In this post, we will show you what you need to know about anemometers! You may have read reviews on different anemometers before, but you may still not know how anemometers work, which type of anemometer is best, or what features are offered. This guide will help you decide and break it down to make the decision much easier for you!
What is an Anemometer?
Before you read any further, you need to know what an anemometer does and how it works. An anemometer is a device used to measure the speed (velocity) of moving air. Without going into too much depth, the anemometer can measure the total velocity magnitude, the velocity magnitude on a horizontal plane, or the velocity component in a particular direction.
Anemometers are measured in feet per minute, meters per second, kilometres per hour, miles per hour, nautical miles per hour and Beauforts. Although air velocity measurements provide wind speed information, sometimes it’s important to know the volume of air movement as well. Air Volume is predominantly measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
To put it simply, there are two ways you can go in terms of anemometers. Either you go for a constant-temperature anemometer or a constant-power anemometer.
We urge you to guarantee the anemometer you purchase measures wind speed the way you need it to!
Types of Anemometers
Now that you know what anemometers do, and have an idea of how they work, it’s time to decided what type of anemometer best suits your need. There are 4 different types of anemometers, all in which are built differently and are used for different purposes.
This digital anemometer is generally small and easy to use, with the additional functions of being able to measure temperature, humidity, and dew point, as well as volumetric conversion and data logging ability.
Typically forms of rotating mechanical velocity anemometers are described as belonging to the vane anemometer class. With this style, the axis of rotation must be parallel to the direction of the wind and therefore typically horizontal. Vane anemometers give optimal results when the direction of the air motion is constantly the same.
Otherwise known as hot-wire anemometers, thermal anemometers are extremely useful when studying turbulent flows, or any flow with rapid velocity fluctuations. With the additional functions of being able to measure temperature, and have data logging ability.
Typically, thermal anemometers use a very fine wire that is heated to a temperature above the ambient. The air flowing past has a cooling effect. As the electrical resistance of most metals is dependent upon the temperature of the metal, a relationship can be obtained between the resistance of the wire and the flow of velocity. Making thermal anemometers very useful for measuring instantaneous fluid velocity.
Thermal Anemometers with Velocity/Temperature Profiling
This type of anemometer has the smallest available sensor that allows it to measure both velocity and temperature. With the additional functions of being able to profile flow characteristics in the application and analyse the data graphically.
Typically, thermal anemometer profiling systems are commonly used in wind tunnels for circuit board and heatsink analysis.
This type of anemometer is very simple and consists of three or four hemispherical cups each mounted on one end of horizontal arms, which in turn were mounted at equal angles to each other on a vertical shaft. Air flow in any horizontal direction past the cups turns the cups in a manner that is proportional to the wind speed. Therefore, meaning counting the amount of times the cups turn over a set period produces the average wind speed for a wide range of speeds.
Commonly the cup anemometer is used to measure wind speed and wind direction and is of great assistance to the industry standard for wind resource assessment studies.
What to Look for in an Anemometer?
Many anemometers vary in their functions as was just spoken about with the types of anemometers. Not every feature will be needed for every job, so make sure you purchase the right anemometer for the job.
The following are some key features to look for in anemometers.
- Accurate measurements
- Ability to capture rapid wind speeds
- Ability to capture rapid velocity speeds
- Additional features such as measuring temperature and humidity
- Maximum measurement ratings
- Flexible anemometers, being handheld will enable you to read wind speeds anywhere you are
- Ability to capture measurements of fluid flow winds
- Ability to capture measurements turbulent winds
It is important to remember that not every type of anemometer has every feature available to them. So please pick the right one for you!
Top 5 anemometers reviewed
We have reviewed a number of anemometers, which feature a range of functions and prices. We have tried to cover as many functions and different uses as possible with this review. We have narrowed it down to our top 5 choices for our best anemometers.
Best for: Household uses with no experience
The PylePMA90 anemometer is a solid and safe option. This digital anemometer/thermometer is designed to offer multi-dimensional uses with the needs of every home owners needs in mind. With accurate speedy readings of 1/sec. The easy to use anemometer offers true readings of air flow in both CMM and CFM. The PylePMA90 requires a 9V battery, but it automatically powers off after 20 minutes to save power. The best thing about this anemometer is the 1 year manufacturer warranty on the product.
Durability: The PylePMA90 is made for household and commercial use and will hold up to most jobs. With a solid manufacturer and a year warranty on the product, it is sure to last a while and be worth your while.
Features: The PylePMA90 offers multi functioning features with the additional thermometer as well as the anemometer. It has true air flow readings of speeds as low as 1/mph, conventional angled vane arms sensors and has the ability to change the unit in which you measure air flow or temperature.
Measurement: The Pyle PMA90 can measure accurately at most air velocity readings at +/-3%. With air flow units of either Cubic Meters/Min or Cubic Feet/Min. The additional thermometer allows the PyloPMA90 to measure temperatures ranging from 14-140 Degree Fahrenheit, and has the ability to measure in Degree Celsius as well.
Size: The PylePMA90 weighs in at 1.9 pounds. It’s a small sized unit that will allow for it to fit in things like HVAC systems and air vents, and mainly used in home systems. Its flexibility is good for the common residential purposes it offers.
Price/Quality: The PylePMA90 is a bit pricier, being the 4th best for price point out of the 5 reviewed. With a price of $52.22 with the addition of free shipping. This price is paying for the brand, and there are cheaper options available for you.
- Multi-Function Thermo-Anemometer
- Attachable Air-Flow rotating vane fan
- Selectable display units: Miles, Kilometers, Meters, Feet, Knots
- 1 year warranty
- Works with very low speeds down to 1 mph
- Cable unplugs for storage
- Includes a battery
- Includes thermometer
- The battery compartment lid has no access point for your finger
- The switch to switch Fahrenheit to Celsius is underneath the battery
- High price point
Best for: RV and Recreational Use
The Pole Mount anemometer is a great pick manufactured by a capable brand that makes good products. Designed for recreational use and the common house hold person in mind. It offers accurate measurements of airflow and can do so from hundreds of feet away! The great part about the Pole Mount is that you can get accurate wind speed readings in places where AC power may not be available.
Durability: The Pole Mount is built for home and recreational use and is made to withstand most outdoor hazards. It can withstand winds up to 150 mph and still accurately do its job. The Pole Mount is made and owned by a good manufacturer and is made to last in tough conditions.
Features: The Pole Mount offers the standard feature of an anemometer. To measure wind speeds. It does so in a unique fashion, needing no AC power to work, and only a single battery.
Measurement: The Pole Mount has the ability of being able to work from hundreds of feet away and still give accurate measurements of up to 3-4% in up to 150mph winds.
Size: The Pole Mount is one of the larger types of anemometer you can get. With it being able to work from hundreds of feet away, thus meaning you need to have a wire hundreds of feet long, it does make flexibility hard. Once mounted on a pole or roof, it will be able to work. However, it doesn’t weigh in as heavy as some other anemometers here, at just 10.4 ounces’ overall.
Price/Quality: The Pole Mount is the most expensive anemometer out of the 5 reviewed. With a high price of $84.24, there is no doubt that you are paying for the size of the anemometer and the wire needed to go with it. This anemometer offers the best measurements over a long distance and very accurate reading!
- Accurate 3-4% of reading
- Captures max and average speeds
- Comes with 25’ wire
- Comes with wind sensor
- 1 second update rate for gusts
- Trusted brand
- Doesn’t need AC power
- Dual digital display can be hundreds of feet away
- Accurate measurements
- The pole is not included
- No additional features such as temperature readings
- Warranty not guaranteed
- High price point
Best for: Outdoor Activities
The HoldPeak866B is the second-best pick of the bunch. Made by a well-known brand, the cost-effective anemometer is designed for everything outdoors. With high sensitive and accurate measuring, it provides fast measurement for analysis of critical environmental conditions. The HoldPeak866B has 3 basic functions of measuring wind speed, temperature and wind chill in one LCD display. Warranty of this great anemometer is provided upon request, but with it’s extremely cheap price and multi-functioning features, it’s hard to go past the HoldPeak866B Digital when you’re looking for an anemometer.
Durability: The HoldPeak866B is made for outdoor activities and will hold up to most outdoor hazards. Manufactured by a strong brand, it sure to last a long time. However, the battery power isn’t the same as the make, as the batteries do seem to run out quicker than other anemometers.
Features: The HoldPeak866B offers 3 functional features unlike other anemometers. With the ability to accurately read wind speed, temperature and wind chill. It comes with 2 batteries initially as well as a protective case, and is very easy to use with the addition of a user manual.
Measurements: The HoldPeak866B can measure wind speed, temperature and wind chill in 5 units (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph) in wind speeds from 0.3-30m/s. With accuracy of wind speed at 0.1dgts and an indication of wind chill, this is the perfect anemometer for all your measurement requirements.
Size: The HoldPeak866B is the smallest anemometer of the 5, as it weighs in at 7.6 ounces’ and is very easy to carry around and nifty to use. This makes it extremely flexible in how you can use it and where you can use it. As you can do all from the palm of your hand.
Price/Quality: The HoldPeak866B is the 2nd cheapest option of the 5 anemometers reviewed. With the low price of $22.99 there is no doubt that this is great value for you! With such great quality features and a multi-functioning bonus, this is an extremely cheap value for the quality of the product!
- Works as a wind speed gauge
- Works as a temperature measurer
- Works as a wind chill measurer
- True and fast readings of environmental conditions
- 1 year warranty guaranteed
- Trusted brand
- Accurate measurements of all environmental conditions
- Ability to record max/average/current temperatures
- Low battery indication
- Low price point
- Need regular change of AAA batteries to power it
- Batteries have no cover and often run out quickly
Best for: Household residents, Outdoor lovers and even the Working Industry
The Sokos Digital LCD anemometer is the best all-round pick. The great all-rounder in the trade of anemometer. With this multi-functioning anemometer, you can measure wind speed, air velocity, and temperature along with the data holding function that this anemometer has. This small and easy to carry anemometer is suitable for all different purposes and comes with an extremely low price and warranty at request. You can’t go wrong with Sokos Digital LCD anemometer.
Durability: The Sokos Digital LCD is made for everyone. Built to be the ultimate all-round anemometer, that is great for all people in the workforce, in the outdoors or around your home. It’s made to be durable and lost a long time under testing conditions and in hard environments. It meets CE requirements.
Features: The Sokos Digital LCD offers standard features of measuring wind speed along with temperature and wind chill, and holding data. With its high precision pressure sensor, the Sokos Digital LCD is quick, responsive and automatic. It has an auto/manual power off button, and is extremely efficient.
Measurements: The Sokos Digital LCD can measure accurate wind speeds of a range of 0-30m/s and wind temperatures at a range of -10-45 centigrade. It has the ability to measure the max/average and current wind speeds in 5 units (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph).
Size: The Sokos Digital LCD is one of the smaller types of anemometers, as it is a handheld anemometer that is easily transportable and easy to carry. With the flexibility to transport it with you everywhere you go, it’s ideal for everyone.
Price/Quality: The Sokos Digital LCD is the cheapest anemometer out of the 5 reviewed. With a very low price of $17.99, this anemometer is of the best value for money as it is also the best all-round anemometer out of the 5 reviewed! With so many functions and such versatile uses, this is the best value anemometer there is to offer!
- Multi-functioning with wind speed and temperature measurements
- Wind chill indication
- Data hold function
- Large easy to read LCD display
- Accurate measurements
- Trusted brand
- CE approved
- Low price point
Best for: Outdoor enthusiasts
The Ambient Weather WM-2 anemometer is a solid pick manufactured by another respectable brand. Seemingly with the outdoor adventurers at mind, the Ambient Weather WM-2 is very compact, portable and rugged. It is a comprehensive handheld wind meter with the ability to accurately read measurements. At a reasonable price, this anemometer is perfect for the adventurer.
Durability: The Ambient Weather WM-2 is made for the outdoors and again will hold up against in the outdoor conditions. Made by a good manufacturer and is sure to last. It’s compact, and rugged and ideal for an outdoor enthusiast! The Ambient Weather WM-2 runs on batteries and the batteries will need to be replaced after a while.
Features: The Ambient Weather WM-2 offers the standard feature of measuring wind speed as well a measuring temperature, wind chill and wind gust. Other features include hold mode, wind average mode and an optional tripod mount. It has true readings, and the ability to measure average, current and max wind speeds.
Measurements: The Ambient Weather WM-2 can measure accurately. Temperature accuracy of +/-2 Fahrenheit, wind speed accuracy of +/-3% and a wind speed update interval of 1 second.
Size: The Ambient Weather WM-2 is a smaller type of anemometer, weighing in at 2.1 ounces’. The Ambient Weather WM-2 has the ability to be used a compact flexible handheld anemometer or a stationary anemometer attached to a tripod mount. Giving it great flexibility.
Price/Quality: The Ambient Weather WM-2 is at the middle of the price range out of the 5 anemometers reviewed. With a suitable price of $29.99, this is a good value for the quality of measurements and functions that is offered. It’s not the bets on offer, but it is very suitable for an outdoor enthusiast and well worth the price!
- Multi-Functioning with the ability to measure temperature and wind chill
- Can have an optional tripod mount
- Wind hold mode
- Wind average mode
- Low battery indicator
- Trusted brand
- Batteries included
- Accurate measurements
- Low price point
How to Use an Anemometer
Anemometers are very simple to use in most cases. The difficulty varies depending on the type you buy. Obviously most handheld anemometers are going to be easy to use as they will only require 1 or 2 batteries, come with a user’s manual and are basically ready to use straight out of the packet.
However, if you have a mounted anemometer like a cup anemometer, you will need to get a pole or something to mount it the anemometer onto before you can begin to use it effectively. Cup anemometer are predominantly run on power as well and to require to be connected via a wire. Mount of place the anemometer in a place that has full access to the wind from all directions.
Some anemometers, predominantly the cup anemometers need to be measured by you manually recording how many times the cups spin around fully on average. But most anemometers are now digital and will automatically measure, record and tell you the results instantly on the display screen. All you have to do is make sure the batteries are charged and the anemometer is switched on!
Best Anemometer Brands
It’s always important to buy your product from the best brand possible. Anemometers are no different. You want measurements to be accurate and your results to be spot on, especially when you’re dealing with a matter of degrees. According to Amazon, the top five selling brands for anemometers are HoldPeak, Petcarre, Pyle, Inspeed Vortex, and Ambient Weather. Each of these brands are extremely reliable when it comes to delivering good products. It depends on what your preference is, but we recommend you stick to one of these top brands.
Best Anemometer for Your Budget
On most occasions as a buyer, you often have a budget you want to stick to. With a budget normally comes a high interest of finding the best valued product for the cheapest price possible. Obviously if you have a bigger budget and want to find something that is extremely high tech or just suits the bill of seemingly being the best, then an anemometer such as the PylePMA90 or the Pole Mount is what you’re looking for. Generally, if you have a bigger budget, you will be able to afford a bigger anemometer.
But bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Some of the best value anemometers are available for extremely low prices. For the people with hobbies or home uses at mind, a low-price point would be of high priority. But don’t assume a lower price means a worse product. As proven with the Sokos Digital LCD, the cheapest and most versatile anemometer that Amazon have on offer. There are certainly many choices and varieties dependant on your budget.
Differences in Use
Whether you are a house hold user with a dream of a hobby, or a weather expert with a passion for the outdoors. Maybe you work for an expert weather station and need a new device to record data. Whatever the case, we will help you understand and identify what you should be aware of when you make your purchase. Anemometers come in various sizes and some are more flexible than others. Some work better in the outdoor harsh environmental conditions, and others are more suited to the inside of your home. You’ll want to make sure that the anemometer you get is suited to what you need.
Just remember, if you are an outdoors person, then scratches, dirt and harsh weather conditions are common so ensure that you find a durable anemometer. The best way is to test them.
Measure Correctly Every Time
When using an anemometer, make sure that it has accurate measurements. There’s nothing worse than buying a product to serve the purpose of measuring and recording only to find that the product can’t serve its purpose. Make sure the anemometer has a true and accurate measuring system. You can get anemometers that are as accurate as 0.1 digits and measure max, current and average measurements.
Remember that anemometers can measure in CFM or CMM and can have the ability to change between 5 different units (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph). So, if you are looking for an anemometer that can read measurements and display data in a specific unit, then make sure to check that the anemometer has that capability.
Useful Features and Functions
Everyone loves the special features and additional functions that come with their product. It adds value to the product. Provided you need all the added functions, you will in most cases be paying more for them, but they are worth it.
Only you will know what the right features are for the job, so ask yourself what the right features are for the job. If you’re working at a weather station, get a mountable anemometer with bigger range., that can run on power. If you’re an enthusiast with a hobby, get a smaller anemometer with more flexibility. If you’re an outdoor activity type of person, get a handheld anemometer that you can attach to a bike or carry everywhere you go and only requires batteries to function.
Most of the anemometers come with similar functions. A select few have more measurements and capabilities of reading the data and analysing it for you. Make sure you know what you plan to use your anemometer for so you can find the right one for you with the capabilities you need.
It’s important to get an anemometer that you can read. Anemometers come in various sizes and shapes, so if you struggle to read smaller screens I suggest you go for something that’s bigger. Some anemometers have the additional feature of a backlight for the display screen. With the new digital anemometers, everything is displayed on the screen and you won’t have to do any work yourself.
Be careful if you are going to use them outside not to get too much dust and dirt on them, and don’t crack them! Put yourself in a position where you will be able to clearly see the display screen and ensure that your anemometer is measuring temperatures and wind measures in a unit that you understand!
You can manually change the unit of measurement for your anemometer if it has the feature. Some visual displays also indicate when you have a low battery, and this can be very important when you have a handheld anemometer and plan to go outdoors for the door.
There are many different types and varieties of anemometer that suit different functions and have different features. It’s up to you to decided which anemometer is the best for what you need it for! If money is no issue, then you should consider an AC powered anemometer, but the handheld options offer just as many features for a much lower price. Whatever you decide, we hope that you now have the information you need to make a wise decision when choosing your anemometer and hope that you find the best anemometer possible!
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