How can I shield my Smart meter?
A Smart meter is a radiofrequency (RF) emitting device that the utility company has installed on your gas or electric meter. The RF signal emitted transmits information back to the utility company about your gas or electric usage. The signal is intermittent, but operates 24/7. Usually, the utility company will not permit you to completely block this transmission. However, you can shield your body and your living space to minimize the amount of RF exposure you receive.
There are two main categories of shielding materials that can be used:
RF reflectors and RF absorbers
An RF reflector will cause the majority of the signal to bounce off, somewhat like a mirror reflects light. It can have very high shielding performance, and in general should be grounded for peak efficiency. It will usually offer better shielding (less RF transmission) than an absorbing material. An RF absorber will absorb the much of the signal, and minimize reflection. The energy absorbed is released as a tiny, almost unmeasurable amount of heat. Grounding is usually not needed. In both cases, SOME amount of RF does get through the shield, as no shield is 100% effective. You can use double or triple layers of shielding to improve performance.
So where should I put the shield? And how much area do I need to cover?First, the shield must be positioned BETWEEN you and the source of the radiation. Generally, this means that the shield will be placed on the interior surface of the wall adjacent to the Smart meter. Think about the Smart meter emissions as coming from a light bulb located at the meter, and the shield casting a shadow. Cover enough wall so that the people would be in the protective "shadow" cast by the shield. Notice the small shield in the floor plan at right. In this example, the majority of the bedroom area is protected, but that is not true for the rest of the living space.
So which one is right for your situation? In a hypothetical world where your Smart meter is the only source of RF radiation, either absorbers or reflectors would work well. However, in the real world, there will be multiple sources of RF radiation. Some of them might be right inside your own home. Some might be coming from other directions. In such a situation, if you use a reflecting material, it will reflect on BOTH sides, and you could end up increasing the amount of RF in your living space. On the other hand, if you use an absorber, it will absorb on BOTH sides, so you cannot increase your exposure. If, you use both materials, a reflector on the side closest to the RF source, and an absorber on the side closest to the living space, you get the best of both materials... and the absolute lowest RF transmission. Any small amount of Smart meter signal penetrating the reflector will be absorbed by the absorber. Any signal coming from the opposite direction will have to pass through the absorber, then reflect off the reflector, and finally pass through the absorber again before it re-enters the living space. This would be a very small amount indeed.
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Smart Meters emit microwave signals in all directions. To protect your loved ones from these emissions, your shield must be placed between the source of emissions and the people. That usually means on the interior of the wall where the smart meter is attached. But what if you need to shield an outdoor patio? Or an area to the side of the smart meter?
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