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How to Measure EMF

ElectroMagnetic EMF Spectrum

How to Measure EMF: The Art of Knowing What You Are Studying

There are a lot of people concerned about electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR or also known as radio frequency (RF)).  People want to know how to measure EMF. So much so, that they purchase detectors and meters for themselves and attempt to study their own property and homes.  It is great to take responsibility for your own concerns! However, there are likely many things that could be confusing your personal emf testing and rf testing assessments.

Electromagnetic EMF Spectrum chart - Healthy Building Science - emf testing - rf testing

ElectroMagnetic EMF Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is organized by frequency. Generally, lower frequency radiation is on the left, and higher frequency radiation is on the right. See the above graphic.

The properties of electromagnetism change at different frequencies and electric and magnetic fields behave differently along the spectrum.  A material that is transparent to visible light can be opaque to infrared light, but then again transparent to radio frequency radiation (e.g., glass).  Chrome is highly reflective to all of these frequencies, but nearly invisible to IR cameras because it reflects much more heat energy than it emits.  So how do you measure the temperature of a chromed device if you cannot attach temperature sensors (thermocouples) to it?

EMF Meter near an electrical panel - Healthy Building Science - environmental consultants

EMF Meter Should Detect Hot Spots – Magnetic Fields Near Electrical Panel. [Measuring 157 milliGauss (mG)]

Measuring Magnetic Fields

Meters measuring magnetic fields strength analyze the flux (changing field properties) of the magnetic field.  A meter in motion will not measure this accurately, because measurements will be artificially elevated as you move through a magnetic field.   While an accurate quantitative measurement cannot be made while moving, a qualitative measurement can be made to show places where more investigation is recommended. Walking through a building with a magnetic field meter taking real-time measurements is still an effective strategy of finding “hot spots.”

Measuring Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation

Higher than expected radio frequency (RF) power density can be just as confusing. RF can act sort of like X-rays, penetrating through many materials, reflecting off others.  This can produce apparently high power densities in certain areas and make finding the source of those RF radiations more difficult. Using separate RF meters or antennas with the capability of omnidirectional AND more focused targeting can be useful in RF testing.

man using Directional RF Antenna at Smart Meter - Healthy Building Science - RF Testing

David Sasse using Directional RF Antenna at Smart Meter

Using Omni Directional RF Antenna - Healthy Building Science - environmental consultants

Alex Stadtner Using Omni Directional RF Antenna at PV Inverter w: Wireless Signal

If you find areas that raise your concerns it is best to refer to an expert in the field – much like a medical generalist refers to a specialist.  A qualified EMF specialist is trained specifically in the use of high-quality equipment, has area-specific knowledge, and has experience with many different buildings and situations.

EMF Testing Services

If you bring your EMF concerns to Healthy Building Science, it usually makes our jobs easier by giving us a heads-up as to where to start our investigation and EMF testing.  Don’t be surprised if our investigation brings unforeseen conclusions! Often we deliver better than expected news and peace of mind, and no additional measures are recommended or the fix is more simple than you think.

man testing emf in electrical panel - Healthy Building Science - emf testing - rf testing

Author (Cameron Das) Performing Diagnostics for EMF Wiring Errors – DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

Healthy Building Science is an environmental consulting firm which provides EMF testing, emf surveys, emf consultations and RF testing for the greater San Francisco Bay Area and all of Northern California.

10 Responses to “How to Measure EMF”

  1. I find it interesting that magnetic field meters help to measure and analyze the magnetic field flux. My father-in-law would like to know the magnetic field strength of his new property. I’ll recommend that he invest in a high-quality magnetic field meter from a reputable supplier to make sure the results are accurate.

  2. Alex says :

    Not all smart meters emit 24/7. Some may only emit an RF signal every 24 hours, others every minute. Your meter may also be calibrated to read only a different bandwidth than what your smart meter is emitting.

  3. Kelly says :

    Why would an emf reader not pick up any reading on a smart meter. (Picking up huge numbers on wifi router)

    Thanks

  4. techrayan says :

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  5. It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular subject, however, you sound like you know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks

  6. JosephTor says :

    I just want to say thank you for this great forum. I found a solution here on healthybuildingscience.com for my issue.

  7. David says :

    I’m wishing you guys were in Portland, OR.
    Any suggestions on who to call up here that might specialize like HBS does?
    Thanks,
    David

  8. Tempomos Cap says :

    Depending on the layout of the house and the wishes of the customer to the design can be used marching, slanting, screw, combined and other types of glass stairs. Floating is a relatively simple type of stairs straight or curved designs, the essential element of which is the presence of the inclined series of steps and connecting them stairs (respectively rectangular or semicircular shape). The most common type of stairway has a slope of 30-45°. In such a ladder, the biomechanics of a person who moves up or down it is taken into account as much as possible. The advantage of the design of the flight stairs-the maximum strength with a minimum number of connections. For attaching stairs to the Bolza is used the same type of hinged plates boltov that is a metal fastener, which is used for sequential mounting steps. Stairs can be straight or winder. This type of ladder design allows you to make the mount almost invisible in connection with what has gained great popularity among designers. But, despite the “visual lightness”, these stairs are able to withstand heavy loads, in particular, in cases where the design of the stairs is enhanced by a combination with a braid, bowstring or wall mount. In terms of design and construction, the combined staircases are characterized by a free spatial configuration, in which the elements of the staircases are combined with various spiral (screw) structures. Most modular and small stairs are also combined. Combined glass stairs-a vivid example of architectural construction in the style of “eclecticism” – the direction in which an arbitrary combination of styles, designs and materials is used. They are original engineering and artistic solutions. To perform such complex work requires the joint work of the architect and designer and, of course, a high level of professionalism of the installation team railings

  9. Alex says :

    You could buy a reasonably accurate gauss meter which measures magnetic fields and test yourself, or you could find a local Building Biologist to perform the EMF Testing. If you’re in California we would be happy to provide an EMR or EMF Inspection.

  10. Marci says :

    Hi
    I’m looking at buying a property but there’s a large electrical tower right next to it. Should I be concerned about radiation? How can I test it?
    The garage is the closest room to the tower.
    Thank you

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