In today’s ever-advancing landscape, there are tons of ways to get your weather forecast of the day. Kick it old school with a barometer, we promise it’s fun. Our article includes the best barometers that range from professional-grade gadgets to ornamental gizmos. Let’s get started!
Our Best Barometer Picks
Can’t gauge what works for you yet? Don’t fret, our handy buying guide is here to help. Finding the right barometric pressure reader doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are a couple of pointers to consider in your search:
Type of Barometer (Electronic vs. Mechanical)
You definitely will be dealing with a wide variety of barometric pressure devices in your search. While checking out other customer reviews can be a good tool to help with your purchase decision, sometimes customers can make mistakes too. For example, for the AMTAST Dial Type Barometer, there were some Amazon reviews on how it did not work well. Unbeknownst to these customers, the AMTAST is a mechanical barometer; more specifically an aneroid one, which requires tapping on its glass face for reading. That is why many assume aneroid devices go kaput after one reading.
Another mechanical variation is the Torricellian, which is also known as a Mercury barometer. Mercury would rise in a tube as atmospheric pressure pushes down against it. While mercury is more convenient than water, we can’t ignore the fact that it is a poisonous substance, which explains the reduction in these types of barometers.
Electronic barometers are like the Thomas 6530 Traceable Digital Barometer, where the dial is replaced with an LCD screen and numerical readings. No mercury here! Just rubber pressure sensors to detect air and atmospheric pressure changes.
Accuracy and Reliability
Accuracy determines how much you can rely on your pressure sensor device, so it is an essential criteria to have. However, it also depends on what you would accept as an accurate reading. Some customers are fine with slight compensations, while others expect professional-grade forecasts and readings. To stay safe, electronic barometers are the most accurate, and usually come with a feature that lets you store the readings of the day to facilitate easy downloading onto a computer. Mechanical barometers are functional as well, but may require extra interaction and recalibrating during use. If that’s your interest, why not?
However, sometimes accuracy may not determine the device’s reliability. A barometric pressure reader may deliver excellent and real-time readings, but may have shoddy housing or incompatible batteries that set back its durability and shelf-life. Hence rendering it unreliable! Make sure to look out for durable materials and to use the right batteries.
Not to worry, there’s plenty of barometers to go around. Whether you prefer functionality or design or a combination of both, there will be that caters to every niche. Which is why we’ve included a good mix of analog, modern, mechanical and electronic barometric pressure readers in our article!
It’s best to choose an option that doesn’t skimp on its quality or functionality, but also to get a bang for your buck. Many barometers on the market can go as low as $20, and some go over $100. More costly options are mostly due to extra features such as the inclusion of a hygrometer and thermometer, just like our favourite pick: the BTMETER Digital Anemometer Barometer Handheld. It’s a top-performing device, which is why it commands such cost. Ultimately, try to always aim for quality and longevity when considering your budget!
How To Tell If My Barometer Is Functioning Correctly?
Like we established earlier, the many types of barometers can make it confusing to tell if we’ve got a broken device or if we just didn’t activate it the right way. Here’s a table to explain the general tests used for each type of barometer.
- Mount the device on the wall
- Move the bottom part of the barometer against the wall in an arc-shape until about 45º from its original starting point
- At this position, check the dial. If it is working, the needle will quickly go in a clockwise direction. Alternatively, if you have a stick-shaped mercury barometer, the mercury would fill to the top of the tube at the 45º position. You might even hear the mercury hitting the tip!
- Mark or mentally take note of the current position of the indicator needle on the dial.
- Place the device in a big clear plastic bag. Hold the neck of the plastic bag and trap as much air as possible. Use tape to seal the plastic bag, the trapped air and the barometer together.
- For safety, place this on top of a towel. You should be able to see the face of the dial and the marking you made earlier.
- Apply high pressure on the bag without touching the barometer to create enough pressure and tension inside the bag.
- If your aneroid barometer is functional, you should see the indicator needle move in clockwise direction! When you take out the device from the bag, the needle will return to its marked position.
While barometric pressure readers are professional weather tools, the rising emergence in the market has seen the sales of more varieties in functions. This has made it accessible to anyone to cater to their diverse interests, but has also made it a difficult task to find a suitable piece for one’s self. It’s key to remember to consider just three things: your intentions in getting one, how accurate the device is and how much it will cost.
Precise calibration is key, especially if you rely on your barometer heavily. Devices with wooden housing require proper polishing and keep it away from water. If necessary, a Q-tip that is slightly damp is recommended to use for cleaning. At all costs, avoid exposing the interior of the devices to water. Do not disassemble your barometer, approach a professional if you need to clean the dial.
When mounting your device on a wall, ensure that the hanging fixture is secure and that the wall is stable, especially if you have a mercury barometer. Mercury products should be stored in a dry area and positioned upright. Do not place your barometer in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight, heat or rain. This can damage its calibration and its ability to read the atmospheric pressure changes accurately.
If you like to keep records of barometric pressure forecasts and readings, a barograph would help in providing you that information. Today, most barographs are electronic and are digital records transferred into a computer through a digital barometer device. In the past, mechanical barographs were used. An example would be the use of a clockwork system where a roll of paper turns while a inked-needle recorded the findings of the day in real-time.