Whether you need to check if your employees have a fever or measure duct temperatures, HomElectrical has a variety of thermometers for both personal and industrial needs. Our selection includes industrial probe thermometers, industrial no-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT), and NCITs for personal use. Browse our selection to find the right thermometer for your needs today!

What are the different types of thermometers?

It is important to know the different types of thermometers and the situation in which each is most appropriate. There are many options which are easy to use and give accurate instant readings.

Personal Use:

  • Digital thermometers use heat sensors to take body temperature measurements. It can be taken through the mouth, rectum, or armpit. For children and adults, oral thermometers are the most accurate and fastest way. For infants, it is rectal thermometers. Smart thermometers have a fever alarm and memory to store all your temperature reading data. To prevent the spread of germs, you can use a probe cover.
  • Digital ear thermometers, also called tympanic thermometers, are inserted into the ear and use an infrared ray to measure inside the ear canal. They use a lens filter to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Infrared Forehead thermometers also called temporal artery thermometers, measure the infrared (IR) heat of the forehead. Touch forehead thermometers are pressed against the forehead. Newer versions of these thermometers do not require touch. Instead, they are placed near the forehead.

Industrial Use:

  • Probe thermometers use a probe or pen to measure the internal temperature of objects such as food or air ducts.
  • Infrared thermometers use infrared rays to measure surface temperature without contact. Due to their "gun grip," they are sometimes called temperature guns. They work by pointing a laser at the surface they are measuring.

Other thermometers:

  • There are many other types for both adults and kids. There are non-digital options such as pacifier thermometers, mercury thermometers, and glass thermometers. You should not use a mercury thermometer because the glass can break easily, allowing the mercury inside to seep out. They are not sold anymore. If you own an old one, the Mayo Clinic recommends you should dispose of it. Contact the waste department in your area to find out how to properly dispose of your mercury thermometer.

Which thermometer is the most accurate?

The Cleveland Clinic says that when checking body temperature, regular digital thermometers, as well as ear and forehead thermometers are accurate and easy to read. A touch forehead option is more accurate than a no-touch option. Other types of thermometers do not provide accurate readings and are not recommended.

For industrial uses, probe thermometers provide the most accurate reading since they directly touch the surface. Infrared ones should be used in situations where it is too dangerous to get close to the object you are measuring. They are a safe option when dealing with extremes and are still accurate.

Do not use an industrial thermometer to check body temperature. Industrial thermometers tend to have a margin of error of around 5 degrees, which is too high to be useful in checking body temperature. Some may also expose people to harmful substances.

Keep in mind that whether personal or industrial, a no-contact option can be affected by particles in the air and is not always as accurate. Use contact options whenever possible.

What do IR and NCIT stand for?

IR stands for infrared, referring to the infrared rays which some thermometers use to measure. NCIT stands for no-contact infrared thermometer, which measures from a distance. These are also sometimes referred to as no-contact instead of no-touch. Not are IR thermometers are NCITs, but all NCITs use IR. For example, ear thermometers use IR, but they still require touch. Some industrial thermometers can use either a probe or IR depending on the user's needs.

What is a K-type thermometer?

K-type refers to the type of thermocouple that the thermometer uses. A thermocouple is a type of sensor that measures heat. Thermocouples consist of two wires made from different metals joined at the end to form an electrical junction. Type K thermocouples provide the widest temperature range. They are the most common type. You may also come across types J, T, E, N, S, R, and B, which all have various temperature ranges and service lifetimes.

What is a dual laser thermometer?

A dual laser thermometer uses 2 lasers instead of one to assist in targeting the measurement area. This works by having the distance between the two laser spots on the surface measure the diameter of the measurement area that is measured. Therefore, dual lasers provide a more accurate reading than single lasers, which take measurements from one point.

What kind of batteries do thermometers use?

Most use cell batteries that are widely available in stores. Some use AAA batteries or 9V batteries. To see what batteries you need, you can remove the battery compartment cover and see what your thermometer has. You may also see the battery type in the product description or on the packing. If you are using your thermometer at home, the battery will last 3-5 years. In a hospital, due to more frequent use, the battery will last only 1-1.5 years.

When should I use an infrared thermometer instead of a probe thermometer?

Probe thermometers are favored because they take more accurate readings, but in some situations, you have no choice but to use an NCIT. If your surface is fragile, dangerous, impenetrable, susceptible to contamination, moving, or out of reach, you need to use an NCIT. Some examples of these would be computer circuitry, gears, frozen foods, a conveyor belt, or air conditioning ducts.

Keep in mind that NCITs provide only a surface measurement and cannot accurately read internal temperature. They also cannot read through materials. For example, if you point your thermometer through a window, it will only measure the temperature of the window and not the objects on the other side. NCITs cannot measure the internal temperature of food or the temperature of an oven. Remember that these are surface measurements only, so you cannot measure something if you cannot point to its surface.

What is the best thermometer for detecting COVID-19?

A fever is one of the leading symptoms of COVID-19 and other illnesses during the cold and flu season. It is important to know your temperature before you go out in public. COVID-19 has brought and will continue to bring significant changes to the way businesses are run after reopening. It is becoming more common for businesses to conduct mandatory employee temperature checks. This calls for a new need: businesses need many people’s temperatures checked in a short amount of time.

Accuracy and efficiency are two very important factors to consider when choosing which thermometer to use at your business. Many businesses prefer to use an NCIT to measure employees’ temperature. NCITs are more efficient for business because they give fast readings that allow employees to be tested quickly. They don't need to be cleaned after each use, allowing many people to be checked in minutes. Oral temperatures, on the other hand, take longer because the thermometer must be cleaned, and they don’t always give instant readings. The no-contact option keeps employees safer and prevents the spread of germs if an employee is sick. Businesses find it worth it to use an NCIT despite it being less accurate because of the efficiency and cleanliness. At home, a regular digital thermometer is most accurate.

Need Assistance?