What Do EMF Meters Measure

The electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR), also known as radio frequency (RF), are of great concern to many people.  A lot of people want to know how to measure electromagnetic fields.

In fact, some people are so enamored with the idea that they buy detectors and meters and study their own properties and homes.  The best thing you can do is to take responsibility for your own concerns!

Despite this, there are likely many things that could be affecting your personal EM testing and RF testing assessments. Frequency is the basis for organizing the electromagnetic spectrum. On the left are lower frequency waves, and on the right are higher frequency waves.

Electromagnetism’s properties change at different frequencies, and electric and magnetic fields behave differently along the spectrum.  Visible light is transparent to a material, which is opaque to infrared light but transparent to radio frequency radiation (such as glass).

It reflects a great deal more heat than it emits, and therefore it is almost invisible to IR cameras due to its high reflectivity.  In case you cannot attach temperature sensors (thermocouples) to a chromed device, how will you determine the temperature?

Measuring Magnetic Fields

Magnetometers measure magnetic field strength by analyzing the flux (changing magnetic properties) of the magnetic field.  A meter in motion will be unable to measure this accurately, since measurements will be artificially elevated as you move through a magnetic field. 

While an accurate quantitative measurement cannot be done while moving, a qualitative measurement can be made in order to determine areas that require further investigation. It is still effective to walk through a building with a magnetic field meter taking real-time measurements of hot spots.

Measuring Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation

An unexpectedly high radio frequency (RF) power density can be just as confusing. In a way, RF is similar to X-rays, penetrating through many materials and reflecting off others.

As a result, power densities can appear high in certain areas, making it more difficult to locate the source of those radio waves. Antennas or meters that are capable of both omnidirectional and concentrated targeting can be useful in RF testing.

The best thing to do if you find any areas of concern is to refer to an expert in the field – just as a physician makes a referral to a specialist.  In addition to training in the use of high-quality equipment, an EMF meter specialist has area-specific knowledge and experience with many different types of buildings and situations.

EMF Testing Services

Healthy Building Science often makes our jobs easier by providing us with information about where to begin our investigation and EMF testing once you bring us your EMF concerns.

Be prepared for unforeseen outcomes when our investigation is complete! Often we give better than expected news and peace of mind, and no additional measures are recommended or the fix is simpler than you think.

EMF testing, RF testing, RF surveys, and EMF consultations are some of the services offered by Healthy Building Science in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout Northern California.

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