An infrared thermometer is a device that measures the infrared radiation given off by a particular object. Every object we come in contact with emits infrared energy. Infrared thermometers are used to measure the surface temperature of things like machinery, playground equipment, breaker boxes, and many other things that may be too hot to touch or located in an inconvenient or hard to get to place. Even if an object is not too hot to touch, using an infrared thermometer is a fast and easy way to get a reading on an object. This is one reason they are used by many home inspectors and building contractors.
An infrared thermometer works by gathering radiant infrared energy from the object and focusing it on to a detector. The detector will then convert the energy into an electrical signal. When this happens, the  result will be shown to you on the thermometer’s display.

When an infrared thermometer focuses infrared energy from the object on to its detector, this is called the distance-to-target-size ratio. If your distance-to-target-size ratio is 4:1, this means your thermometer will read an area 1 inch in diameter from 4 inches away. In another example, a ratio of 8:1 x 2  equals a maximum measuring distance of 16 inches.

It is not advisable to try to measure an object through glass because the thermometer will usually give you the temperature of the surface of the glass. But, for hundreds of other objects, an infrared thermometer will allow you to collect accurate readings on things like patio furniture, dog houses, bird baths, picnic tables, items in your car when it’s been sitting in either the shade or the sunshine, and many more. They will also allow you to monitor hot and cold spots in your home or office.

Infrared thermometers come in a variety of styles with varying features. The TN002ci infrared thermometer is a convenient pocket size device that has an accuracy of ±2% of reading or ±2°C. It has a temperature range of -27° to 428°F (-33° to 220°C). Some of its many other features include an LED display, a low battery indicator, and it automatically powers off after 15 seconds of non-use.

Jackson Kern