Wi-fi thermometers are great for both indoor and outdoor use, and many models can be adapted to a number of different applications in both cases. A question that many people often ask which doesn’t seem to have a clearly defined answer is whether one should use different devices for indoor applications compared to outdoors. And while most wi-fi thermometers should be capable of operating in both environments, there are some points worth keeping in mind when choosing the right model.
Even though most devices aren’t explicitly marketed for indoor or outdoor use, they all still have a set of ideal parameters in which they can operate. Some wi-fi thermometers have a more limited temperature range and may not be ideal for outdoor applications in areas with extreme weather on either range of the scale. Humidity is another thing to look out for, as some devices will not be able to operate in severe humidity conditions.
Good models should cover a wide range of all parameters though, and they should have both a good temperature range as well as a 0-100% humidity range (or close to that). If you live in an area where the weather tends to get rough from time to time, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to these points. Of course, a thermometer that’s capable of withstanding harsher weather will usually cost more than the average model in its class, but at least you won’t have to worry about the device and keep checking on it on a regular basis.
Some devices may not work out well in certain conditions simply because of their shape or other physical properties. When choosing a wi-fi thermometer for your home, you’ll probably want to pick one that’s slightly more aesthetically pleasing, instead of a boring chunk of metal or plastic.
On the other hand, if the thermometer will be left outside for long periods of time – or permanently – you’ll want to make sure that its body can withstand the forces of nature, especially if you live a place of weather extremes. Just because a device is listed as being able to operate in 100% air humidity, doesn’t mean that it’s going to withstand a harsh storm banging it against the wall over and over again, or heavy snowfall, or a number of other similar conditions.
Ease of Maintenance
Most wi-fi thermometers usually run on batteries, so if you’ll be using yours in a hard-to-reach place – like outdoors – you’ll probably want to make sure that at least the device itself doesn’t give you any extra trouble when going out to do some work on it. Replacing the batteries should be easy and straightforward, with easily accessible compartments that ideally don’t require any special/complex tools to open.
Pay attention to how long the device can last on a single set of batteries as well – sometimes, a more complicated body design may be worth keeping up with if the model is able to run significantly longer than others in its price class. Some wi-fi thermometers may have advanced power saving capabilities, so look through the description of each model closely to see if it matches your specifications.
This is particularly important for cases where you’ll be leaving the thermometer to run in a remote location and you’ll only be able to check on it every once in a while – you don’t want to pick something that will cause you to drive out there more often than you need to.
Long-term durability is just as important as immediate resistance to damage. Some cheaper models may be priced that way because they use components or materials that aren’t expected to last very long. That’s not a problem for people picking a wi-fi thermometer for short-term uses, but if you need something durable that will last a long time, pay attention to the factors that can affect the lifetime of your device.
This is not just valid for outdoor thermometers – if you live in a home with children or animals, for example, you’re still at risk of coming home to a broken wi-fi thermometer. Pick something with a durable body that will ideally also be easy to repair/replace in case something goes wrong.
You may also need a wi-fi thermometer for a more specialized application, rather than just checking the temperature outside. Brewing/cooking, controlling dangerous substances, maintaining a safe environment for creatures – there are plenty of examples of situations where a regular thermometer likely won’t do, and you need something more advanced with special capabilities in specific areas.
Don’t forget that it may be possible to adjust some parameters of your wi-fi thermometer after purchasing it in that case. Resistance to certain chemicals could be provided with a special body, for example, although that could compromise the temperature measurement capabilities of the device. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer to ensure that the device you’re purchasing is actually fit for the job.
If you’re going to integrate your new wi-fi thermometer into a larger technological solution, it may be worth considering the intended use case. E.g. if you’re building a robot that will work primarily outdoors, make sure that the thermometer won’t interfere with that operation and will be a good fit for the body of the robot that you’re designing. Of course, in those cases, you’ll probably have more resources to research your choice in the first place.
Most people don’t pay attention to the specific features that can make a wi-fi thermometer more suitable for indoor or outdoor applications, which is a mistake in the long run as it can add a lot to your costs when you have to keep repairing or replacing devices. A simple look through the device’s parameter list should be enough to tell you most of the story, and if you need to be absolutely sure that your wi-fi thermometer will fit the bill in some specific circumstances, there are just a few parameters that you’ll need to control.