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Best Infrared Thermometer HVAC 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide

Shopping for the best HVAC infrared thermometer? We have rounded up the best models for you to see.

A good infrared thermometer allows you to check the temperature of anything you point it on while standing at a safe distance.

For HVAC technicians, they are a handy and time-saving gadget that allows them to measure the temperature of various equipment from afar.

With one of these at hand, no technician has to climb the ladder just to take a temperature reading.

This article includes a list of the best infrared thermometers for HVAC. Since the field is all about temperature control, a temperature change as minute as 1°F can mean a drastic change in the equipment setting and compliance with HVAC regulations.

That’s why this least exciting piece of equipment is very special in this industry.

Who Needs an HVAC Infrared Thermometer?

An HVAC thermometer is a handy device for HVAC professionals. But you can also use it around your home for home maintenance.

It will help you address minor issues before they become a huge problem. Here are some instances where one would need an HVAC thermometer:

Automotive Repair

Automotive repair is a job that involves dealing with hot engines. Using an HVAC infrared thermometer for this purpose allows you to detect problems inside a hot engine.

This way, you don’t need to take apart the entire engine; instead, you can work on the component having temperature problems.

Finding Weak Spots in Insulation

HVAC thermometers are an excellent tool for detecting weak spots in your thermal insulation. It shows you where the insulation is weak or has holes.

Weak insulation makes your home lose heat during winters and let it in during winters, so your HVAC system has to overwork, increasing your energy bills in the process. Hence, it is important to address this issue.

Cooking

You can also use an HVAC IR thermometer in the kitchen. It tells you the accurate temperature of your steaks and burgers, so they turn out perfect every time.

Eating rare meat causes serious health problems, so using an infrared thermometer for this purpose helps you avoid them.

Equipment Maintenance

HVAC professionals rely on these thermometers to check housings, moving parts, and other components for temperature changes.

Such changes indicate underlying problems, so they use this information to schedule repair or replacement before the issue causes the equipment to fail.

Building Control

An HVAC infrared thermometer is also needed to monitor different electrical appliances for room balancing and quick energy audits.

They make accessing elevated vents and returns much easier. Professionals also use these to check the temperature of HVAC components for better building control.

What’s In This Buying Guide

As we mentioned above, an HVAC infrared thermometer is a versatile device that you can use for multiple applications around the house.

Whether you are an HVAC professional, DIYer, or a curious homeowner, having one really helps. With the pandemic prevailing, the demand for infrared thermometers has sky-rocketed.

Where there is demand, there is supply, so manufacturers flooded the market with a multitude of products, each claiming to be better than the other. Choosing a single unit from such a huge variety is not an easy task.

In this buying guide, we have compiled a list of the best HVAC thermometers to help you out. All the models we chose are durable units with solid customer feedback backing them up. Have a look.

Best HVAC Infrared Thermometers

Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com

pocket thermometer hvac
  • Etekcity 774

  • Category
    Best Overall

  • Thermometer Type
    Industrial

  • Accuracy
    +-2%

  • Reading Speed
    1 Second

  • Distance
    12-48 inches

  • Temperature Range
    -20 to +932 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Warranty
    2-Year

  • FDA Approved for Humans
    No

  • Distance Spot Ratio
    12:1

hvac digital thermometer
  • FLUKE-561 561 HVAC Pro

  • Category
    Also Great

  • Thermometer Type
    Industrial

  • Accuracy
    +-1%

  • Reading Speed
    1 Second

  • Distance
    12 – 36 inches

  • Temperature Range
    -40°F to 1022°F

  • Warranty
    2-Year

  • FDA Approved for Humans
    Yes

  • Distance Spot Ratio
    12:1

hvac digital thermometer
  • Extech IRT600 Dual Laser IR

  • Category
    Best Value

  • Thermometer Type
    Industrial

  • Accuracy
    ±3.5%

  • Reading Speed
    0.15 second

  • Distance
    30 inches

  • Temperature Range
    -22 to 662 °F

  • Warranty
    N/A

  • FDA Approved for Humans
    No

  • Distance Spot Ratio
    12:1

hvac infrared thermometer
  • ennoLogic Temperature Gun

  • Category
    Best Budget

  • Thermometer Type
    Industrial

  • Accuracy
    ±3.5%

  • Reading Speed
    0.5 seconds

  • Distance
    12-48 inches

  • Temperature Range
    -58°F to 1922°F

  • Warranty
    10 year

  • FDA Approved for Humans
    No

  • Distance Spot Ratio
    10:1

pocket thermometer hvac
  • Fluke 62 Max

  • Category
    Another Cheap Option

  • Thermometer Type
    Industrial

  • Accuracy
    +-1.5%

  • Reading Speed
    1 Sec

  • Distance
    12-48 inches

  • Temperature Range
    -30 to 500°F

  • Warranty
    3 year

  • FDA Approved for Humans
    No

  • Distance Spot Ratio
    12:1

1. Best Overall: Etekcity 774

hvac digital thermometer

Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774 is a versatile device that you can use to evaluate the temperature of inanimate objects.

With its infrared technology, it can determine the surface temperature without touching the object itself.

Pros

  • Suitable for non-contact temperature measurements
  • Features an easy-to-read, back-lit display
  • Dual rotating lasers for better spot aiming accuracy
  • Can measure varying materials with adjustable emissivity
  • Auto shutoff feature for extended battery life

Cons

  • Accuracy is low at +-2%
  • Not suitable for humans and animals

Our Review

Looking at the price, you will wonder why it is our top contender. Well, it is certainly one of the cheapest bare-bones digital infrared thermometers on the market, but it gets the job done satisfactorily. And it has amazing user feedback.

It allows you to safely and accurately measure the temperatures of objects, whether near or far. It has a distance spot ratio of 12:1 and functions at a distance range of 12 to 48 inches.

Although it is an FDA-approved model, being an industrial model, you cannot use it on humans and animals. Even if you do so, it will give an inaccurate reading.

A good thing about this device is its built-in laser. You can precisely hone it on the specific spot to measure its temperature. It has a large temperature range and can function at greater distances.

You can also choose the temperature unit (°C or °F) in which it will display the results. And you also don’t need to wait long for them. The thermometer has a response time of ≤500ms and can hold the results for up to 15 seconds.

Issues & Limitations

From a price point of view, there is nothing much to complain about. It has solid customer feedback backing it up, but there are some QC issues. The build quality is not as sturdy as some top-of-the-line models.

But Etekcity follows it up with a 2-year warranty coverage under which you can have your device replaced if there are any problems with it. And if you choose to order from Amazon, you are also eligible for a 30-day no-questions-asked return.

We are also worried about the +/-2% accuracy, but considering the price, you won’t find any other model as accurate as this one.

Bottom Line

Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774 is our top contender because it is affordable, basic, and very easy to use.

With a 12:1 distance spot ratio, large distance coverage, and wide temperature sensitivity, you can’t go wrong with purchasing this unit. It offers exceptional value for your money that you won’t find anywhere else.

2. Also Great: FLUKE-561 561 HVAC Pro 

pocket thermometer hvac

This is another reasonably priced model with lots of features and versatile functionality. The best thing about this industrial thermometer is that it can measure body temperature as well.

Pros

  • It comes with dual infrared and thermocouple mode for better usability
  • Displays reliable and accurate results quickly
  • Can evaluate temperature with or without making contact
  • Supports a broad range of temperatures
  • It is compact, lightweight, and ergonomically designed

Cons

  • Instructions for operation are somewhat lacking
  • You can only set emissivity at low, medium, or high

Our Review

This IR thermometer set from Fluke is a complete solution for measuring temperatures on HVAC equipment. You can use it for a variety of mechanical, industrial, and electrical purposes. It is designed to be extremely accurate for both contact and contactless measurements.

With a built-in probe, this device ensures efficiency in all kinds of applications. It has a wide temperature measurement range of -40 to 1022°F, making it a useful product in all industrial applications.

For simple handling, it features a thermocouple pipe probe that has a hook-and-loop fastener. You can use these when you want to take contact measurements and use it as is an IR gun for contactless measurements.

The best thing about this unit is its sturdy case. Although the device itself has a rugged design, manufacturers have provided a high-quality carrying case for safe transportation. Overall, the device is very easy to use and delivers accurate results.

The FDA has also approved it to measure body temperature, so that is really saying something. We really like this unit for both its design and functionality.

Issues & Limitations

Like other IR thermometers, this unit also measures the surface temperature of any object. You cannot use it to determine the internal temperature of any object, which is possible with a thermal imaging camera. Also, it has adjustable emissivity, but you can only set it at low, medium, or high – there is no in-between.

We noticed that although the device is easy to figure out, the instructions provided in the manual are not very comprehensive, especially the part where it explains how to switch between °C and °F.

Bottom Line

Fluke is a respected name in the IR thermometer market. Their devices are accurate, reliable, and long-lasting. This unit is no different.

With its versatile functionality, you can use it to evaluate the temperature of both animate and inanimate objects.

It has a long battery life and is backed by a solid 2-year warranty, making it a dependable unit that you should look into getting for yourself.

3. Best Value: Extech IRT600 Dual Laser IR 

hvac temperature meter

If you want the best value for your money, look into getting the Extech IRT600 Dual Laser IR Thermal Condensation Scanner. It is an ergonomic and lightweight model that delivers accurate results within a second.

Pros

  • Operates on a dual laser spot identification technique
  • It can take continuous readings on the lock mode
  • Features adjustable emissivity for accurate readings
  • Equipped with a customizable alarm setting for low and high temperatures
  • Sturdy, ergonomic, and very easy to use

Cons

  • Cannot upload readings on a computer
  • At ±3.5%, its accuracy is low

Our Review

This IR thermometer is a good choice for HVAC applications because it has a fast response time of 15 ms. Using it, you can take multiple readings and identify unusual hotspots. It features a dual laser design that converges together into a spot of an inch.

You can point it at the spot whose temperature you want to measure and view its accurate surface temperature. You also can set it on the lock position to obtain a continuous reading.

It features a trigger and handle design for a natural and comfortable hold. The unit is ergonomic and lightweight that makes using it a comfortable experience. For added durability, it features double-molded housing and comes with a carry case.

The device functions on a 9V battery that which gives it a long life. It displays the results in a back-lit LCD display. The background is white, so you can easily read the output.

It allows you to switch between °C and °F and has an emissivity adjustment from 0.10 to 1.00, which enables it to correctly measure surfaces of varying textures.

Issues & Limitations

While we do like the unit, it let us down with its low accuracy. With a +-3.5% accuracy, it is not the most accurate device on our list.

However, considering the price and features, we think that you will be hard-pressed to find a similar model.

We really like its continuous measurement feature in lock mode, but we noticed that it could not upload its readings on a computer.

So, you will have to record the results manually to be able to show them later. And finally, it cannot take accurate temperature measurements of humans and animals.

Bottom Line

This device allows you to measure the degree of hotness and coldness of any object from afar. With its broad sensitivity range, you can use it for both professional and home uses.

It displays accurate results that are easy to read on a large display. Lightweight, ergonomic, and easy-to-use, this unit certainly deserves a spot on our list.

4. Best Budget: EnnoLogic Temperature Gun

hvac thermometer

We think that the ennoLogic temperature gun is a tremendous option considering the price tag attached to it.

At about half the cost of some of the best HVAC infrared thermometers, it delivers similar accuracy and features as any of those.

Pros

  • It comes with a holster for easy handling and usage
  • The dual thermal laser improves accuracy
  • The backlit digital display is easy to read
  • The unit is durable and well-made
  • The adjustable emissivity increases its versatility

Cons

  • The distance-to-spot ratio is not too large
  • The battery pocket is difficult to shut

Our Review

As a trusted name, ennoLogic is the non-contact temperature manufacturing business. Many of their units are currently the best on the market, and the ennoLogic infrared Temperature Gun is no different.

It is easy-to-use with its point-and-shoot functionality. Whether you are inspecting HVAC equipment or cooking, this unit will not let you down.

It is a great option for people who want a low-cost thermometer but don’t want to compromise on performance. It is solidly built with a reinforced plastic body that won’t break even if it falls several times.

They are so sure of the quality that it comes with ten-year warranty coverage. You can ring them up if you run into any issues; the customer department is very cool and helpful.

What we found more impressive was its temperature range. It can evaluate temperatures from -58°F to 1922°F. You can efficiently use this broad range for various purposes and also toggle between °C and °F measurements.

Even with a smaller distance-to-spot ratio; it is safe to use. A noteworthy feature is the included holster that allows you to attach it to your hip for more convenience.

Issues & Limitations

Although the device is suitable for a wide variety of applications, there is one field where this amazing unit stutters – the medical field.

It complies with FDA guidelines, but the ± 3.5% accuracy means it cannot accurately determine whether a person has a fever or not.

Moreover, manufacturers designed it with user comfort in mind but failed to deliver on one occasion: the battery pocket.

The battery is easy to access and replace, but putting the lid back on is difficult to address hurriedly.

Bottom Line

While designing the unit, ennoLogic paid close attention to customer demands. It is a sturdy build, is very easy-to-use, and comes at an affordable price.

You can use it for a variety of purposes with accurate results every time. And if you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to call them.

They will address your concerns and even replace the components or the entire unit if they persist.

5. Another Cheap Option: Fluke 62 Max 

hvac digital thermometer

Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer is the best in its category for your on-the-job needs. And what else would you expect from the experts in measurement tools? Even if this is their budget model, Fluke didn’t hold back from making it the best.

Pros

  • IP54 rated for dust and water resistance
  • Rugged built passed a 3-meter drop test
  • Designed to fit your palm for a natural hold
  • Compact and lightweight design easily fits inside most toolboxes
  • Hi and Lo alarms for rapid display of measurements outside the limits

Cons

  • Not suitable for medical usage
  • The user manual is written unprofessionally.

Our Review

Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer is the kind of device that you can carry around with you on a construction site and not worry about banging and breaking it.

It features a sturdy build capable of withstanding a 3-meter drop. It is further protected by IP54-rated protection for dust and water resistance. It is shock-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof.

The Fluke 62 features a large, back-lit display, which makes reading the results easier. With a temperature range of -30 to 500°F, you can use it for a variety of purposes.

Whether you are a professional who needs to take temperatures regularly or a curious DIYer who loves to play with gadgets; this is a must-have for your toolbox.

Issues & Limitations

Although the Fluke 62 thermometer does not have any serious issues, we did notice that the instructions in the user manual are very contraindicating and confusing. The device itself is pretty easy to use, but the directions make it look very difficult to operate. .

We also have issues with the packaging it is delivered in. It is shabby and does not ensure the safety of the device.

It looks like Fluke wants to challenge their own QC and test the unit with such unsatisfactory and risky packaging.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an all-purpose thermometer that can cater to all your professional needs, look into getting one of these.

It is thoughtfully designed with an ergonomic design and sturdy build. You can use it for all applications except medical. It responds quickly and displays accurate results in a short time, making it a worthy contender.

Limitations

best hvac infrared thermometer

Infrared thermometers are very useful when used the right way for the right applications. They give fast results without contacting and objects.

In HVAC work, they play a vital role by measuring drafts and insulation damage, monitoring cooling systems, and picking up hot spots in electrical systems. But they have their fair share of limitations, too. These include:

Cannot Take Measurements of Liquids or Gases

While it is ideal for taking a contactless temperature measurement of a solid, an infrared thermometer cannot take measurements of solids and liquids.

The radiation can’t make proper contact, so it gives a different reading of the same sample every time.

Cannot Pass Through the Glass

While other visible rays of light can pass through glass, infrared waves cannot. Even if you point one of these at a window, it will show you the window pane’s temperature and not of the object behind it.

Radio Frequencies can Interfere with the Results

Radio frequencies temporarily affect the performance of an infrared HVAC thermometer. When there is an electromagnetic device nearby of three volts or higher strength, it interferes with the results. So be sure to be wary of this when using it near such devices.

Air Particles can Affect its Accuracy

Different pollutants and air particles such as frost, dust, moisture, fog, or smoke have a negative impact on an infrared thermometer’s performance. When using it under such conditions, double-check the results to be sure.

Can Only Measure Surface Temperatures

Contrary to what most people believe, an infrared thermometer does not measure the internal temperature of some materials.

They accurately show the temperature of the surface but may not reach far inside the material to measure and display its internal temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by an HVAC infrared thermometer, and how does it function?

An HVAC infrared thermometer is your regular infrared laser thermometer that you can use for HVAC applications. It is a handy device for HVAC technicians while inspecting different components of the HVAC equipment.

They take the surface temperature measurements of hard-to-reach, electrically live, rotating, or excessively hot targets.

They save time that technicians would otherwise spend in taking different temperature measurements by displaying the results within seconds.

Just like the name suggests, infrared thermometers function with infrared light. Like visible light, infrared light rays can also be absorbed, reflected, and focused. Infrared thermometers are handheld devices that use a lens to focus the infrared rays from different objects onto a sensor.

The sensor measures their intensity by absorbing the rays and converts them into an electrical signal. The device then processes the signal and displays a temperature readout. The more intense the signal, the higher the temperature.

Is an HVAC thermometer worth it?

Yes, an HVAC thermometer is definitely worth it. You can use it to take temperature measurements at a distance, so it can have a relatively accurate measurement without coming in contact with the object you are measuring.

They are a practical solution for measuring temperature, especially when an object is out of reach.

In the HVAC field, professionals are often required to measure the warmth of different components in order to diagnose and troubleshoot HVAC equipment.

Whether a component is unbearably hot, electrically live, or simply out of reach, HVAC thermometers can evaluate its temperature within seconds, This saves precious time and displays highly accurate results.

How to buy a good contactless medical thermometer?

hvac infrared thermometer

A contactless thermometer is a medical device used to measure body temperature without touching the patient.

Since fever is a common symptom in many infectious diseases, a contactless thermometer is a reasonable solution to avoid spread. Here are some features to look for in a good contactless medical thermometer:

Accuracy:

The most important feature of a contactless thermometer is its accuracy. For medical examinations, you need a thermometer that is extremely precise and accurate.

An inaccurate reading can often lead to issues. That’s why you should pay high priority to the accuracy of your contactless medical thermometer.

Emissivity:

Emissivity describes how much infrared rays can a contactless medical thermometer emit at any one time. The amount of energy it can put out determines its ability to measure different materials.

If you want a good contactless thermometer, choose a unit that allows you to adjust its emissivity. By adjusting its emissivity, you can compensate for the least energy.

Temperature Range:

The range of a contactless thermometer determines what applications you can use it for. A good contactless medical thermometer has a temperature range of 32.0-42.9°C or 89.6-109.2°F.

Design:

In general, a contactless medical thermometer should have a rugged and durable design. Since you will be using it on numerous patients, you need a model that is both easy to hold and use.

Furthermore, the lens should be of good quality. Otherwise, it can crack with rough handling.

Display

A model with a back-lit display is an ideal choice. Since you will be working in varying circumstances, such a model usually comes in handy as it is fairly easy to read. A bigger display is also a major plus point.

Read Speed

Thermometers that are quicker to read are generally better for medical examinations. When you have numerous other vitals to check, measuring temperature is the last thing you want to be spending your time on. That’s why you should choose a model that displays its results almost immediately.

Can an HVAC IR thermometer measure human body temperature?

Yes, an HVAC thermometer can absolutely measure human body temperature. Most infrared thermometers share a similar design, but they feature different temperature ranges.

Medical IR thermometers usually have a low-temperature range, while an HVAC IR thermometer has a higher temperature range. But its range includes that of a medical IR thermometer, so it can easily pick up the temperature of a human body.

Still, some models suggest otherwise, so it’s better to check the user manual first and whether the device is FDA-approved or not.

How Accurate is an HVAC IR Thermometer?

An HVAC thermometer is a relatively accurate device; however, its accuracy greatly depends upon its distance-to-spot ratio (D/S ratio).

It indicates the maximum distance from where the thermometer can measure temperature. The bigger the D/S ratio, the farther your IR thermometer can measure from and the accurate your temperature reading will be.

Recent studies prove that an HVAC IR thermometer is as accurate as a probe or contact thermometer when used correctly.

IR thermometers usually have an accuracy of ±3 degrees, so your measured temperature could be off by more or less 3 degrees.

What is the max temperature that an HVAC thermometer can measure?

HVAC IR thermometers have a maximum temperature read-out range starting from a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit to several thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

With faulty HVAC equipment developing high temperatures, these thermometers must have a high temperature range in order to accurately evaluate the temperature of various components. That’s why they are a huge hit amongst many HVAC technicians.

Final Verdict: Which is the Best Infrared Thermometer HVAC

After going over the different models and studying their features, we think that Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774 is the best infrared thermometer for HVAC.

If that doesn’t fit the bill for you, take a look at the FLUKE-561 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Thermometer for its outstanding performance.

Lastly, if you want an affordable model, go for Fluke 62 Max Infrared Thermometer.