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Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal Imaging Camera Rental vs. Owning

Thermal imaging camera technology has come a long way over the last few decades, replacing expensive and bulky devices with thermal cameras that are much more portable, easier to use, and perhaps most importantly -- cheaper.

Facts to Consider

The many extensive uses and applications for thermal imaging cameras are still not very well-known to the general population, leading to some hesitation when it comes to actually purchasing one for long term use. Because of this, thermal imaging camera rental has become a popular option.

But is rental really the best way to go about using a thermal imaging camera? Sure, there are a few benefits of doing so, but owning one outright provides plenty of advantages as well.

If you are contemplating whether or not you should rent or own a thermal imaging camera, here are some advantages for each choice that you should consider.

Advantages to Renting

So, you are ready to try a thermal imaging camera out for yourself, but you don’t know if you want to take the plunge just yet with actually buying one. Renting an imager has a few advantages that are certainly worth noting.

Thermal Camera Renting

It’s Cheaper

Whether it’s a car or a camera, rental is obviously always the cheapest option as opposed to buying one. If you’re strapped for cash, this is very beneficial.

Renting a thermal imaging camera gives you all the benefits of a thermal camera for a short period of time, assisting you on the worksite, or in and around your own home.

You Can Try a Particular Product Out

There’s definitely no shortage of products available when searching for a thermal imager to purchase for yourself. Reviews and online demos are one thing, but you can never be quite sure of a product until you have it in your own hands.

Renting gives you the opportunity to try out an imager that you’ve had your eyes on, or allows you to contrast and compare the differences between a group of imagers.

If you are particular about your needs, or just aren’t sure if a certain thermal imager is capable of providing the functions you need it to for your unique situation, a rental may be a good option.

Advantages to Owning

Owning a thermal imaging camera gives you a wide range of benefits and advantages, mainly centered around convenience.

Thermal Camera Owning

Saving Money Over Time

The thing about renting something is that you rent it. As in, you pay money to borrow it, and fail to get a lasting return on your money. If you are someone who is going to need to use a thermal imager more than once in your lifetime (you most likely will,) rental fees can accumulate without you really noticing.

If you rent a thermal imaging camera every so often for seasonal home inspections, or for a repair job, you are basically throwing money out of the window. Over time, the rental fees can easily equal the cost of what it would be to own the camera in the first place.

You’ve still spent the same amount of money, only you have nothing to show for it. Buying a thermal camera takes care of that issue once and for all.


Imagine that it’s late at night, and you hear something in the backyard, but it’s too dark to see anything. Or maybe it’s early in the morning and something is wrong with an electrical connection in your home, but you aren’t sure which circuit is overheating and causing the problem.

Flir One

If you rely on thermal camera rentals, you’re out of luck, unless you somehow live by a store that offers 24 hour rentals (you don’t.) Having a thermal imaging camera on hand at all times offers unparalleled convenience when it comes to emergency situations.

It’s very inconvenient to have to run out and visit a store for a rental every time you need to use thermal imaging. You may only need to check on one small thing in or around your home. This creates a dilemma where you have to decide if renting a camera to use for a few seconds is worth it or not.

Having your own thermal imaging camera around at all times will eventually lead to you using it for all sorts of applications that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of if you were just renting one for a brief time. You may even be encouraged to inspect parts of your home with a greater frequency, averting expensive repair down the line by catching issues very early on.

Resale Value

With plenty of options when it comes to thermal imaging cameras, and with technology improving at a rapid pace, you may find yourself wanting a newer model down the line, or one that is more suited to a new set of needs.

Having a thermal imaging camera that you can resale will help you offset the cost of purchasing a new one.

To Own or to Buy?

Owning your own thermal imaging camera is the best route to take, especially if you are going to be using the imager with any measure of regularity. The convenience of having a thermal imager at your disposal is hard to beat.

How To Buy a Thermal Camera

Not only do you have more convenience, you are able to get more and more comfortable with using your own imager, leading to better results over time. Keep in mind that there are people that go through extensive training and classes to use these on a professional level. The more you use yours, the better you’ll get at it.

Sure, it will cost you more upfront, but not only will you eventually save money from owning the camera, you’ll save money by giving your home inspections on a more frequent basis, or when troubleshooting at a moment’s notice

Thankfully, many high-quality thermal imaging cameras fall under $1,000, with some models going for as little as $250 or less. Whether you are using a thermal imager for basic home repair and preventative maintenance, or on a larger scale, owning the camera makes sense in every way.

About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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