How a Thermometer Can Actually Save You Money Around the House

published Nov 30, 2018
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

We’ve explained why you should keep a thermometer in your fridge, but temperature monitors can actually save you money in other parts of the house as well. And, honestly, who doesn’t want to save money on bills?

Drafty windows and doors are often the biggest culprit when it comes to allowing air to seep in or out—a definite no-no when it comes to household energy efficiency—particularly during the sticky summer and colder winter months.

Here’s a trick. Use an infrared thermometer to figure out where the drafts and leaks are coming from. Take a reading around your window and door casings to determine if there are any cracks in your sealant. Pinpoint the area, and make them air-tight with a simple recaulking job, instead of springing to replace them altogether.

Other uses? Uninsulated wall outlets can let in a lot of air as well, so run a thermometer around those at the same to figure where more air leaks are happening. An infrared thermometer can also indicate whether your air conditioning system is functioning at maximum capacity by measuring the temp of your ductwork. Additionally, they can identify any hotspots on your electrical panels, and help to avoid costly repairs associated with damaged wiring, overloaded circuits and electrical fires.

Depending on the type you purchase, the digital devices typically have a measurement range from 0 to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit, with accuracy of below or above 3.5 degrees. They measure temps from a distance and quickly, eliminating the need for direct contact, which makes them perfect for detecting the source of sneaky household energy costs.

On the low end, infrared thermometers can be really reasonably priced like Coolestone’s mini-pen type pocket style ($10.99 on Amazon). It’s portable and has a measurement range from 58 to 428 degrees Fahrenheit, an accuracy of ±2 percent or 2 degrees Celsius and a recommended measuring distance of 10mm to 80mm.

Pricier options include the small, lightweight Fluke Infrared Thermometer (from about $70 up to $209.98 on Amazon), which allows users to take readings from smaller objects that are further away and downloading multiple points of data to reference at a later time.