How hard is it to know the temperature in your immediate vicinity? Arguably, not that difficult… Thermometers haven’t been cutting edge for four hundred years; and even today, smartphone weather apps are a dime a dozen.
(And when was the last time you checked with your local TV weatherperson?)
At home, your HVAC thermostat handles the job perfectly fine, whether you’ve got an old school version from the ‘50’s or a slick new Nest thermostat.
I Hate Humidity
But during the summertime, temperature is only half of the story. Humidity completes the equation, and I’ve got to tell you that humidity has always been my personal kryptonite.
I can usually handle the heat, but humidity levels during the dog days of summer make my life utterly miserable.
So while at home, I always want it to be less humid inside than on the other side of my open windows. Of course, that’s going to be practically impossible if my windows are open. So at some point, you’ve got to close them and turn on the air conditioning.
Yes, this is all about when to turn on the air conditioning….
Air Conditioning Roulette
This may not seem like a problem to some… But for my family, there’s a fine line between letting in the cool summer breezes at night, which will often chill down your bedrooms to create a comfy sleeping zone, and spreading about a more humid cocktail of outdoor air, which will envelop everyone to ensure a restless night.
And if you err on the side of caution and always run the AC, you’re going to likely create a cranky family that shivers through the wee hours of some summer nights.
In Search of Four Numbers
To figure out my summer-long challenge of whether or not to invite in the outside weather…
I need to know four numbers:
- Indoor temperature and humidity
- Outdoor temperature and humidity
And it doesn’t hurt to have a little tech on your side to generate the necessary data. But I’m not talking about the kind of expensive gear that weather enthusiasts use to predict and measure the weather.
($100-$300 and up)
I just want to keep it simple.
Just the four numbers, please…
I successfully used a Brookstone indoor/outdoor digital thermometer over the past seven years or so. It had an outside weather sensor tethered to the main unit, which lived on the outside of one my windows. Unfortunately, the unit finally froze up on me last week and wouldn’t reboot when I changed the batteries…
So it was time to search for a new Lester Weather Station!
Time to Shop
As I did my online research, I paid special attention to stay away from options that didn’t include both indoor and outdoor humidity levels. Some devices skimped and only evaluated one location.
To get all four numbers, you’ve got to spend somewhere close to the $50 zone…
Too Cool for Me
I eventually focused on Oregon Scientific, which offers a wide selection of digital thermometers.
Oregon Scientific’s newest line is the Weather@Home series, which has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter. That allows you to create a connection to your smartphone for monitoring your personal weather conditions from your mobile screen.
- The Oregon Scientific BAR218HG Weather@Home Wireless Weather Station does the job for $42.06 on Amazon.
I think this would be a fine choice, but unfortunately, I would never use the Bluetooth functionality.
(Shocking as it may seem, I don’t need my iPhone to tell me the temperature and humidity levels in my home office, when I’m there… sitting right next to the thermometer display.)
My Runner-Up Choice
I then took a detour and looked at the competition from La Crosse Technology:
- The La Crosse Technology 308-1414B Wireless Atomic Digital Color Forecast Station for $46.99 on Amazon
This one employs a nifty color LCD display, which really makes the unit pop.
(It could easily be at home on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.)
As cool as it looks, it’s also kind of obtrusive. I don’t want it dominating my entire home office with its bright glow. I just want to know how humid it is…
Plus, all of that ‘display bling’ requires you to plug it in, which can be inconvenient. A battery-driven unit gives you more flexibility as to where to place it…
And the Winner Is…
So I returned my focus back to Oregon Scientific and finally found exactly what I was looking for:
At Oregon Scientific’s website, this ‘Weather 500’ is listed under its ‘Classic Weather Station’ category. So that probably makes it something of an ‘Oldie, but Goodie.’
And that’s just fine by me…
Remember, I just want the four numbers. It doesn’t need to communicate with the International Space Station!
That said, you also get 75% accurate weather forecast (they say), moon phase, ice alert and atomic clock displays.
The main unit is powered by three AA batteries and its companion sensor requires two AAA batteries. You can also purchase two additional sensors, if you’re interested in conditions elsewhere around your home.
Mankind can’t control the weather yet, but here At Home With Tech, I’m happy to report, I have once again regained control of the temperature and humidity levels in my little kingdom.
Psst… It’s my secret to maintaining a happy home during summertime stickiness.
Pay it forward…