11 Best Thermal Leak Detection Kits of 2020 | Reviews & Guide

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technician use thermal imaging camera to check temperature in factory

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Trying to buy a thermal leak detector? But do you want a camera imager or something more like a thermometer?

Therein lies the dilemma.

Finding the right kind of thermal leak detector could turn into a chore if you don’t have a clear picture of all the specs and features you’ll be needing. We know that these home power tools may not strike as complicated if you’re a professional or seasoned DIY-er.

But it cannot be denied that more often than not, people end up buying something that may not serve the intended purpose. And since it’s better not to invest in the wrong gadget, we took our time to create this guide to help you choose better.

Obviously, we came across several brands with their individual suite of products. But it was only after thorough research and analysis that we got the 11 best thermal leak detection kits available right now.

So, without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?

Best Thermal Leak Detection Kits

technician use thermal imaging camera to check temperature in factory

  1. BLACK + DECKER TLD100

Our first entry is an excellent choice for homeowners and DIY-ers as it’s one of the most affordable yet efficient thermal heat guns available in the market. Besides, its highly functional design and features allow you to detect the sources of energy loss or leakage in a room within a fraction of a second.

Sale
BLACK+DECKER Thermal Leak Detector (TLD100)
  • Uses infrared sensors to measure surface...
  • Helps homeowners track down power-draining drafts

Why Did We Like it?

The Black + Decker TLD100 deserves the top position on our list as it offers superior performance and boasts a heat sensitivity detection range of -22°F to 302°F. Furthermore, we like the no-frills, neat construction of the model that ensures user-friendly solutions.

Besides, the lack of extraneous detail is actually quite beneficial for busy homeowners as you can quickly figure out the device without referring to the manual. All you have to do is hold the device and walk around the house to identify locations of insulation issues.

Also, to deliver a simple reading, the light indicators on the gun show blue when there’s a cold draught and red to indicate warm winds. Other than that, we like how precise this device is when it comes to deriving results, thereby reducing energy bills exponentially. Overall, it is a reliable, low-cost unit that covers all essential functions necessary for household thermal imaging applications.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This gadget is an entry-level thermal heat detector that can help users identify the sources of leaks and make their homes more energy-efficient. That being said, it can only perform some basic operations and is not meant for highly sophisticated applications. Therefore, we recommend this model if you need a low-budget item with great accuracy.

Pros
  • Heat sensitivity range of -22°F to 302°F
  • Highly accurate leak detection
  • Ideal for home use
  • Great value for money item
Cons
  • Not a multi-functional device
  1. Seek Thermal Compact Imager for iOS-Apple

Ranked second on our list, this compact and versatile all-purpose thermal camera by Seek Thermal is designed to impress the gadget geek in you. So, if you’re looking for cutting-edge thermal imaging solutions, we recommend this ultra hi-tech unit that can be directly plugged into your I-phone, providing instantly accessible results.

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Seek Thermal Compact - All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS
  • Transform your smartphone or tablet into an...
  • Find and fix faster by seeing problems invisible...

Why Did We Like it?

First and foremost, this truly portable device is capable of translating thermal energy into an image that you can view on your phone screen. Furthermore, with the help of a free downloadable app, you can actually use this imager in conjunction with the smartphone to quickly fix energy loss problems.

We are also very impressed with the 36° wide field of view of this mini device that makes it ideal for use at close range in an outdoor environment. Therefore, you can use this model for both home and outside applications since it can detect thermal energy from a distance of 1000ft.

Besides, this device uses its specialized thermal imaging technology to quickly identify any hotspots or overheated circuitry so that you can take precautions against any possible fires at home. Another advantageous feature we like is the focusable lens that allows you to fine-tune thermal imagery for advanced leak detection.

What Could’ve Been Better?

There are not many downsides to choosing this gadget, but some users may find the USB cord included in the package to be a little too short. There is a way to get past this problem by using an extension cable; however, that makes the device bulkier, which may seem unappealing to some.

Pros
  • Portable, smartphone-compatible device
  • Comes with 36° wide field of view
  • Detects thermal energy from 1,000ft away
  • Focusable lens fine-tunes thermal images
Cons
  • USB cable is too short
  1. FLIR C2 Compact Thermal Imaging System

If you need a portable thermal camera that you can carry around in your pocket or bag, the FLIR C2 is ideal for you. Boasting MSX-enhanced thermal imagery, you’ll appreciate the outstanding clarity that enables identifying problem zones in a snap. While its lightweight structure makes it a breeze to take it anywhere needed.

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FLIR C2 Compact Full-Featured Thermal Imaging System (72001-0101)...
  • FLIR AUTHORIZED DEALER - Includes Full FLIR USA...
  • FLIR C2 Compact Full-Featured Thermal Imaging...

Why Did We Like it? 

To begin with, this device lets you capture as many as 500 radiometric images, whereas its 4800 pixels enable recording thermal measurements between 14°F and 302°F. Besides, this FLIR system is designed with practicality and comfort in mind as its compact dimensions ensure portability and ease of use.  

Other than that, we like the automatic power-off feature that essentially preserves battery life and reduces the need to recharge when you’re out and about. But the real icing on the cake is the MSX real-time image enhancement function that produces thermal pictures with stunning detail for instant detection of problematic heat patterns.

Also, we’re very impressed with the generous 45° field of view, which is an especially remarkable number compared to other candidates with a limited 36° view only. Overall, it’s a high-performing device that can identify signs of moisture, detect hotspots signaling loose connection or circuit overloaded, or find any missing insulation with high accuracy and ease. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We are, for most parts, satisfied with the design, performance, and image quality of this thermal detection system. However, while testing it, we’ve observed some lag during the calibration phase. Nevertheless, given the price of the unit, it’s a minor problem that can be ignored in this otherwise excellent device. 

Pros
  • MSX enhanced thermal images
  • Compact and portable design
  • 45° field of view
  • Thermal measurement range of 14°F and 302°F
Cons
  • Users can experience lag during the calibration process
  1. Seek Thermal Reveal

Up next is the Seek Thermal Reveal imaging camera that offers users all the benefits of customizable settings. Therefore, you can sort your preferences from among a range of image settings, light levels, and power usages. Now that’s a serious flex for a compact, handheld device like this one, meant for professional and home use. 

Sale
Seek Thermal Reveal – Ruggedized, All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera...
  • Ruggedized, all-purpose thermal camera with a 206...
  • Find and fix faster by seeing problems invisible...

Why Did We Like it? 

What puts this camera equipment ahead of its competitors is its highly functional features that not only allow you to obtain thermal images but also store, share, and transfer them. Furthermore, we like the ergonomic grip and the heads-up display of this device, enabling smooth focus without losing sight of the surroundings. 

Other than that, we appreciate the robust construction of this device, reinforced with a rubberized protective casing, making it durable enough to be kept alongside other items in the toolbox. Also, we are impressed with the long battery life of ten hours, so you need not worry about running out of juice mid-operation.  

And to add to your convenience, this Seek model comes equipped with a 300 lumen LED light so you can clearly see while working in an unlit or dark space. All these intuitive features, coupled with advanced technology, makes it a convenient thermal imaging device whether you’re a DIYer solving home insulation problems or an electrician trying to locate hotspots. 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We could not help but notice the small size of the screen that also goes on to inhibit the thermal imaging capability of the device. That being said, the screen orientation could also be a disadvantage for some users as it’s not conducive to viewing wildlife or inspecting tight spots.

Pros
  • Compact, handheld design
  • Share, store and transfer thermal images
  • Rechargeable battery runs for 10 hours
  • Comes with a 300 lumens built-in flashlight
Cons
  • Screen is too small
  1. FLIR E5 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera

For our fifth position, we’ve selected the FLIR E5 Thermal Imaging Camera that will surely impress you with its user-friendly controls and accurate results. Rugged yet lightweight, this device is described by the maker as an “ultimate inspection tool,” and going by its specs and features, it certainly lives up to the hype.

Why Did We Like it? 

Featuring 120×90 infrared resolution, the E5 comes equipped with MSX (Multi Spectral Digital Imaging) technology to quickly highlight a range of problems, including energy loss, water leaks, overheated circuits, etc. Therefore, whether you’re investigating an electrical, mechanical, or industrial issue, you can depend on this gadget to get the job done quickly and accurately.

Another cutting-edge feature we like is that it connects with the brand’s downloadable mobile app, facilitating images and report sharing from any location via a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. This smooth sharing capability makes it ideal for use by professionals present on the job site who need to send real-time information back to the workplace.

However, despite its range of impressive functions, the E5 is pretty uncomplicated and simple to operate. And the best part – it comes with several accessories including, USB cable, battery charger, universal power charger, along with a reliable carrying case for convenient storage and transportation.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We do not have any complaints regarding the design or features of this thermal imaging equipment. However, we would’ve preferred if it had a higher resolution and a better focusing ability for viewing closer objects. Regardless, we recommend this product for its precise detection abilities and superior functionality compared to other models at this price range. 

Pros
  • Comes equipped with MSX imaging technology
  • Images and data and can be shared across devices
  • Ideal for investigating mechanical and electrical issues
  • Package included USB cable, power charger, carrying case
Cons
  • Unsatisfactory focusing function
  1. Bosch PDT 1

Bosch has recently been making waves with its low-cost thermal detector and has us thrilled with the excellent performance of this neat little device. So for our sixth slot, we’ve included the PDT 1 model that is designed to streamline DIY home projects and can also take on professional applications with high accuracy.  

Why Did We Like it? 

When it comes to home power tools, Bosch has earned a lot of praise for their specialized gadgets, and the PDT 1 is yet another feather on their cap. To begin with, this compact, pistol-shaped tool is specifically made for identifying thermal bridges and mold risk areas.

Long story short, this user-friendly device uses contactless infrared measurement function to determine the temperature of any surface, detect hot or cold spots, and find mold risk areas at home. Therefore, it’s a highly versatile device that can help you resolve problem areas and also tells you about the severity of the issues with its traffic light indicators.   

It works in three modes, and depending on your requirement, you can also use it as moisture and humidity reader to assess issues relating to damp. Furthermore, surface temperature and thermal bridge modes help maintain room temperature and detect poor insulation, respectively. 

All this in one comprehensive gadget that features a large, easy to read, backlit screen and enables easy use through one-handed operability. 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

To be honest, we are delighted with this product and its varied functions and features. However, while testing the gadget, we faced some issues while operating on the surface temperature mode. Other than that, it’s a great budget option that you can keep at home for quick and easy assessment. 

Pros
  • Compact, pistol-shaped design
  • Versatile device with three mode functions
  • Features a large, easy to read backlit screen
  • Supports one-handed operability
Cons
  • Surface temperature mode suffers from some glitches
  • cons
  1. FLIR TG165 Thermal Camera

The FLIR TG165 is another gem from the leading thermal camera brand that combines precision with high-quality images for accurate results each time. That being said, with this device, you can seamlessly conduct home and building inspections, thereby identifying energy inefficiencies, moisture damage, and electrical problems in a jiffy.

FLIR TG165 - Spot Thermal Camera - with 2-Meter Drop Durability for...
  • Item is a Class II laser product, 1mW power...
  • 100,000 hours. Operating Temperature...

Why Did We Like it? 

To begin with, the TG165 is designed with innovation and practicality in mind as it comes with a range of features that can streamline the leak investigation process. Besides, this product is primarily a combination of an IR thermometer and thermal imaging camera, only with more accurate readings. 

Feature-wise, we like the dual laser system on this model that uses two points to display the thermal image of the place or object you are viewing. This function is especially useful as you can toggle it on and off, and it also assists you while aiming the device. 

Furthermore, this gadget has a wide temperature detection range of -13°F to 716°F, meaning you can map thermal inconsistencies in any area or object in the home, building, or car. Also, it has a remarkable 50° field of view, which allows you to scan a vast space in a single sweep, thereafter producing a large image of heat signatures. 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We couldn’t overlook a few minor issues in this otherwise functional piece of equipment. Chief among them being the irreplaceable batteries and some display issues. Some users may find it unsuitable as the hardware cannot be used once the batteries stop working, and given the price of the item, that may seem wasteful. 

Pros
  • Temperature detection range of -13°F to 716°F
  • Features a wide 50° field of view
  • Ensures accurate readings
  • Dual laser system for better aiming
Cons
  • Batteries cannot be replaced
  1. Fluke TIS20 9HZ Thermal Imaging Camera

Up next is the Fluke TIS20, which is among our favorites items from the list, but that doesn’t mean we’ll give you an entirely rosy picture about how it works. However, it is a genuinely highly functional thermal imager that can identify potential hot and cold risk areas before they become costly problems.  

Fluke TIS20 9HZ Thermal Infrared Camera with 3 IR-Fusion Blending...
  • Quality images - 120x90 resolution (10,800 pixels)
  • Quickly scan large areas with point and shoot...

Why Did We Like it? 

If you need a reliable and affordable solution for quick and easy frontline troubleshooting, we suggest investing in this Fluke model. On that note, we like the convenient fixed focus point and shoot operability of this infrared camera. It is a snap to use and allows you to scan large areas at a time and pinpoint leakage issues. 

Furthermore, it features three camera modes, including Normal, IR, and the innovative IR-Fusion. The third option combines the 120×90 resolution with the exclusive IR-Fusion Blending mode and helps you locate insulation problems and energy inefficiencies quickly without any ambiguity.

Also, this tool allows greater data management and reporting capabilities as you can upload images to the Fluke Cloud Storage via WiFi connectivity. Besides, the Fluke Connect software system wirelessly links the gadget to smartphones and lets you view different measurements (thermal, mechanical, and electrical) from the same device, at the same time.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

Mac users may not like this Fluke gadget as the software provided is only compatible with Windows OS. That being said, Fluke doesn’t offer a Mac version, so it’s not like you can choose another model from the same brand with Mac support. Therefore, if you can ignore this minor inconvenience, it is still a great buy with superior capabilities.  

Pros
  • IR-Fusion Blending mode for faster leak detection
  • Allows superior data management via Fluke Cloud Storage
  • Easy focus point and shoot operability
  • Seamless smartphone viewing through Fluke Connect software
Cons
  • Fluke software is compatible with Mac OS
  1. FLIR E8 Compact 320 x 240 Thermal Imaging Camera

The FLIR E8 is devised for commercial use and is perfect for electricians, building inspectors, maintenance technicians, and other professionals who rely on thermal cameras. Nevertheless, we also recommend this model to DIY enthusiasts and homeowners who require a dependable gadget for detecting thermal leaks and electrical inefficiencies to avoid expensive repairs later. 

FLIR E8 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera with 320 x 240 IR Resolution,...
  • Crisp Resolution 320x240 (76,800 IR pixels) Far...
  • 4000 count auto ranging multimeter measures AC/DC...

Why Did We Like it? 

First off, we like the rugged construction of the gadget that is meant to sustain overuse in demanding job sites. Besides, the E8 boasts a 2-metre drop rating and a robust, ergonomic handle that streamlines one-handed operability on the go.  

However, the best part about this model is the superior thermal resolution that ensures unparalleled visual clarity. Long story short, the 320×240 resolution provides crisp and clear images, which are more than adequate for home uses and can cover most commercial applications. 

Additionally, it generates MSX enhanced thermal images that allow you to spot electrical, roofing, and plumbing issues on the 3-inch LCD screen. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the easy data sharing option surely will. That means you can use the brand’s software program to review images, analyze data, fine-tune pictures, and send reports to companies, clients, or prospective homeowners.

Overall, it’s a high-performance product that will impress you with its range of features, professional look, and consistently accurate results.

What Could’ve Been Better? 

You might be wondering what could be wrong about this device, especially when we couldn’t stop raving about its functions. Well, there’s no sugarcoating this, but this FLIR product costs a bomb and is definitely one of the most expensive thermal imaging cameras on the market. Therefore, it might not be suitable for individuals looking for a basic equipment for home use only. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic handle; allows one-handed operability
  • Durable construction for demanding jobs
  • Comes with 3-inch LCD display
  • High-resolution thermal images
Cons
  • Item is too pricey
  1. Perfect Prime IR0001 Infrared Thermal Imager

The Perfect Prime IR0001 is an excellent choice for technicians and homeowners alike as it is efficient, precise, and, most importantly, easy to use. Therefore, despite being ranked 10th on our list, it’s quite a versatile device that can be put to several applications, catering to both professional and residential needs. 

Sale
PerfectPrime IR0001 Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager & Visible Light...
  • IR Infrared image resolution: 32 x 32, 1024 pixels
  • Storage memory: micro SD card, 4GB for image...

Why Did We Like it? 

First off, we like the fluidity of data displayed on the screen while the thermal imager turns the reading captured into visual images. Also, the device comes equipped with 4GB micro SD card memory storage for photo and video recordings, which also permits deleted file recovery.

Furthermore, the IR0001 features a 2.4-inch full HD display, that regardless of the compromised aspect ratio, ensures precise and detailed image data. Other than that, we like the remote sensing function of this model, which we found to be fairly accurate while testing. 

Moreover, it is a handy, budget pick that will surprise you with its consistent and reliable performance while using it for car engine overhaul or air conditioner maintenance. But that’s not all! This affordable unit is a complete package that also comes with a drop-resistant rope for convenient fastening and a protection bag for safe storage and transport.

 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We are satisfied with the overall functioning of this device, but we would’ve liked it better if the images produced had a higher resolution. 0.3 megapixel is hardly the best spec on a thermal imager available in the market, and you may have to make do with pixelated images mostly. 

Pros
  • Comes with a 4GB memory SD card
  • 2.4 inches full HD screen
  • Handy and easy to use device
  • Includes a drop-resistant rope and protection bag
Cons
  • Low-resolution images
  1. FLIR C3 Pocket Thermal Camera with WiFi

Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, we’d like to finish off with this FLIR product that has impressed us with its bargain bin price and unique features. So if you’re looking for a pocket-size device for building inspections, HVAC, facilities maintenance, or electrical repair, we recommend selecting this option.

Sale
Flir C3 – Compact Thermal Camera with Wi-Fi
  • Portability Pocket Portable Thermal Camera with...
  • FLIR One displays live thermal infrared imagery...

Why Did We Like it? 

For starters, this mini, portable device provides MSX enhanced thermal images that adds crucial detail from the onboard visible light camera to the infrared image. This sophisticated mechanism helps you identify and address problem areas faster without incurring costly repairs. 

Also, the undiluted thermal picture offers substantial data whenever the device locates hot fuses, plumbing issues, cold air leaks, and other problematic heat patterns. Furthermore, all the readings can be viewed in real-time, whether you’re watching the camera’s LCD display or streaming video over USB.

But what we like best is the spotmeter and the maximum or minimum temperature detecting feature within a defined box area, so you instantly know where it’s hottest or coldest. Apart from that, the gadget comes with WiFi connectivity that lets you share images wirelessly across multimedia platforms.

Lastly, it’s a piece of excellent, low budget equipment that also includes a bunch of accessories in the package like a lanyard, USB cable, storage pouch, and tripod mount for added convenience. 

What Could’ve Been Better? 

We do not have any complaints regarding the performance or features of this low-price unit. All things considered, we are actually impressed with the effectiveness and the accuracy of the gadget. However, we are not happy with the poorly conceived manual as it severely lacks information and other necessary details.

Pros
  • Produces MSX enhanced thermal images
  • WiFi connectivity with real-time streaming
  • Features a spotmeter for easier reading
  • Includes a USB cable, lanyard, pouch, and tripod mount
Cons
  • Instruction manual lacks information

Thermal Leak Detection Kit Buyers’ Guide

Knowing all about the 11 best thermal detection kits is hardly too much information as you still need to judge them on the basis of other parameters. You may have something in mind but you still need to figure out if it’s actually going to be useful. That’s where this guide comes into picture.

We have carefully listed out the various factors you need to consider when buying a thermal leak detection kit. Read on to know more…

Application

The application of the gadget is a key element to consider as you should pick one based on the intended purpose. If you’re a homeowner or a DIY-er, you can select among affordable options with basic and easy to use functions. However, you may need an upgraded tool with higher detection capabilities if you want a thermal imager for locating temperature anomalies at the job site.

User-Friendliness

In case you haven’t used a thermal leak detector before, choose a device with intuitive and user-friendly controls. You don’t want to go through a hard time trying to figure out how the gadget works. Also, while considering easy operability, pay attention to the display size of the device. On that end, it’s best to invest in a model with a larger screen for convenient viewing. 

Additional Features and Accessories 

A lot of thermal leak detection kits come equipped with a host of add-on features and accessories which you may or may not need. If you’re a DIY user with very basic requirements, it may not be ideal to invest in a high-end model meant for commercial use. However, if you’re a professional and need a technically sound device for inspections, you can buy one with all the bells and whistles. 

Data Sharing

Now, this feature is a must-have, especially if you’re a professional and need to share reports with clients, companies, or homeowners. That being said, investigators on-site should be able to transmit information and stats in real-time for quicker processing. In that case, buy a device with inclusive software and WiFi connectivity options to streamline storage, transfer, and analysis. 

Verdict

With the advancement of technology, thermal detection kits are also going through significant upgrades to remain relevant in the present times. Brands are incorporating smart features in these gadgets, so they continue to work seamlessly and offer exceptional user experience.

On that note, we have come to the end of this brief and informative guide, and we hope you were able to find the most suitable option from our itemized reviews.

But before signing off, let’s go for a quick recap. The Black & Decker TLD100 is the best overall, while the FLIR E8 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera offers excellent image resolution. Apart from that, the Bosch PDT 1 is the best budget buy, and the FLIR TG165 Thermal Camera is the most versatile option.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with our verdict.

Till next time!

Asian people waiting for body temperature check before access to building for against epidemic flu covid19 or corona virus from wuhan in office by thermoscan or infrared thermal camera

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