Finding out about a leaking air or heating system can be tricky, considering their invisible tracks deep within the walls or at the top of your house. This calls for keeping an eye on what is happening beyond what you can see to prevent energy loss and misuse of resources abound. For example, when you switch on your heating system, it should be for your home, not the whole neighborhood.
So if you don’t want to go all the way with the repairs, an upfront expense on a thermal imaging camera will help you notice problems before matters get out of hand.
These gadgets go a long way in helping survey appliances like your smoke detector
, to discern any faulty connections that can cause its failure to signal you in case a fire breaks out. You can also count on them to get a glimpse of what is happening in the air conditioner
connection, to rule out the possibility of any defects leaving you without fresh air in the house.
If you are into sleek tools that you can carry with ease, these imagers will offer you just that. However, thermal imaging cameras’ design does not compromise their power. Regardless of how small they may be, they still pack enough power to discover air leaks, thermal bypasses, and insulation gaps before disaster strikes.
In case you doubt the safety of your HVAC motors and generator
efficiency, you can also get a glimpse of what is happening to prevent costly energy loss in the long term. Whether you want to discover wasteful heat loss culprits, diagnose electrical repairs, or look for survivors in a collapsed building, these cameras will take you there.
Take a look at some of the desirable features a thermal imager should have.
Thermal imagers come in a wide range of prices; expect to spend anything between $300 and $3,000. You can get a more sophisticated one at a slightly higher price too. But when you check their efficiency and how much they can save you in the long term, these cameras usually come with a fair deal.
You might come across several cheap thermal imagers as well, but you need to avoid going for their low-cost offers. In most cases, these are low-end thermal imagers, and they do not provide essential features like full temperature sensitivity and slight temperature variation detections. And they can offer poor resolution and lack sufficient storage capacity, all which are crucial for this type of camera.
These cameras are useful for pinpointing a problem, but their efficiency depends on the features; this is where you need to keep your eye on to get the best deal for your money.
Here are some of these qualities:
- Temp Range – The temperature level or the variation that your camera is capable of detecting is one thing you have to consider depending on the use you want for this tool.
- Size – These cameras come in different dimensions and weight; it’s all about different manufacturers with their distinct innovations. But looking for a sleek and sturdy one goes a long way in enhancing their efficiency.
- Field of View – This is significant when it comes to the clarity of the image you get. A lower cost camera will offer you a fixed lens, but a high-end one could come with interchangeable lenses. It all depends on where you want to use your camera.
- Resolution – With a large area resolution camera, you can scan a wide area for more details. But if you want to get information from a close range, then a lower resolution one will do.
- Focal Length – This is the lens’ ability to gather light. If you want to increase the sensitivity of an IR camera, you will need an appropriate lens for your job.
Construction and Design
When it comes to the construction and design, there are a number of factors that you have to consider. Here’s what we are talking about:
- Rubberized Grip - Most thermal imagers’ designs feature a rubberized grip that makes it easy to hold for extended periods. This also helps to prevent slippage, especially when you are holding the imager along with other items, giving you more control of the device.
- Interchangeable or Fixed Lenses - An interchangeable lens is a type of lens featured in most thermal imaging cameras that enables the user to set the field of view for a wider focus and clearer images. Thermal imagers are built to deliver the right resolution that can help you pinpoint the exact source of a problem. This component comes with an ideal focal length that makes this necessity easy to achieve by giving you a perfect view. But if you are looking for a simple camera, you can go for one with a fixed lens, which still does a perfect job too.
- Spotlight - The spotlight is a source of lighting built in many thermal imagers that help illuminate your way to the area you want to inspect, especially if you are working in the dark. This goes a long way if you are using it at night or down in a dim-lit basement. This is where you need a luminous light not only to make your way to the source of the problem but also to be able to spot the exact culprit easier.
- Sleek Design - This construction is essential for these cameras. Considering the fact it is mostly used in squeezed areas, sometimes handling a large camera can be a challenge. Besides the easy handling, this design also adds an aesthetic appeal to the device as well.
Performance and Ease of Use
Like most cameras, these too are designed to offer a clear background image beside the thermal picture, so that the user can identify the exact area that has issues. This image also goes a long way in helping identify the extent of the damage. For instance, in the ceiling: you can tell if it is already starting to crack or sink. With a broad range of temperature detection and capabilities to measure temperature variation, you will be able to focus down to the very defective point rather than doing costly overall repairs.
Before deciding on a thermal imager, you will need to assess your needs to avoid getting a gadget that will not handle your requirements. By now you are aware of the features that most thermal imagers have, so let’s look at the brands that made it to our top five list and, of course, the many options that they offer.
We hope our list has given you more insight on the best thermal imager for you. If you are not convinced, don’t worry; there numerous thermal imagers by these reputable brands that will not disappoint. Check them out!