Fall Cleaning: 4 Tips for Weather Station Maintenance

Leaves overflowing in a gutter
Posted in: Measuring Weather

Fall Cleaning: 4 Tips for Weather Station Maintenance

This article was originally published in 2018 but has been updated to include relevant content and additional information.

Fall weather brings the end of summer, with leaves falling directly into your rain bucket! Just like the first day of spring, it’s time to some for some basic, semiannual cleaning around your home. While you’re checking on the status of your home, roof, and cleaning out the gutters, make sure to also check in on your home weather station. A clean weather station is a happy weather station! Ensure the highest accuracy possible for reliable weather data from your home weather station with these tips for weather station maintenance during the fall season:

1. Look for Cracks

The hot summer sun can wreak havoc on the materials of your home weather station. Make sure your wind speed and direction measurements are accurate by taking a peek at your anemometer and wind vane to ensure they are not cracked and can spin freely.

If these parts are not spinning freely, try cleaning the sensor with warm water to clean dirt and dust off of the bearings. If you notice a cracked anemometer or wind vane, checkout AcuRite’s affordable weather station replacement parts.

2. Clean Solar Panels and Fix Orientation

Your solar panels must be cleaned regularly to maintain the highest functionality possible. When the photovoltaics are dirty or dusty, the station is not receiving maximum power available. Warm water and soap will do the trick. Also, for highest efficiency, the solar panels should face due south in the northern hemisphere; north in the southern hemisphere.

3. Clean Gutters and Rain Bucket

While you’re up on the roof cleaning out the gutters, make sure to also clear the leaves out of your weather station’s rain bucket. We recommend rinsing your rain bucket out a few times with warm, soapy water to remove all the gunk inside. While you’re up there, you may want to consider checking out these 5 Roof Maintenance Tips to Save You Big Bucks.

4. Check Batteries

For snowy regions, the fall season is also a good time to check the battery indicator on your home weather station’s display. If the signal strength shows medium or low, its advised to replace the batteries before the snow arrives. We do not advise climbing up to the rooftop or top of the fence post when ice or snow are present. It’s better to simply replace the batteries while the weather permits, or consider upgrading to a more accessible solution with the 30-foot battery pack extender (offered for both the AcuRite Atlas® and AcuRite Iris®).

Because the winter months are the most difficult time to service your home weather station, we recommend giving it some love in the spring, too, during your usual spring cleaning!

Fall Weather Station Maintenance with AcuRite

What are your tips and tricks for usual weather station maintenance? What is the craziest thing you’ve found in your rain gauge or in your solar radiation shield? Is it the common spiderwebs and bird poop? Ah the joys of monitoring the elements; share and discuss your stories below!

August 26, 2021
Michael Gower
September 22, 2021
For safety, especially during cold and snowy months of the year, I mounted my weather system to a 10 foot long chain-link fence rail pipe. I mounted the pipe vertically against a 4x4 post in the middle of the yard. To change batteries or clean/repair the sensors, all I have to do is loosen 2 brackets and lower the pipe to the ground. I never have to use a ladder.
Hugh MacKinnon
September 22, 2021
I was having trouble with my rain gauge so I took it down to clean it when wasps started to come out. I proceed to take it apart and found a nest about the size of my fist
Don Kovac
December 4, 2021
One morning I saw a dead rat carcass hanging half way in the rain water catch basin. I removed it using gloves. The next evening I saw a hawk perched on the catch basin. The only sense I can make of this is the hawk had dropped the rat while in flight and came back to look for it. The weather station is mounted about 10 feet high on a wooden pole. The closest tree is about 40 feet away and occasionally a hawk perches in that tree.
Robert Grove
January 10, 2023
Was getting high rain readings about 3 times the real rain but my 5 in 1 sensor was not firmly mounted and would rock a little in the wind so make sure it's firmly mounted
Jennifer Morgon
April 4, 2023
Very informative article. Thanks for sharing
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