power source if the power goes out, and the device can scan other channels while you’re listening to one so that you never miss an alert. We’re impressed with all the features they could fit into this device for such an affordable price.

There are some negatives which are to be expected for an entry level model. The WR120EZ isn’t as durable as the WR400, and the screen isn’t as informative. It also sits with its display facing upward rather than outward like the WR400. You’ll need to walk up to the device to physically read any alert messages.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Text alerts
  • Easy to program
Cons
  • Cheaper construction
  • Upward facing display

4. Best Hand Crank Radio: Eton FRX5BT

Dimensions: 5.8 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches
Weight:
1.375 pounds
SAME Technology:
Yes
Public Alert Certified:
No
Power Source:
2000mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

The Eton FRX5BT is similar to the Midland ER310 in functionality, but in a bigger overall package with a few additional features. Charge the FRX5BT via solar, the hand crank or with the included micro-USB cable. A 2000mAh rechargeable battery even gives you enough battery capacity to charge an electronic device. This is the best hand crank emergency radio as the actual crank is the largest of every model we have reviewed—making it much easier to turn over and charge the radio.

We’re intrigued by the Bluetooth functionality, which allows you to connect the device to your smartphone to use it as a Bluetooth speaker for entertainment purposes. It does have the capability to receive SAME alerts—however, the display doesn’t show the type of alert like other models we’ve listed here.

Also included in the device is a LED flashlight and red emergency beacon, as well as a separate dimmable ambient light. The rugged casing is also excellent, giving the FRX5BT a good deal of durability. In fact, the unit is drop-proof from a height of 3.3ft and water resistant to the IPX4 specifications.

One area where the Eton isn’t as good as our top picks is reception. Some reviews cite issues with receiving weather alerts in rural areas, although the sound quality is fairly decent when an adequate signal is available. The internal rechargeable battery is also smaller than some other competing radios, which may be an issue for some depending on how you’ll use it.

Pros
  • Water resistant and drop-proof case
  • Bluetooth for music playback
  • Large hand crank for easy charging
  • SAME technology
Cons
  • No option for disposable batteries
  • Small buttons which are hard to read as they are hidden under the handle

5. Sangean CL-100

Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 2.5 inches
Weight:
1.1 pounds
SAME Technology:
Yes
Public Alert Certified:
Yes
Power Source:
DC, 4 AA Batteries

Sangean is known for making high-quality shortwave radios, and their AM/FM-RBDS/Weather clock radio the CL-100 is no different. This desktop weather radio is the only one we know of that does FM-RBDS (those text messages that appear on your car radio telling you the station or song that is playing), and it even includes an audio jack so you can connect an external audio source.

The CL-100 is SAME capable, and alert messages appear on the device’s upward-facing display. Digital signal processing makes the audio quality top notch, and you can store up to five presets for both the AM and FM bands.

The clock radio is handy and features something called HWS, or Human Wake-Up System. Essentially, alarms and music can be set to gradually get louder to gently wake you up versus the traditional alarm which can sometimes be harsh on your ears.

Our only concerns are poorly written directions and the display. This seems a bit awkward for a clock radio since you must be on top of the radio to view the screen. Some users also reported difficulty in receiving RBDS signals correctly.

Pros
  • High-quality speakers
  • RBDS functionality
  • Great reception
Cons
  • Upward facing display

6. Eton Scorpion II

Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.5 x 1.9 inches
Weight:
0.66 pounds
SAME Technology:
No
Public Alert Certified:
No
Power Source:
800mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

The Eton Scorpion II is a lightweight and weatherproof hand crank emergency radio. It includes a half-watt LED flashlight and USB charging capabilities, along with AM, FM, and NOAA Weather band support. You can charge the internal battery via the solar panel or the hand crank, and you should be able to get a full day’s use out of the included 800mAh battery.

One area where the Eton Scorpion II seems to do better than the Midland ER310 is its ruggedized casing that is also IPX4 splash proof. This particular radio is probably much more suited for the outdoor enthusiast, and an attached carabiner will allow you to attach this easily to your hiking bag.

There are a few disadvantages here, first and foremost being a much smaller battery than most emergency radios with only an 800mAh capacity. While it does make the Scorpion II light in weight, we wouldn’t recommend this if you also want an emergency radio that can give a quick charge to your electronic devices—even though the Scorpion II can just manage to do it. Other customers point to a small screen and average audio quality as downsides to an otherwise pretty solid device.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged construction
  • Included carabiner
Cons
  • Average audio quality
  • 800mAh rechargeable battery
  • Small display screen

7. Sangean MMR-88

Dimensions: 6 x 2.7 x 3.3 inches
Weight:
0.86 pounds
SAME Technology:
No
Public Alert Certified:
Yes
Power Source:
850mAh Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, USB, Solar, Hand Crank

Sangean’s second radio on this list is the public alert certified MMR-88. This radio can be powered by either solar or crank power and includes a DSP digital AM/FM/WX tuner for superior audio quality. You can have up to 19 AM/FM presets, and an included USB cable allows you to charge standard USB powered devices.

850mAH batteries should give you enough power for all-day use, and an adjustable high/low/blinking/SOS light on its side should be plenty powerful enough for emergency situations.

There are a few potential disadvantages to this particular model which may make another radio on this list a better bet. If you’re looking for a radio that is comfortable to hold when using as a flashlight, this one might be a bit too bulky. Others point to reception issues in areas where radio signals are weaker. Otherwise, just like any other Sangean radio, the audio quality is superb—as long as you have a good signal.

Pros
  • Preset station feature
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Flashlight has several lighting options
Cons
  • No option for disposable batteries

8. RunningSnail NOAA Weather Radio

Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.1 x 2.9 inches
Weight:
0.68 pounds
SAME Technology:
No
Public Alert Certified:
No
Power Source:
2000mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB, 3 AAA Batteries

RunningSnail gives you a lot of bang for your buck with a 2000mAh battery, AM/FM/WX band support, and an integrated flashlight and reading light. The company says you’ll get up to 12 hours of light from the device, or 4-6 hours of continuous radio time.

The battery can be charged either by the hand crank or the included solar panel, although USB charging is, of course, the fastest. You can even power the device using 3 AAA’s.

For times of distress, the RunningSnail includes an SOS alarm with flashing red lights. However, the device does not have weather alert capabilities (where the radio self-activates for broadcast alerts), there's no digital display and reception may not be the best as the antenna construction lags other options.

Still, at its price point, the RunningSnail offers quite a bit of functionality.

Pros
  • Portability
  • Reading light and flashlight
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • No weather alert functionality
  • Cheap construction
  • No digital display

9. Kaito KA700

Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.9 x 3.6 inches
Weight:
1.7 pounds
SAME Technology:
No
Public Alert Certified:
No
Power Source:
Rechargeable Lithium Ion 2000mAh, Solar, Hand Crank, USB

The last weather radio on our list is more of an entertainment device than a weather radio, but we like it just because it can do so much. Not only can the Kaito KA700 receive AM, FM, and Weather Radio broadcasts, but it also can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, an MP3 player (it uses an SD card to work), but a voice recorder as well.

Like most weather radios, it can activate itself to play weather alerts and has three options to charge the 2000mAh battery—mini-USB, hand crank and solar power.

But we’re not finished yet: the KA700 also has a bright 5-LED reading lamp and integrated flashlight, there’s also a USB port that you can plug your electronic devices into to get a quick power boost. Customers report excellent sound quality, portability, and a durable construction as its biggest drawcards.

One thing we don’t like is the fact that while there’s quality sound, the radio is overall quieter than most of the options on this list, and the crank doesn’t work as efficiently in charging the device as other emergency radios do.

Pros
  • Entertainment features
  • Several charging options
  • Ability to swap out rechargeable batteries
Cons
  • Small display
  • Inefficient hand crank

Additional Advice

Before we wrap things up, here’s a few things to keep in mind after you purchase your desktop weather radio or emergency radio. Make checking the batteries and the functions of the radio part of your regular housekeeping routine, just like checking the smoke alarms in your home. If you don’t use your emergency radio for an extended period, the batteries can become depleted, and batteries can potentially leak causing damage to the whole system. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to use the radio and find out that it doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s also important to make yourself familiar will all of the functions of the radio beforehand.

Lastly, make sure you program the radio correctly if it is SAME capable! If you don’t, you could end up getting every alert, not just the alerts that apply to you inside your county. Watch the video below or read our instructions to learn how to set up and program a Midland weather radio.

Conclusion

In emergency situations, power is sometimes the first thing to go, and you will need a reliable device that can run off internal power to warn you of any incoming severe weather and keep you connected to the outside world.

The best emergency weather radios have good reception to the NOAA weather channels, have at least a 2000mAh rechargeable battery and include different options to charge the unit such as a hand crank or solar panels.

Not all desktop weather and emergency radios are built the same, and that’s why we chose the Midland WR400 desktop radio and the Midland ER310 emergency radio as our top recommendations. Midland was one of the first companies to produce weather radios and has rightfully earned a reputation as a leader in the market due to building quality products that consumers can depend on when disaster strikes.


The post Best Weather Radio & Emergency Radio Reviews for NOAA Alerts in 2018 appeared first on Weather Station Advisor.

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