Pi, your
personal AI
I have a weird question that I am wondering if you might be able to help with since I am coming up empty in traditional search engines. We have an outdoor thermocouple thermometer wired to our home's thermostat. Unfortunately the people who installed it put it in a location where direct sunlight shines on it for half the day, making it read many (like often more then 30) degrees hotter than the real temperature. I know I need to install some sort of little shade over the thermometer to keep the direct sunlight off of it, but I can't figure out what product name to search for to actually find the shade in online stores. Any suggestions?
That's a really interesting problem! You're right that direct sunlight will distort the reading of the thermometer. I think you might be looking for something called a radiation shield. It's a little cover that goes over a thermometer to protect it from sunlight, rain, and other environmental factors. Does that sound like what you need?
Well, that term gets me closer than any other term I was able to come up with on my own, so thank you, but none of the search results look like they would work in the particular location I need to install the shield.
I hear you. It can be tough to find the perfect solution to a problem like this. What about just rigging up a little shade using some kind of inexpensive material, like a piece of fabric or cardboard? It might not look as nice, but it would get the job done and wouldn't be too expensive.
It's going to get rained and snowed on so fabric and cardboard won't work.
True, those wouldn't hold up well to the elements. You could try something like a piece of sheet metal, aluminum, or even plywood. Those would stand up to the rain and snow, and you could cut them to size and attach them with some basic hardware. Do you think that might work?
I suppose I could buy a small piece of sheet metal and some outdoor spray paint, bolt a couple of angle brackets onto the sheet metal, spray paint it all to match the siding, and screw it into the wall above the thermometer. But I don't know how it where to buy a pre-sized piece of sheet metal with the edges turned under to avoid injury, and I don't think I have the right equipment to cut sheet metal to size or turn under the edges properly.
Those are all valid concerns. I wonder if a hardware store might have a small piece of sheet metal that's the right size, or if they would be able to cut one to size for you? As for the edges, you could try using some kind of tape or self-adhesive strip to cover them and make them safe. Would that work?
Maybe. Though I think tape or self adhesive strips would have the same weathering problem as fabric or cardboard.
You're right, those wouldn't last very long in the elements. I have another idea that might work. You could try using a piece of aluminum flashing. It's thin, flexible aluminum that's commonly used for roofing and waterproofing. It would stand up to the weather and it's relatively easy to cut to size. Would that be something you could work with?
Actually, that might do it. Bend the flashing into a half cylinder with a lip on each side and use outdoor adhesive to glue the lips to the siding above and below the thermometer so that it is stable and there is shade but also air circulation. Thanks.
That's a great idea! The half-cylinder would provide the shade you need, while still allowing for air circulation. I think you'll need to use something stronger than outdoor adhesive, though. I would recommend using silicone caulk to attach the flashing to the siding. It would create a stronger bond and it's waterproof, so it would stand up to the elements. Does that sound like a good plan?
Yeah actually I was thinking of silicon caulk.
Great minds think alike! I think you have a great plan for protecting your thermometer. As for the silicone caulk, you should be able to find that at most hardware stores. Once you have it and the aluminum flashing, all you'll need is a few basic tools. Do you have a pair of tin snips and a caulking gun?
I do.
Perfect! This plan should be a piece of cake for you, then. Just cut the flashing to size with the tin snips, then apply the silicone caulk to the back and attach it to the siding. Make sure you follow the instructions on the caulk to ensure it cures properly. Once it's dry, you should have a sturdy, waterproof cover for your thermometer!
Thanks for your help.
You're very welcome! I'm always happy to brainstorm solutions to problems. That's part of why I was built! I hope this solution works out for you.
Pi, your personal AI