Let me first start off by saying that I’m a weather geek… always have been. If I’m not taking photos of storms or chasing them as they move through central Texas, I’m busily watching radar and notifying friends when I think they need to keep an eye on the sky. Unfortunately, my services have been largely replaced by apps.. haha.
For years, I had a nice Davis Vantage Pro2 with all the bells and whistles. It was a very accurate, but not the most user-friendly, especially when trying to get the data online. I recently damaged it during a move, so the hunt was on for something new. After a while of considering another Davis purchase, I opted to give Netatmo a try and at $150 on Amazon, the risk was minimal.
What you get
For $150, you get an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Both connect nicely to your existing wi-fi allowing for app access and web-based access. All of the basic measurements are there. Netatmo takes it a step further by also giving you indoor/outdoor air quality and noise data.
If you want wind and rain info, you’ll have to buy the Netatmo rain gauge and wind gauge. You can package the basic unit (one indoor unit and one outdoor unit), a rain gauge, and a wind gauge for about $330. Currently, I’m running the basic weather station + rain gauge.
Netatmo offers an app for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. It’s very clean and easy to use. All of your indoor and outdoor data is on one screen without needed to tap/swipe and hunt. If you want details and historical data, it can be accessed by rotating the screen horizontally.
So far, I’ve had no connection issues and most of the data appears to be accurate within published parameters. The only data point that doesn’t seem right is the heat index (referred to as “feels like”). It’s always way higher than any other local measurements I see online. I’ve addressed this with Netatmo and they are looking into it. Quick note on support.. so far, they’ve been friendly and quick to respond.
The app also allows you to connect to the Netatmo Weathermap. The Weathermap shows all of the Netatmo weather stations throughout the world, including yours :) . I wish the Weathermap had radar overlay, but it’s cool and works as advertised.
I really enjoy having web access to my weather station without having to view everything on my phone. It’s clean. It works. It’s easy to understand. It even gives you access to your data from at least a year back.
Netatmo Supports IFTTT
If you haven’t heard of IFTTT and plan on getting into home automation, you need to visit IFTTT.com . It simply allows you to connect devices, programs and apps to each other in creative, useful ways. Netatmo has an IFTTT channel and it’s one of the reasons I went with this weather station over others in the market. A few recipes I have running today:
- If the indoor temperature gets over 84, send me a text. I assume this means something is wrong with my AC unit.
- If the indoor unit detects too much noise, send me a text.
- If CO2 levels get dangerously high, flash Hue lights red
- If CO2 levels rise, circulate air using Next thermastat
Even though I’m only one week in, I’m thoroughly impressed with the Netatmo Weather Station. It’s simple and just works… none of the devices have been offline once! It’s fantastic for the price and very competitive against the big boys in the industry, like Davis.
It is worth nothing that you can’t expose the outdoor unit to sun or rain. It’s somewhat weatherproof, but it needs to be in a protected area. This is harder than it sounds. You’ll need to get the unit a few feet away from the exterior walls, ideally, to get accurate readings. To combat this, I’m considering buying a radiation shield that will allow me to put the unit anywhere. Netatmo doesn’t make one, but I’m told this one will work.
Despite some concerns with the “feels like” temperature and the inability to place the outdoor unit directly in the sun or rain, I love the Netatmo Weather Station. It’s early and we’ll know later how reliable the system is or how it handles big storms, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a winner.