Home Weather Stations Tips

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Should I buy a touch-screen personal weather station?

Weather at the Touch of a Screen

You're nervous about using the touch-screen ATM--admittedly, you should be cautious, especially at night if someone's looking over your shoulder.

However, you don't need to worry about operating touch-screen home weather stations. Take, for example, the LaCrosse Technology Professional Wireless Weather Screen with Touch-Screen Display. You can press the "Min" indicator on the screen and get the minimum temperature, wind and humidity reading, or press the "Max" indicator. You can also touch the screen and read the Celsius temperature as opposed to the Fahrenheit temp. Touch-screen technology in home weather stations is ideal for people who change the weatehr display often and tend to monitor the weather often.

Touch Tip: As with any touch-screen electronics, personal weather stations should be kept clean. You can brighten the screen with electronics cleaning wipes.

We may not be able to change the weather at the touch of a button, but we can change the way we get weather information!

Do I need a rain collector with my personal weather station?

Rain Gauge, Go Away

Your Arizona desert home receives less than one inch of rainfall a year, but all the personal weather stations you've looked at come with rain collectors. All your guides to home weather stations say you need a rain gauge.

Like laptop computers or other personal electronics, personal weather stations are designed to suit your needs and your lifestyle. You wouldn't buy a gaming computer if you mainly wanted to check e-mail and write letters. You wouldn't choose a tower of power sound system with huge tweeters and woofers if you lived in a Zen retreat.

Guess what? If you don't get any rain, you don't need to buy a rain gauge, and there are home weather stations without them. The Davis Standard Weather Wizard III, for example, doesn't include a rain guage but can still tell when the rare thunderstorm approaches your mesa home.

The whole point of home electronics is to make your home more comfortable and improve the quality of life. Don't cloud the issue by buying personal weather stations with rain collectors.

Should I have a backyard as well as an indoor weather station?

The View From Your Backyard Home Weather Station

You love your indoor home weather station, but now that the spring and summer months are coming, you'd like to spend more time in your backyard.

There's an easy solution: Portable personal weather stations. You can buy handheld home weather stations. Just make sure they don't interfere with the wireless signals from your home weather stations. Your family might not be as outdoors-inclined or weather-inclined as you are and might want to monitor the weather from inside.

If your handheld cuts off the signals from your home weather station, you can move your home weather station into your backyard. Simply use a stand with your wall mount home weather station so you can check the weather from your backyard.

Enjoy the fine weather...at keast until your home weather station tells you rain is headed your way!

Can a personal weather station prevent home accidents?

Accidents at Home? No Problem

Last Christmas your parents and in-laws nearly slipped on their driveways and broke their hips...which would mean they'd have to bunk with you, right? Your home weather station tells you the ice will be more treacherous this year.

May we suggest an early Christmas present: personal weather stations that can detect ice before it forms on the driveway. Your father-in-law and your mother will probably tell you that they can read the indicators better than you can. Home weather stations that are backlit with jumbo displays are excellent choices.

When the temperatures drop and snow seems imminent, your mother-in-law can turn on the driveway and walkway heaters to prevent ice from forming. You can help out by making sure irrigation systems are turned off so ice doesn't form.

You might still end up having a houseful this Christmas, but at least your in-laws will take it easy because they're stuffed, not because they're injured!

Can I monitor the weather at home while I'm on the road?

The Weather at Home Away From Home

You don't want to spend your business trip worrying about the blizzard the weatherman predicted. How can you tap into your home weather station when you're away from home? All you need is:

* a laptop computer that can link with your home computer
* software configured to alert you for storms
* a personal Web page graphical display and Internet connection
* remote control functions that open and close storm shutters in case of high winds/hurricanes in tropical climates
* remote control heaters for driveways and walkways to melt ice and snow that can crack asphalt and concrete

Keep in close touch with personal weather stations. If you can't use your laptop, try the old-fashioned method: have a neighbor, friend or relative check your home. Home weather stations are advanced, but nothing can compare to human observation and attention to detail. Either way, peace of mind while you're on vacation or traveling on business will make your time more enjoyable and productive.

Can kids operate personal weather stations?

Kids and Personal Weather Stations

Kids today aren't interested in science and nature...but what do we keep telling them?

"Don't go outside in the rain."

"What are you getting excited about? It's just snow. I hate snow."

Then we wonder why our kids just want to sit in front of a screen for six hours a day.

With home weather stations, kids will still stare at a screen, but they'll be learning about the weather. Touch screens and digital displays are nothing new to today's kids, but at least you won't have to worry that your kids might accidentally surf onto porn sites or see graphic violence.

Personal weather stations are a great way to:

* Help kids decide for themselves whether they need a sweater
* Help kids collect data for school reports and science projects
* Jump start family conversations at the dinner table
* Beat those rainy-afternoon blahs
* Show your kids how meteorology works
* Make learning a family project

Sit down with your kids and teach them how to operate the touch screen home weather station. In no time, your children will be teaching you!

So when you purchase a home weather station, you're not just buying another useless gadget--you're making up for, or at least making sense of, well-intentioned parental cliches. Now if only it were this easy to get your kids interested in cleaning their rooms.

Can a home weather station help me storm-proof my home?

Storm-Proofing Your Home

A storm's coming. You can feel it even if the local Doppler weather radar says there's nothing but sunshine ahead.

Although home weather stations won't detect the storm before the Doppler does, they can be useful to pinpoint changes in barometric pressure. Barometric pressure will tell you when a storm's coming. The lower the barometer reading on personal weather stations, the greater likelihood of storms. Other storm indicators:

--Increase in wind speed, say from 30 to 50 mph
--Rainfall collected
--Cloud movements

You can program sprinklers to shut off when rain is imminent. Or you can close storm shutters when high winds look likely. Also, home weather stations come equipped with storm warning alerts.

So while the local meteorological station won't call you for advice, you can use your home weather station to storm-proof your home.

Aren't home weather stations complicated and bulky?

Home Weather Stations: Too Complicated?

There's a humorous commercial about a man who's "always wrong" and gets razzed by his office mates about saying that FedEx is a "little pricey". That same hapless young man would undoubtedly say that home weather stations are too complicated and bulky. Not so.

Most home weather stations or personal weather stations, consist of:

--a portable, free-standing or wall monitor
--temperature sensors and probes
--rain gauges and self-emptying rain buckets

Many of the other home weather station instruments are optional, and they're no more complex than your stereo system or personal computer. Setting them up isn't complex, especially if you have an 11-year-old in the house (if not, borrow one.)

So when your resident "Mr. Wrong" sniffs that personal weather stations are too bulky and complex, you can send him a home weather station...by FedEx.

Are personal weather stations affordable gifts?

Personal Weather Stations: A Great Gift

Your spouse has a personal thermometer, a Palm computer with weather readings and never leaves the house without checking the weather first. Although you've heard state-of-the-art personal weather stations are pricey, you can't think of any other gift your wife or hubby would rather have.

No need to start dipping into your savings. A basic but complete home weather station such as the LaCrosse Touch Screen Weather Station is only $300-$450 at most before you add accessories, although weather stations can run as much as $900, higher for a complete industrial-grade personal weather stations such as WeatherHawk. You can get great discounts at online weather retailers. We like the cherry finish of the affordable LaCrosse, which goes with your wife's cherry wood vanity or writing desk.

Some gift-giving tips so you're not left in the cold:

* Shop around for the best deal, but you do get what you pay for. Besides, your average government or airport weather station costs millions. You're getting a bargain.
* Make sure the gift is suited to your hubby's lifestyle. If he's the on the go type, don't get a cabled home weather station.
* Buy extra backup batteries.
* If a hygrometer, anemometer, rain gauge or whatever else your wife might want, say for gardening, camping or just planning the kids' clothes, isn't included in the personal weather stations you're considering, decide how much you're willing to add on to the cost. Can you get by without them for now?

If you're not sure about what types of home weather stations your hubby might want, ask him, preferably over breakfast when you've just listened to him declare that the sun may be shining, but you're in for a blizzard later today.

Can personal weather stations tell me how much insulation I need?

Home Insulation and Weather Stations

You are a confirmed DIY-er, and your next project is installing fiberglass insulation. Home insulation can cut down your heating and cooling bills. The hardest part of installing home insulation is knowing how much R-value (resistance to heat flow).

You forgot one home insulation installing tool: a home weather station. Home weather station readings can tell you how cool or how warm your home gets in the winter, spring, summer and fall.

Personal weather stations can even detect whether your heating and cooling system is efficient by reading the ambient temperature, so you know whether you need to adjust your A/C and heating before you install insulation.

If you don't know about personal weather stations, tackle that project before you try insulating your home!

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Guru Spotlight
Susan Sayour