Insulating a house is a challenging job. Not only can the very process of insulating a space be quite expensive, time-consuming, and physically demanding, unless a chunk of cash falls off your energy bill, it can be incredibly difficult to assess the efficacy of your efforts.It could be that you’ve installed some of your insulation incorrectly, that pre-established insulation is on its way out, or indeed that you’ve missed entire areas with problematic air leaks.
Likewise, you may have spent a lot of time and money on insulating areas that didn’t necessarily need it!
Thankfully, there is a way in which we can streamline this noble endeavor… thermal cameras.
But there are many types of thermal cameras on the market, and some of them won’t be suited to your needs.
That’s why, after significant research, I’ve curated this list of the best thermal cameras you can buy!
Best Thermal Cameras: Reviews
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
With a 320 x 240 resolution display containing a whopping 300,000 pixels, the HT-19 gives the most precise locational readings in this price range, meaning you can zero in on a target, thereby avoiding hours of manual inspection trying to locate the problem area.You can also switch between 5 color pallets that, once again, aid in target visualization, and thanks to real-time thermal imaging, taking accurate readings from the 3.2” display is a total breeze.And speaking of accuracy, every single reading this thing takes will only ever be + or – 2.5 °F off the exact temperature, meaning it can be used for multiple pro-grade applications.I really appreciate the lightweight construction, as it makes inspecting my entire house easy on the wrist and arm.
I found that performance drops a bit if you’re a significant distance from the target, but this is a rather unlikely scenario for normal use, so I don’t consider it a flaw.Pros
- 320 x 240 resolution — Accurate placement fast tracks fixes
- 5 color palettes — Helps identify ill-defined targets
- Lightweight — Great for long jobs
- USB — Easy viewing of captured images and footage via USB cable
- Range — Quality dips at range, so you’ll need to be relatively close to your target
Also available from eBay
Smartphone thermal camera attachments are rarely as good as their discrete counterparts, but the FLIR ONE gets as close as supplementary thermal technology could possibly be to the pro-grade equipment.Capable of capturing footage composed of 19,200 pixels, it offers very impressive locational readings, making it easier to figure out where problems lie and how you can go about fixing them efficiently.Thermal sensitivity maxes out at an incredible 752 °F, which means it’s perfectly capable of water heater inspections, HVAC ignition fault detection, and thermal vehicular discrepancies — Not bad for a tiny little thing you stick in your phone’s charging port!In addition, it uses MSX technology to augment the definition of footage and help you find thermal anomalies within intricate targets, leading to quicker and more accurate diagnoses. It also arrives with an extendable connection so you can use the FLIR ONE without removing your phone from its protective case, which, if you’re as clumsy as me, you’ll really appreciate. I certainly did during my tests!Pros
- Footprint — This thing is tiny. Great if you like to travel light or have lots of other gear to transport
- MSX — Thermal image enhancement streamlines diagnosis
- Extendable connection — No need to risk damaging your phone by removing the case
- 752 °F thermal range — Can be used for much more than structural inspections.
- Compatibility issues — Be sure to check this camera is compatible with your smartphone before buying.
Also available from Teledyneflir
If money’s no object or you need unlimited flexibility from your thermal imaging tech, then the Enterprise Advanced might just be the perfect option for you.
This compact drone is capable of capturing incredibly detailed 640 x 512 thermal footage, helping you identify discrete targets even through hot obstructions such as smoke.Bringing a 32x zoom to the equation, you needn’t be close to your target either, so if you’re trying to inspect the exterior of a large building or a dangerous event, it won’t let you down.In fact, by logging as many as 240 waypoints, not only won’t you need to be anywhere near your target, you won’t even have to control the Enterprise, meaning you can execute recurring inspections with ease and focus up on the footage, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.Perhaps the thing that had me most impressed during the testing period was the split screen capabilities.
You can observe a target in both thermal and visual modes by splitting the feed, allowing you to identify specifics in record time.But all this comes at a price, a big, BIG price!
- Remote inspecting — The sky is literally the limit. You can inspect hard-to-reach or dangerous areas with ease and without putting anyone in danger.
- Split feeds — Observe real-time visual and thermal footage side by side to aid in identification and diagnosis.
- Waypoints — Automated inspections save time and allow you to focus on what’s important.
- Price — It’s not for the faint of heart!