IR Best Practice Guide
Infrared thermometers are ideal for taking surface temperature measurements from a distance. They provide relatively accurate temperatures without ever having to touch the object you’re measuring. This is useful when a surface is out of reach, and a surface probe will not do the job.
HOW TO GET ACCURATE READINGS?
- Try to get as close as you can to the object being measured and always make sure you are perpendicular to the surface being measured
- Take into account the emissivity value of the surface being measured
- Keep the lens clean and clear of debris
- Ensure the batteries are kept charged and are not running low
- Let the thermometer acclimatise to the ambient temperature
- The best results can be achieved if the surface is matte black
- Use a protective silicone boot with your instrument
- Remember, the laser pointer is not measuring the temperature, just helping you correctly aim
- Regular accuracy checks with either a comparator at ambient temperature (recommend alongside a reference thermometer), or with an ice bath at 0°C
- Purchase a calibration certificate
- Only use medically accredited devices to take a person’s temperature, not a catering or industrial infrared thermometer
USING YOUR INFRARED THERMOMETER IN A COLD OR HOT ENVIRONMENT
Allowing your instrument to acclimatise for up to 30 minutes to the ambient temperature of the room will improve the readings, as an instrument taken from a warm room, to a cold storage unit can show incorrect readings up to ±4.1 °C.
It will also prevent a rapid build-up of condensation or ice crystals which can form on the infrared sensor.
If you are measuring the temperatures of objects in a cold storage unit, or freezer, we recommend leaving the instrument in this area for up to 30 minutes so you can achieve the best temperatures. This potentially means using more than 1 infrared instrument if you have other applications.
CLEANING & CARING FOR YOUR INFRARED
To achieve accurate readings, infrared thermometers need to be kept free of dirt, dust, moisture, fog, smoke and debris. If these conditions are present, you may want to consider using another tool for measuring surface temperatures such as a surface temperature probe or non-infrared thermometer.
Always store your thermometer in a dry, cool place, and ensure you protect your infrared thermometer from drops or knocks.
Never submerge any part of your infrared thermometer.
You should also plan regular cleaning every six months. Particular care should be taken to keep the infrared lens or opening clean and free of debris.
To clean your infrared thermometer:
- Use a soft cloth or cotton swab with water or medical alcohol – never use soap or chemicals
- Carefully wipe the lens and then the body of the thermometer
- Allow the lens to dry fully before using the thermometer
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