While there’s no shortage of options when it comes to getting the weather forecast these days, barometers allow you to do so with a bit more class and style than simply checking the weather channel.
This informative guide breaks down everything you need to know about barometers before buying one for your home or place of business. If you simply want to find top recommendations, check out Tohsssik Wireless Weather Station. It’s a digital model with a sleek interface that provides a variety of weather-related readings.
Liquid: Sometimes referred to as weather glasses, liquid barometers aren’t the most accurate but make for interesting conversation starters when used as décor. They consist of a mostly sealed glass container that is partially filled with water, which is usually colored. There are also liquid barometers filled with mercury, though these are rare nowadays due to the risk of mercury poisoning.
Attached to the container is a small spout open to the air. When the outside air pressure is lower than it was at the time the container was sealed, the water level in the spout rises above that in the main body of the container, and vice versa when the outside air pressure is greater.
Aneroid: Rather than using liquid, aneroid barometers utilize a flexible metal box known as an aneroid cell. Changes in air pressure cause the cell to slightly expand or contract. With the use of additional levers and springs, these movements are registered on the barometer’s display as a pressure reading.
Digital: Digital barometers are equipped with small electric sensors that can register changes in air pressure. These are the most accurate types of barometers commonly in use today and are often part of larger digital weather systems. These sensors are sometimes found in smartphones, too, which allows them to function as altimeters.
The decision to make when buying a barometer is what you want it for. If you prefer something that makes for an interesting piece of décor and you don’t mind the weather prediction aspect being more of a novelty, then a liquid barometer is the best option. They come in many styles and may be paired with a Galileo thermometer for temperature readings.
If you want a bit more accuracy and are cultivating a nautical theme in your home or office, then an aneroid barometer is a good choice. These are often made with wood and brass components and may incorporate thermometers for temperature or hygrometers for measuring humidity.
Those looking for a full weather station in their home or business should consider digital models. Many of these connect to the internet and can display a range of other information, including the date, time, indoor and outdoor temperatures, relative comfort levels and more. Some are also capable of functioning as alarm clocks.
Because altitude also plays a role in air pressure, not all barometers can be used in every location. If you live any meaningful distance above sea level, you need to check to ensure the barometer you’re considering can function accurately at that altitude. Some models allow you to recalibrate them as needed to various altitudes, while others do not.
Well-sealed and air-conditioned rooms experience less change in air pressure before and after storms than the outside environment. This means you may want to place your barometer in an outdoor location. If you plan on doing so, make sure to choose one that’s appropriately waterproofed and capable of standing up to exposure to the elements.
Liquid and aneroid barometers don’t require any power source, which makes them easy to place anywhere. Digital models may use disposable batteries, a rechargeable one or require a constant connection to a wall outlet.
Decorative liquid barometers can start as low as $15 and may cost up to $75 or more, depending on how ornate they are. Aneroid and digital models usually start around $30 and can cost upwards of $200 or more depending on the build materials and features.
A. For the most part, pressure changes indoors and outdoors should be fairly close to one another, so it shouldn’t matter too much if you choose to place your barometer indoors. You should avoid placing them in very windy locations or next to heat sources, as these can affect the accuracy of readings.
A. Unless otherwise stated, most barometers are calibrated to be accurate at and around sea level. If you don’t live close to sea level, you may need to calibrate your barometer before use. Most models should come with manufacturer instructions for the best method to do this.
A. The easiest way to test the accuracy of your barometer is simply to compare the readings to those of your local weather station.
What you need to know: An attractive option that’s small enough to place on a nightstand, the Tohsssik Wireless provides all the information you need to start your day.
What you’ll love: In addition to weather-based data, it also functions as a calendar and an alarm clock.
What you should consider: It has less character than analog models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Composed of a barometer, hygrometer and thermometer, this affordably priced option provides a good indication of how comfortable the day’s weather will be.
What you’ll love: The sensor is rechargeable, cold-resistant, and weatherproof. You may place this barometer outdoors or indoors.
What you should consider: Can sync up to 3 outdoor remote sensors.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: With a tall cylindrical thermometer and a globe design etched on the barometer, this decorative AcuRite model makes a great conversation piece.
What you’ll love: You can make the barometer water any color you want using food coloring.
What you should consider: It’s more of a novelty than an accurate weather predictor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.