A client was searching for a new apartment with low EMF levels, as he is especially sensitive to exposure from radio frequency (RF) radiation. Common sources of RF are cell towers, WiFi, cell phones, Smart meters, and your neighbor’s WiFi network.
He purchased a Trifield TF2 meter a few months ago. He was curious about how it compared to the professional grade meters that I use for inspections. One of the RF meters that I use is the Safe and Sound Pro II RF meter.
There are two sources of EMF that I consider a “no-go” when house hunting: strong RF from nearby cell towers and AC magnetic fields from power lines.
Let’s dive in and compare the Trifield TF2 meter and the Safe and Sound Pro II RF meter.
What is the Best EMF Meter to Buy?
It’s relatively inexpensive at $170.
It measures three types of man-made EMF (AC magnetic fields, AC electric fields and RF).
It’s a reliable 3 axis meter for AC magnetic fields, sensitive to 0.1 mG.
It measures only 1 axis for AC electric fields. It is sensitive to 1 V/m. It is not sensitive enough for Building Biology guidelines, which recommend less than 0.3 V/m in sleeping areas.
It measures only 1 axis for RF, and only up to 6 GHz. This meter will not capture 5G in the millimeter wave high bands if you have 5G in your community.
The meter is not individually calibrated. It does not include a calibration certificate with purchase.
The TF2 only measures up to 20,000 microwaves per square meter.
I recommend the TF2 to measure AC magnetic field exposure from power lines.
I recommend the Safe and Sound Pro II RF meter to measure radio frequency radiation (RF). It measures up to 8 GHz and up to 2.5 million microwatts per square meter.
I do not recommend the TF2 for measuring RF because it is a single axis meter AND does not measure above 20,000 microwatts per square meter. It is not unusual for me to measure 500,000 microwatts per square meter during inspections. It is essential to have an accurate numerical value for your RF exposure, especially if you are considering shielding your space. For example a Swiss Shield Natural bed canopy is 99% effective up to 10 GHz. This means that if your “before” reading is 20,000 microwatts per square meter, the best “after” reading with a bed canopy will be 200 microwatts per square meter. This is a significant improvement, but not nearly low enough in a sleeping area. If your “before” reading is 500,000 microwatts per square meter, the best “after” reading will be 5,000 microwatts per meter, far higher than the 10 microwatts per square meter recommended by Building Biology for sleeping areas. You need to know exactly what the RF field strength is before moving into a new home.
It is always best to have a certified Building Biologist perform an inspection before you rent or buy a home, but this is a great starting point if you are curious about your EMF exposure and would like to buy a meter.