I hope those of you who are familiar with the “quality” of AcuRite products don’t scoff at the title of this post. While the entire line of products leaves a lot to be desired, they have a monopoly on the weather reporting market, so therefore they can charge an outlandish amount of money for items that oftentimes have subpar performance. However, the modules that we have around our property provide data and reliability that make our life much easier. I’d like to take a moment and share some of those products with you as well as what purpose they serve and how they help us on the homestead.
I can safely say that our weather station is the unit in our Acurite collection that sees the most use. While it was very spendy to get up and running and required additional equipment to function as advertised (more on that below) it serves its purpose well and now that we’ve had it for a while provides more accurate weather forecasting than anything we’ve had access to before. With our property being tucked into a canyon on the south side of a mountain we experience quite the little microclimate, even compared to the houses at the bottom of our road that are just half a mile away. In the past this had made forecasting very difficult. But since we’ve installed our weather station and it’s had some time to learn our climate we can now accurately forecast up to a week away as well as monitor our outdoor weather and temps remotely. With firewood to be sourced, roads to be plowed, and animals to be cared for in the winter months, this helps us a lot in planning and utilizing resources like additional heat, water, and food sources in freezing temperatures.
We use a number of sensors in various locations that help us monitor temperatures in key areas such as outbuildings and animal shelters. We have an outdoor guardian dog, Jackson, who we’ve tried to bring into the house a number of times during extreme weather events but has disliked being indoors greatly. He has lived his entire life, even before coming into our care, out of doors and watching over animals and property. He has a very comfortable setup inside our enclosed porch, but even then the temperatures can dip below freezing in the dead of winter. Installing a sensor inside his heated, insulated doghouse has enabled us far more control over his environment to ensure his comfort in more ways than one: on the coldest days, we keep his blanket turned on high, which on average keeps his house about 30 degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature. However, when it starts warming up at night, it can get far too warm inside his little house and he will be in and out of it all night. We want him to be as comfortable as possible and this helps us be the best pet parents!
In the case of our own resources in the cabin it also helps us avoid disaster, and that’s no exaggeration. Being able to remotely check on the indoor temperature of the house enables us freedom during the winter that we hadn’t had previously. The plumbing in our vintage log cabin is subpar to say the least, and before we had set up the Acurite Access we had no idea whether the auxiliary heaters were keeping the house up to temp in our absence. During our Christmas vacation in 2019 the electric heaters hadn’t quite cut it, causing our water main in the laundry room to freeze solid. Luckily the pipe didn’t burst but it was this mishap that finally encouraged me to pull the trigger on a weather station and access point.
With the MyAcurite app as long as you have an Access set up in your household, you can set custom notifications for minimum and maximum temperatures as well as other features like water sensors for flooding. In our case, if the temperature in the ballast shed (where our water main is located) reaches below 37 degrees my husband and I will get both a text and an email letting us know any time of the day or night. We will also receive a notification if our weather station is ever offline which is a good indication that the power is probably out and we should head home to check on things.
When I purchased the 5-in-1 weather station and display package it was advertised as having real time access from the app. Unfortunately they did not disclose that this comes only with the additional purchase of the Acurite Access, which acts as a base and uploads your weather station stats to a live feed via your wifi router. You then can review these stats within a limited time frame via the MyAcurite app, an outdated and clunky interface which, like most other products by the company, are about as useful as they are well thought-out – which is minimally at best. However, being the sole representative of home weather reporting with any notoriety on the market, we are left begging rather than choosing.
The Bottom Line
All that being said we still couldn’t live without the freedom that our weather station affords us. Since building our greenhouse and my parents’ studio cabin we have added an additional three sensors to our array and would be greatly inconvenienced if we didn’t have them. One of my new favorites is a soil temperature and humidity monitor that I leave in the garden year-round. Now that I have my fence repaired and my greenhouse very close to being done I can keep an eye on soil temps and plant out my earliest crops as soon as possible thanks to this temperature monitor.