A lot of people have been turning to a personal weather station for home use. Sure, we all have apps on our phones that tell us the weather in whatever city we decide to check or our current location, but how accurate is that, really?
Your GPS might know your current location but the popular weather apps rely on their nearest reporting weather station to determine the weather near you. If you’re lucky, you live in a densely populated area in the middle of a metropolis where the local TV and radio stations have their studios and thus their sensors. In this case, you might actually get an accurate description of your local weather.
If you’re like most people, though, you won’t be so lucky. You’re in the outlying suburbs or in the rural areas, miles away from the nearest reporting weather station. As quickly as rain and storms can move, you’re getting vastly inaccurate weather data that won’t be much use to you. It is time to invest in a dedicated weather station for your house.
The beauty of wireless weather stations is that they make things predictable. Has a sudden downpour ever surprised you and there is no umbrella to be found? Suddenly, your entire day is ruined and you’re showing up places soaking wet. Ever been really excited for that family picnic only to have it rained out, or worse, have it be so unbearably hot that you get dizzy and dehydrated while trying to man the grill? A digital weather station makes these events far less likely thanks to its ability to report conditions where you are, monitor trends, then make predictions from the available data.
How do you know which one to choose, though? The market is flooded with wireless, wired, multiple sensors, single sensor, tons of features – half of which you don’t even understand what they are, even fewer of which you actually need.
Well, we picked a fantastic weather station to review for you. There are a lot of great choices out there from brands like Davis and AcuRite but this LaCrosse model was special enough to merit its own extensive review.
One of the things we love about the LaCrosse 5-in-1 Professional Wireless Weather Station is how budget-friendly it is when compared to other at-home weather stations. It is very affordable and you can often find sales for it online and in stores.
The first part of this weather station is a rainfall collector. This instrument collects data on rainfall, letting you know how much rain you have gotten and making predictions based on averages. It’s a simple design with a decent aesthetic and small enough to sit somewhere without being too obtrusive.
Next, there’s a tool that tracks wind speed, relative barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature. Its design is a bit gaudy and bulky and not that aesthetically pleasing but the sensors are designed to be placed out of the way so it shouldn’t be too noticeable. My recommendation is that you place the sensor at least 6 feet off the ground, somewhere on the north-facing side of your property and away from direct sunlight or metal. This improves the accuracy of the sensors and prevents the metals from blocking communication with your wireless devices.
There’s also an indoor temperature and humidity monitor. I love sensors that let me know what the humidity is in my house. Outside humidity lets me know whether the heat will be bearable or not, whether I should wear jeans or if they’ll just stick to me. If should plan on a bad hair day or go ahead and straighten it. These are typical uses for outdoor humidity measurements.
Indoor humidity is useful for a variety of other things. For example, molds, mildew, viruses, and bacteria all thrive in humid conditions. Your house might be a very comfortable temperature but if it is too humid, you’re asking for sickness and problems. High humidity monitoring can warn you early enough to make adjustments and potentially invest in a dehumidifier.
On the flip side, if your internal humidity reading is extremely low, it might explain why you can’t get plants to thrive. It isn’t that you have a brown thumb – it’s that they need more moisture. Low indoor humidity can also contribute to asthma, sore throats, chapped lips, and itchy, dry eyes and skin. Having an internal humidity alert can help keep these in check.
Temperature can make a huge impact on your energy costs in any sized home. Being able to predict the weather patterns allows you to set your heater or air conditioner on a timer. So, when you’re not home but you know your house needs to cool, set it to be ready for when you get home and save some energy. Likewise, it allows you to plan out which days you want to cut back and turn your heating and air conditioning off completely in nice weather and rely instead upon opening windows or layering clothes.
The display screen is really nice on this model. It is detailed and colorful without overwhelming amounts of clutter. Each piece of data has its own space on the monitor which is very easy to read and understand. It uses an LCD screen with five brightness settings and a customizable automatic dimmer. It also has six different weather forecast icons to help you understand the data.
There’s also a smaller, more portable bonus display. This one shows indoor temperature, humidity, and the time.
On top of that, this device is compatible with the lacrosse View app so you can see all of your data right from your phone. The app allows you to monitor your home from afar, set alerts, share weather reports with others, and see historical data for your location.
LaCrosse struck a partnership with AccuWeather so that those of you who are looking for it can access even more detailed information and weather predictions and forecasting. Professional meteorologists trust AccuWeather and you’ve probably heard it mentioned on weather news segments. When you connect your weather station to the app, you can take a look at the highs and lows that are predicted, the likelihood for rain, and tons of details for your specific location. You’ll be able to forecast weather to your neighbors more accurately than the pros at their far-away station!