Weather Station Advisor https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:16:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 is a car owner’s worst nightmare. It is 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 is a car owner’s worst nightmare. It is 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.

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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/#respond 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? 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

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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? 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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How to Program a Midland NOAA Weather Radio https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-program-a-weather-radio/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/how-to-program-a-weather-radio/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:12:37 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2420 A weather radio can potentially save your life by alerting you ahead of time before severe weather strikes. They will also keep you safe and informed by relaying the latest information from the authorities during a severe weather event. So it's important to not only choose a reliable weather radio but to program it correctly. In this article, we will show you how to setup and program a Midland weather radio.Public Alert CertifiedAfter reviewing the best weather radios on the market, our number one recommendation is the Midland WR400. The WR400 not only works as a weather alert radio but

The post How to Program a Midland NOAA Weather Radio appeared first on Weather Station Advisor.

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How to program a Midland WR400 NOAA weather radio

A weather radio can potentially save your life by alerting you ahead of time before severe weather strikes. They will also keep you safe and informed by relaying the latest information from the authorities during a severe weather event. So it's important to not only choose a reliable weather radio but to program it correctly. In this article, we will show you how to setup and program a Midland weather radio.

Public Alert Certified

Public alert certified logo

After reviewing the best weather radios on the market, our number one recommendation is the Midland WR400. The WR400 not only works as a weather alert radio but also doubles as an alarm clock with AM/FM radio. The WR400 is Public Alert certified, which means it meets specific technical standards developed by the Consumer Electronics Association in conjunction with the National Weather Service. Weather radios that display the Public Alert logo include the features listed below.

SAME Technology

SAME stands for Specific Area Message Encoding. It was introduced to allow weather radios to sound alerts only for your local county or the area you choose to monitor. Early weather radios did not have this feature and alerted to every watch or warning for the weather radio station’s broadcast area. SAME technology minimizes the risk of any “false alarms” from events that are a few counties away from where you live.

Battery Backup

Public Alert certified radios must be able to operate with a battery backup power supply. A receiver with backup batteries allows you to continue to receive alerts if the power is out, which can often occur during storms.

External Antennas

While the weather radio network is expansive and covers well over 90 percent of the U.S., in some areas—even in some suburban and urban areas—the signal may be weak. A reasonably strong signal is required to receive alerts reliably, so most weather radios (including the Midland WR400) allow for the connection of an external antenna to boost reception.

External Notification Devices

While not required on consumer Public Alert radios, the Midland WR400 includes an external notification jack. This feature allows those that may be hard of hearing or deaf to receive critical weather alerts through external notification devices, such as a strobe light, bed shaker, or even a larger siren.

How to Program a Midland WR400 Emergency Alert Weather Radio

One of the reasons why we recommend the Midland WR400 is because it's straightforward to set up. Unlike many radios, you don’t need to know or program in a SAME county code. You only need to select your state and county during the setup process (there is still the option to manually enter SAME codes if you prefer). We’ve provided a video version of the instructions as well as typed them out for you below.

Before you begin, first install 4 AA batteries into the battery compartment on the bottom of the receiver. Then connect the AC adapter and plug your radio into a wall outlet. Ensure the radio is receiving power.

If you are using the radio for the first time, the menu will appear automatically. If the radio was previously programmed, press the “MENU” button to enter the menu. Use the up and down arrows to scroll through the menu, and press “ENTER” to change the settings. We will assume that your radio has not been programmed already in the directions below.

Here are the quick start instructions to set up your Midland weather radio. For more help please refer to the instruction manual.

Set the Language

1. “SELECT LANGUAGE” should appear on your display. Select a language by pressing “ENTER,” then using the up and down arrows to find your language. Press “ENTER” to select the language, and proceed to set up your location.

Set Your Location

1. “01 EMPTY” should appear on your display. Select your location by pressing “ENTER,” and then use the up or down arrows to switch to “SINGLE.” When this appears, press “ENTER” again to set.

We recommend using the “SINGLE” location when programming your radio (instructions you see below are for this method). Only use the “MULTIPLE” and “ALL” options if receiving alerts for a wider area is relevant. For example, the “MULTIPLE” feature might be useful if you live close to a county border. Programming your radio for the next adjacent county will give you advance notice of incoming severe weather. If you’re an emergency manager or first responder, using “ALL” is wise.

2. Use the up and down arrows to select your country, then press “ENTER.”

3. Now use the up and down arrows to select your state, then press “ENTER.”

4. Finally, use the up and down arrows to select your county, then press “ENTER.” Now the receiver will take you to the time setup.

Set Your Time

1. “SET TIME” should appear on your display. Start time setup by pressing “ENTER.”

2. “SETTING HOUR” should appear, use the up and down arrows to set. When complete, press the right arrow. Do not press “ENTER” or the radio will exit out of the time setup.

3. “SETTING MINUTES” should appear, use the up and down arrows to set. When finished, press “ENTER.”

Set Channel and Test

1. “SET CHANNEL” should appear on your display. Ensure the antenna is fully extended. Use the up and down arrows to select your local frequency, using this list of nationwide broadcast frequencies as a guide. Select the appropriate station and press “ENTER.”

2. Your weather radio is now set up and ready to use. Press “WEATHER/HAZARD” to confirm the appropriate station is selected, and use the volume wheel on the right side of the radio to adjust the volume to a reasonable level.

Important Information

Ensure your radio has adequate reception by checking in for the weekly tests, which occur on Wednesdays between 11 am and noon local time when severe weather is not present. If your weather radio does not receive any of the test messages or actual alerts for more than ten days, a “CHECK WEATHER RECEPTION” message will appear on the display. If this happens, check your channel settings and county settings for any errors. If you have trouble finding reception, try moving your radio closer to a window or invest in an external antenna.

It's also important to periodically check the battery levels and the condition of the batteries to ensure proper operation if the power does happen to cut out during a storm. The Midland WR400 includes a battery level indicator on the top right corner of the display for your reference. We also recommend reading through the instruction manual to learn more about your weather radio. The WR400 has a lot of useful features that we haven’t mentioned here, including the ability to customize the alerts to your specific needs.

If you have any questions or are having trouble, please let us know, and we’ll be glad to help you out.

The post How to Program a Midland NOAA Weather Radio appeared first on Weather Station Advisor.

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Weather Station Mounting Ideas and Solutions With Siting Instructions https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/weather-station-mounting-ideas-and-solutions/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/weather-station-mounting-ideas-and-solutions/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 05:47:25 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2272 So you’ve bought a personal weather station! Now you have to figure out how and where to mount it. Don’t take this step lightly, a cheap mount won’t withstand harsh weather conditions over an extended period, and correct siting is going to make all the difference in obtaining readings that rival nearby official weather stations.We’ve compiled this guide to help you find a mounting solution and site your weather station correctly. Where possible, we’ve used guidelines from official observer programs. These guidelines will help make your home weather station as accurate as possible.If you haven't decided which weather station you're

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Weather station mounting solution from Ambient Weather

So you’ve bought a personal weather station! Now you have to figure out how and where to mount it. Don’t take this step lightly, a cheap mount won’t withstand harsh weather conditions over an extended period, and correct siting is going to make all the difference in obtaining readings that rival nearby official weather stations.

We’ve compiled this guide to help you find a mounting solution and site your weather station correctly. Where possible, we’ve used guidelines from official observer programs. These guidelines will help make your home weather station as accurate as possible.

If you haven't decided which weather station you're going to purchase, it may help to read our home weather station reviews here first. You will want to choose a station beforehand so you can select the appropriate mount that accommodates your specific model.

Weather Station Siting Instructions

For siting your weather station, we strongly recommend you follow the guidelines from the National Weather Service's Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP). It’s likely that you won’t be able to meet all the suggestions here, but try to get as close as possible and remember to keep the sensors inside the wireless range of the console.

  • Temperature/Humidity Sensor: Place on level ground, over a natural surface inside a radiation shield at eye level (in between 4’1” and 6’7” above ground). Ideally at a horizontal distance of at least two times the height of any nearby obstructions (e.g., 40 feet away from a 20-foot tall tree) and well away from any sources of artificial heat (concrete, roofs, chimneys, rocks, metal fences, etc.).
  • Anemometer: Mount at the height of 33 feet above ground level, and ideally at a horizontal distance of 10 times the height of the nearest obstruction. If you mount the anemometer to the side of a mast rather than the top, the anemometer should be placed at least three times the diameter away from the main mast (e.g., 6” away from a 2” diameter mast).
  • Rain Gauge: CWOP recommends that the rain gauge is mounted at the height of 4-6 feet above the ground. It should ideally be positioned at a horizontal distance of at least four times the height of any nearby obstructions. Also, ensure the gauge is level, and at a location where splash back from the ground and other surfaces cannot occur.
  • All-In-One Sensor Suites: If you have a station with an all-in-one sensor suite, you will have to make a compromise between the ideal height of the anemometer and temp/humidity/rain sensors. The best option is to go somewhere in between, 10 feet or higher is recommended.

Weather Station Mounting Ideas For Rural Areas

As your home or business is in a rural area, you will probably have the space to keep your station well away from any structures, so make use of the land. You’re also less likely to have landowner covenants or Homeowners Association rules to abide by. Place the anemometer on top of a tall mast at 33 feet and the temperature and humidity sensors further down the pole at eye level. If you have an all-in-one station, you can use a much shorter mast so that your temperature and rainfall readings are accurate.

Ideal weather station installation

This installation is about as ideal as you can get. The anemometer is at 33 feet, while the rain gauge and the temperature sensor is at 5 feet above ground level on an even surface. The guy wires are essential for masts of this height.

All-in-one rural weather station installation

All-in-one sensor units will force you to make a compromise between the ideal height of the anemometer and temp/humidity/rain sensors. It's best to go somewhere in between. This Davis Vantage Vue appears to be 10 feet high which is an acceptable compromise.

Weather station siting example

The anemometer is at 21 feet here, it's short of the recommended 33 feet, but it's still at a reasonable compromise height. The user has cemented the posts and attached a galvanized metal pole. The sturdy mount doesn't require any guy wires at this height.

Weather Station Mounting Ideas For Suburban Areas

It will be much more difficult to mount a tall mast in a suburban area. Instead, use the structures around you to your advantage. Many homeowners install their weather station on top of their roof or on the eaves using tripods or side mounts. Do not mount it too close to the surface of the roof. It must be well above the roofline—preferably by as much as 10 feet—so there is no interference with the readings. If you are mounting the weather station to your house or another structure, be sure to run a ground wire.

Ambient Weather EZ-30-12 mount installed

An Ambient Weather WS-2902 is pictured here with the EZ-30-12 mounting kit. This is a great location to mount a weather station, but it's just too close to the roof. The unit needs to be raised with a mast extension to reduce the roof's impact on the readings.

Weather stations mounted on eaves

Antenna masts are a good alternative for mounting a weather station. These eave cross mounts will prevent you from having to drill into the roof. The Davis Pro2 sensor unit pictured on the left needs to be separated from the anemometer and placed lower to the ground at eye level. While both of these installations are technically too low, the anemometer on the right is at a reasonable compromise height.

Anemometer mounted on a tripod

This anemometer installation is set up on a tripod with a tall mast at an ideal height, well clear of any obstructions. Investing in guy wires might be worthwhile to reduce any sway.

Weather Station Mount Brands

There are a variety of companies that manufacture mounting kits which can help with the placement of your weather station. Amazon has an extensive range of options on display. We were even able to find mounts for TV antennas (which often work as well). Our recommendation, however, is to use mounts from Ambient Weather. Unlike the TV antenna mounts, Ambient Weather’s are built specifically for use with personal weather stations, and they are of exceptional quality—some TV antenna mounts are flimsy in comparison. They also have several different types of mounts to choose from including tripods, poles and side mounts.

Whatever weather station mounting kit you select, make sure the mast is the correct diameter for your specific station. Ambient Weather and Davis weather station's will fit on the mounts listed below that are 1.25 inches in diameter, while AcuRite weather stations will require the 1 inch diameter mounts. You should be able to find the appropriate pole diameter in your owner’s manual.

Tools and Materials

Any weather station mounting solution you purchase should be made of steel or aluminum, as these will withstand harsh weather conditions the best. Stay away from plastic mounts as they’re the least durable. If you’re planning to make your own mount, using PVC piping is a good alternative if you cannot use a galvanized metal pole. Some people attach their weather stations to a 4x4 lumber post—just remember to treat the wood with some type of water resistant sealant to prevent rot.

Have a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, compass, and drill handy. A bubble level is also useful to have as well, so you can ensure your rain gauge is level. Many smartphones have both a compass and level built in, or you can download an app to help out.

Weather Station Mounting Solutions

There are several different types of home weather station mounts, and which one you use depends on personal preference and your desired mounting location. We’ve listed some of the more popular solutions below from Ambient Weather.

Make sure you order the correct diameter for your weather station to mount the sensors properly!

Tripod Mounts

This type of mount is best for mounting on the ground or a flat surface such as the flat part of a roof. Ground stakes or screws can be placed through the holes on the tripod legs in the EZ-48, on the other hand, the EZ-NPP has a platform that allows it to stay in place with concrete cinder blocks. The EZ-48 out of the box has a height of 53 inches but can support two extensions to bring it to 115 inches in height. While out of the box the EZ-NPP has a height of 66 inches, extendable to 128 inches with two additional mast extensions.

Side Mounts

If mounting on the ground is not an option, a side mount to install the station on the side of your home is another solution. The EZ-30-12 mounts to a vertical wall, chimney, eve, or fence post and is the lower-cost option, but if you need a bit more flexibility and have the funds, consider stepping up to the WeatherMount2 which is adjustable, allowing it to be installed in a variety of locations including flat, pitched, and vertical surfaces. Just be sure to stay clear of any obstructions, and add extensions to reach the recommended height.

Chimney Mount

If you don’t want to drill into your roof and can safely access your chimney, consider Ambient Weather’s EZ-29-24 Chimney Mount. This mount includes straps which are placed around the chimney, offering a high degree of stability. It is even compatible with Ambient Weather's mast extensions, enabling you to sufficiently clear your chimney and roof for the most accurate readings.

EZ-29-24 Chimney Mounting Kit with Mast

Poles/Mast-To-Mast Mounts

If you’d like to create a more custom solution, you might want to consider the EZ2-35W2MC weather station mounting pole. It is two masts that combine for an effective height of 68 inches with additional clamps to mount it to a vertical surface. If you have a pole in your backyard already, use the EZ2-35W2MC with Ambient’s EZ-HD-PTP mast-to-mast mount. Ambient Weather recommends purchasing two of these mast-to-mast mounts to ensure stability, a recommendation we will also make as well. If you use a pole solution that reaches over 10 feet in height, consider investing in guy wires to decrease sway.

Accessories

For any of the station mounts that allow for extensions, order the EZ-125-35M from Ambient Weather to increase the station height. Not all of Ambient Weather’s mounts are compatible, so double check before you make an order. Use the ground stake kit to hold the EZ-48 tripod in place if you're mounting it on top of your lawn. The EZ-46-3 tar pad kit can be attached to the legs of the EZ-48 tripod for roof installations to prevent leaks.

Homemade Mounts

If you are super handy, there’s a wide variety of materials from a home improvement store that you can use to mount your station, including fence posts, 4x4s, galvanized metal poles, PVC pipes and so forth. These require some degree of handiwork but can be a low-cost solution if done right.

Homemade fence post mount

An Ambient Weather WS-2902 on a PVC pipe which is attached to a sturdy fence post. This setup is an excellent example of a low-cost homemade installation. The unit is well away from any obstructions, and the height is ideal for an all-in-one sensor suite.

AcuRite homemade PVC pipe weather station mount

This AcuRite weather station owner has used PVC pipe and fittings to mount the unit to the roof. Unfortunately, it is installed too close to the roofline. The roof shingles will affect the temperature readings at this height. The tree in the background is also a wind obstruction and will interfere with the measurements, but as noted earlier you will have to do the best job you can with the resources you have available.

homemade Davis Pro2 mount

The anemometer on this installation needs to be raised considerably higher with a pole. At the current height, the wind speed measurements will read a lot lower than official weather stations. Otherwise, the sensor unit is at the correct height, and the post looks sturdy and level.

TV Antenna Mounts

While you can use TV antenna mounts to install your station, most of these models will be similar to the Ambient Weather mounts that we talked about above but can vary widely in quality. If you decide to use an antenna mount be sure to choose a model with a heavy duty construction. We recommend using the Ambient Weather mounts as you have better assurance of a quality product, and generally antenna mounts will cost just as much as comparable weather station mounting kits.

Final Thoughts

Mounting your home weather station using one of the above solutions, and carefully following our guidelines on how to site your station will ensure your readings are as accurate as possible.

Remember to keep your station accessible so you can keep it clean, perform any maintenance and replace the batteries when necessary. If you’re mounting a metal mast on a structure, make sure to run a ground wire in case of a lightning strike. Lastly, when installing your station and working at height, make safety your number one priority. Don’t take any unnecessary risks!

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Hurricane Watch vs. Warning: What Is the Difference? https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/hurricane-watch-vs-warning/ https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/hurricane-watch-vs-warning/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 08:25:08 +0000 https://www.weatherstationadvisor.com/?p=2243 If you live on or near the coast and are under a hurricane watch or warning, it can be stressful. However, if you follow some basic guidelines, you can rest assured that you’ll be as safe as possible when the storm hits.Hurricane Watch vs. Warning graphic from the National Weather ServiceHurricane WatchA hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. As a general rule, the National Hurricane Center will issue a watch about 48 hours before tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected.

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If you live on or near the coast and are under a hurricane watch or warning, it can be stressful. However, if you follow some basic guidelines, you can rest assured that you’ll be as safe as possible when the storm hits.

Hurricane watch vs. warning information

Hurricane Watch vs. Warning graphic from the National Weather Service

Hurricane Watch

A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. As a general rule, the National Hurricane Center will issue a watch about 48 hours before tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected. Why? It's to give those in the affected area sufficient time to prepare. When tropical storm force winds hit, it may not be safe enough to make any final preparations.

What to Do in a Hurricane Watch:

  • Rush all preparations to completion. Move all loose objects inside so that they do not become airborne in high winds. Tape and board up all windows, and if you live in a storm surge-prone area and your house is at ground level take this time to move furniture and essentials to higher floors if possible to protect them from flooding.
  • Prepare to evacuate if told to. Typically emergency managers will not order mandatory evacuations immediately after a hurricane watch is issued, but if you are located in an evacuation zone—especially a highly-populated area—it’s likely that you may be asked to evacuate quite soon. Review your evacuation plans. In fact, you should have a plan already in place before any storm hits.
  • Monitor TV, radio, and weather radio reports. Look for official sources of information. Do NOT make decisions based on what you hear second-hand or through unofficial social media posts. Official forecasts are provided by both the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service.
  • Have your emergency kit and supplies ready. This should include essential documents, medications, cash, clothes, non-perishable food, water, and a battery-powered emergency radio at a minimum (we’ve also written an entire post on severe weather emergency kits, it’s worth a read). Remember, after the storm hits, you may be cut off from essential services for days. It's best to be stocked up with supplies and equipped with a plan well before a watch is issued.

Hurricane Warning

A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected within the specified area. NHC forecasters try to issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive. Pay close attention to all warnings and evacuation orders.

What to Do in a Hurricane Warning:

  • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given. If you’re under mandatory evacuation orders, do not stay. Prepare your house for the storm, grab your emergency kit, and leave immediately. For those inside voluntary evacuation areas, you may choose to stay, but you could become cut off from essential services and be stuck if you do. We’d recommend evacuating outside of the evacuation zones if you can.
  • Preparations should be completed. Often in hurricane warned areas, the outer bands—often quite strong themselves—will begin to affect the area well ahead of the storm. This will make any unfinished preparations difficult if not impossible to complete.
  • Keep your emergency kit with you. At this point, you’ll want to keep your emergency kit with you at all times. You’ll have time to check it to ensure you have everything you need, but remember if you’re missing items like food and water, these might be too difficult to get at this point.
  • Continuously monitor local media and forecasts. Official sources will have the latest information, and it’s a good idea to monitor these sources continuously. We strongly recommend purchasing an NOAA weather or emergency radio to include in your kit.
  • During a hurricane (if NOT ordered to evacuate): stay put, stay inside and stay away from windows. Once the storm starts, do not leave your shelter. Take cover in an interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level away from any windows. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can. Do not go outside, as there may be flying debris in the area. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds and will come from the opposite direction. Only leave shelter when instructed to by authorities.
Hurrican Irma track graphic

Hurricane Irma track graphic from the NOAA National Hurricane Center

For more information on hurricane safety please go to Ready.gov/hurricanes

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