Infrared Thermometer Uses, Guide, & Correct Practices

Infrared Thermometer Uses, Guide, & Correct Practices

Infrared (IR) thermometers or temperature guns are the new form of thermometers in 21st century. One of the benefits of using IR thermometer is that temperature can be measured without coming in contact with the device.

This reduces the risks and threats of contact, such as spreading of germs and diseases. You can measure a wide range of temperature from a safe distance using an infrared thermometer.

Not just for medical use or measuring a body temperature, it can even be used to measure temperature while cooking, and also in electrical and other industrial work, like measuring room temperature. The contactless thermometer works by simply pointing the lens or light at the surface and the temperature is measured in a few seconds, which is shown on the screen.

As health is crucial, digital forehead thermometer and BP monitor are such two devices every family must include in their medical kit.

Infrared thermometer uses

IR thermometers due to their ability to check the temperature from the distance find great utilization. As the awareness of the thermometer increases, its importance is understood beyond the cubicle of the office. Some applications of IR thermometer in-home include:

  1. You can easily check your fever temperature – going close to the one suffering from high fever is never suggested. With an IR thermometer, you can easily measure the temperature of the person concerned, in a non-contact manner.
  2. You can measure the temperature of liquid – with the IR thermometer, you can simply use the rays to find out the temperature of the warm water. You can use the same principle in checking the temperature of soup or sauce while cooking. Just pull out a ladle of soup and fire an IR ray into the soup to measure its temperature.
  3. You can even use it while cooking or baking – knowing the temperature of the mashed potatoes is important if you want to make the burger. Making sure that the potatoes are boiled at the right temperature is essential and this is where IR comes to rescue. Basically, you can use it everywhere in your kitchen while cooking.
  4. To identify insulation problems and check room temperature – it can be used to find out the insulation problems. Also, you can check your room temperature to confirm if your heater or air conditioner is working properly.

What to consider while buying an infrared thermometer

While you are buying an IR thermometer, it is important that you focus on the important parameters. A better understanding of the various parameters helps in selecting the right thermometer. Some of the features to consider while buying an IR thermometer are:

1. Range of temperature

If you are getting a thermometer for only medical use, do not get the one with a wide range of temperature. It is not only a waste of resource, but also will not come helpful in measuring the minute changes in temperature. Medical IR thermometers come with narrower range of temperature for measuring the body temperature accurately.

Thermometers designed for industrial use have much wider temperature range and focus more on measuring surface temperature.

2. Brand

Understand that brand of any product is not only the quality but also the service provided. The brand of the thermometer should be a renowned one, such that any aberration in the quality of the product can be compensated by the service.

3. Response time and memory function

The best infrared thermometer has a very quick response time compared to the poor quality ones. It can range from from 0.5 to 5 seconds. Also, a model with memory feature helps you in monitoring your previous temperature readings. It’s quite useful when you are on medication for high fever.

4. Precision

A thermometer that lacks precision will not serve the purpose. Look for the ones which have excellent precision and are highly accurate. What it means is that it must not be deterred by the external environmental fluctuations. Experts consider that +1% to +2 % of difference in any thermometer reading is absolutely fine.

How to use infrared thermometer correctly

Using an infrared thermometer correctly might be confusing for most people. Since it is a new technology, the awareness of its usage is very limited.

However, it’s pretty simple to use. Just remember the following tips:

  • First, activate the measurement mode (either body or object)
  • Then, select the desired unit of measurement, that is either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
  • Know the distance to spot ratio. To make it simpler, if the distance to spot ratio is 12:1, it means that you need to keep the thermometer at a distance of 1 inch to measure a diameter of 12 inches.
  • If you are measuring a shining object, I suggest you use black tape on the surface so that the accuracy is not disturbed.
  • Always clean the lens as fog or dust on the lens can reduce the accuracy of the IR thermometer.
  • Lastly, make sure that you give some cooling time to the IR thermometer such that it comes to a temperature close to the external temperature. It helps in having better measurements.

Are home-based digital IR thermometers accurate in results?

The IR thermometers which are used at home are exposed to numerous external factors. Moreover, conditions like temperature and humidity affect the measurements.

So, if you are using the IR thermometer at your home, you should understand that the reading is close to accurate.

If you are using the same thermometer in an office space or in an industrial area, the reading might be more accurate. The reason being the environmental factors are curbed out under this situation.

Nonetheless, if you compare the accuracy with the traditional ones, then the IR thermometer offers the better resolution and accuracy.

Can I use infrared thermometer on babies?

Yes, you can. Most forehead thermometers work on babies or kids. When your toddler is sick, using a contactless thermometer is better than the regular one as you can silently measure the temperature without disturbing him/her while asleep.

Steps to use the infrared thermometer on your baby:

  1. Set the thermometer to body mode before taking the temperature.
  2. Wait for the green light to settle, which symbolizes that temperature of the thermometer is equal to the room temperature.
  3. Take the thermometer close to the forehead.
  4. Keep it at a distance and click on the start button. The temperature will be recorded within a few seconds.


A non-contact thermometer is one device every family, office, gym, spa, and restaurant must have. With infrared thermometer, you can comfortably check your body temperature at home without needing to visit a doctor or a clinic.

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