The world is full of wonders. We can see some of these phenomena with our eyes, while some are beyond the scope of our vision. Force fields, like the electromagnetic field, are phenomena that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
An electromagnetic field can be measured with the use of an EMF meter. To use an EMF meter, you first need to calibrate it. After calibration, hold the meter at the right height and get your base reading. After the base reading, follow the spike and analyze your readings.
Knowing how to use an EMF meter will save you a lot of stress. It is also important that you monitor EMF radiation around your home. In this article, we will look at how to use an EMF meter and other information on EMF.
What Is EMF?
EMF, or electromagnetic field, is a force field containing electric and magnetic properties. Electromagnetic fields are usually induced when motion occurs in an electric field. EMF is constantly produced by the sun, our bodies, and several other sources.
The sun is one main source of electromagnetic waves, and it produces different types of fields. The sun produces ELF waves, which are the visible and infrared fields. The sun also produces ultraviolet (U/V) waves called RF/MW radiation.
ELF and RF/MW radiations are the major classifications for all EMFs. We’ll look at these EMF classifications before discussing measuring them with the meter.
Classification of EMF
Electromagnetic fields can be classified based on their strengths into ELF and RF/MW. Let’s learn more about each classification.
ELF waves, or Extremely Low-Frequency waves, are commonly found around us. They are called ELF waves because they have a low frequency, usually between 3 to 3000 Hz. These low-frequency waves usually have a large wavelength.
ELF waves can be further classified into three different types based on their frequency strength. The wave with the strongest frequency is ELF 1, also called Extremely Low Frequency (3 to 30 Hz). The second wave is called ELF 2 or Super Low Frequency (31 to 300 Hz). The last is ELF 3 or Ultra Low Frequency (301 to 3000 Hz).
ELF waves can be found all over your home. Many electronic appliances emit ELF waves, especially those that use AC power. However, the electric and magnetic magnitudes that make up ELF waves are measured separately. The magnetic property is measured in Gauss, while the electric magnitude is measured in Volts per Meter.
ELF waves are generated mainly from appliances with wires such as power lines, household wiring, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, monitors, etc.
Radio Frequency radiation (RF) and Microwave Radiation (MW) are wireless radiations. These radiations have a higher frequency than ELF waves — the minimum is 3KHz, while the maximum is 3THz. The unit for these forms of radiation is Volts-per-meter or Watts-per-centimeter-squared.
RF/MW radiations are often wireless and are commonly found in remote signals. You can find RF radiation in smart meters, radio broadcasting signals, WiFi, microwave ovens, etc. Microwave radiations are more dangerous and stronger, including nuclear reactors, UV rays, medical radiation, etc.
What Are the Types of EMF Meters?
EMF meters can be classified based on the type of field they can read. EMF meters can be grouped into ELF-specific, RF-Specific, and RF Multiple Wave Meters.
You can’t use just any type of EMF meter for any EMF. The different types of EMFs have their own meters specially designed to measure their readings. Let’s look at these meters and how they operate.
These types of meters are designed to measure Extremely Low Frequency waves. ELF-specific meters are the most common, and they are also the least expensive. You can get an ELF meter from your gadget store without any fuss.
You can use the ELF-specific meter to read household appliances like your toaster, washer, and other electric appliances. Also, these types of meters are used in paranormal investigations like ghost hunting.
We advise you to take multiple readings when using an ELF meter. Take your first reading with the meter facing the target directly. Take the next reading with the meter held vertically, and the final reading horizontally.
RF-specific meters are used to measure radio frequency, but you can’t use them for Extremely Low Frequencies. These meters are more expensive than ELF meters, but they don’t cost as much as RF Multiwave Meters.
RF-specific meters can read waves from Bluetooth devices, WiFi, and other wireless transmissions.
RF Multiple Wave Meters
The RF multiple wave meter is the most expensive EMF meter. This meter is capable of reading both RF and ELF waves.
How to Use an EMF Meter
We’ve looked at the different types of EMFs and the types of meters used to read them. Now, we want to give you a general guide for handling these meters. Before you start taking readings with your ELF-specific meter or RF/MW meter, here are some steps to note:
It is important that you calibrate your meter before recording. If your meter is uncalibrated from the beginning, all your readings will be inaccurate. Calibrating your meter means setting it to the generally accepted standard.
You can confirm if your meter is calibrated by using a sample meter. Get a meter similar to the meter of interest, and place it where it will show no reading. Confirm that the sample meter is reading zero, then place your main meter a foot away. Your meter should also read zero, confirming that it’s calibrated.
The way you hold your meter can affect the accuracy of your readings. You should hold your meter near your waist and out in front of you. Also, try to keep your hand as steady as possible because shaking can affect the needle.
Aside from holding the meter properly, you should try different positions. Take readings with your meter facing forward, vertically, and horizontally. Taking measurements from different positions will help you confirm your readings’ accuracy and reduce the margin of error.
Taking Surrounding Readings
Before you start your reading, first take a baseline reading. A baseline reading establishes a safe point, and you can use it as a reference for your main readings. The baseline reading is usually a reading of the environment — it is the normal EMF reading of that area.
You don’t need to worry if your new readings spike within your baseline range. However, if your readings are way more than the baseline reading, you need to locate the source of the problem.
Spikes indicate a stronger EMF radiation than normal. If you notice a spike on your meter, keep moving until you get a distinct source location. After finding the affected area, look for the cause. Most of the time, it’s man-made.
Using an ELF Meter
An ELF meter can be used to measure either magnetic or electric waves but not both. A switch allows you to pick which quantity you’re measuring.
Once you’ve picked your field of interest, calibrate your device. To get the most accurate result, try to take the measurement from your usual distance when using the appliance.
If your magnetic field reading doesn’t exceed 1 Milligauss, you’re safe. Also, your electric field level should not pass 10 volts per meter during the day and 1.5 volts per meter at night.
Using an RF Meter
You should follow the general methods explained earlier when using an RF meter. There are also acceptable levels you should note. During the day, your RF reading should be more than 0.2V/m, and it shouldn’t exceed 0.06V/m at night.
Types Of RF Meters
Spectrum analyzers are super-sensitive devices used to find the origin of specific frequencies. Spectrum analyzers tell you the type of signal and the value measurements. These tools can read between 100kHz to 3GHz.
The broad-spectrum meter doesn’t provide as much detailed information as the spectrum analyzer. It can take accurate readings but can’t differentiate the type of signal.
Reducing Exposure to RF Radiation
RF radiation comes mostly from wireless waves like Bluetooth and WiFi. Your phone, Bluetooth speakers, and headphones all expose you to RF radiation. You can reduce the amount of exposure by keeping a safe distance from these appliances.
Also, you can try receiving calls on loudspeakers more often to keep a safer distance from your phone.
We’re surrounded by tons of things our eyes can’t see, like the air we breathe and the waves our devices produce. We are constantly exposed to waves or fields like the electromagnetic field (EMF), and we need to be conscious of this.
There are different types of EMFs, and we’ve looked at them above. Also, we’ve talked about how to use an EMF meter to read ELF and RF/MW. Unsafe exposure to a high level of radiation can cause health issues, and it is important that we’re conscious and prepared. Learn more about the unseen waves and fields around us here.