A new multimeter may be on your shopping list. A good multimeter is essential if you work in the HVAC industry. Not all multimeters are created equal, however. So which one should you choose? This blog post will review the best multimeters for HVAC technicians and help you make the right decision for your needs.
So, Which Multimeter Is Best for HVAC Technicians?
Several companies sell digital and analog multimeters designed specifically for HVAC maintenance use. These multimeters have features tailored to the needs of heating and cooling technicians.
These devices come with a temperature probe to measure temperatures from 1,000 degrees. They are also designed to be rugged and withstand drops. Additionally, they have attachments specifically designed to work with electrical components on heating and cooling systems.
Some thermostats have a stand to allow hands-free operation. Some thermostats can measure small voltages—thousandths of a volt—used by heating systems that use natural gas as their primary energy source.
A multimeter can be used to measure how well devices like thermostats, electric heaters, air conditioner motors, and compressors are working. For example, if you think a furnace isn’t working right because it’s not turning on, you could test if the circuit board is getting power.
The multimeter can help find problems with wires. It also checks for shorts and breaks in circuits. Because this is potentially dangerous, addressing these issues as quickly as feasible is critical. Multimeters can also measure power levels. Unexpected power outages may be the result of an unresolved problem.
When Deciding on the Best Multimeter, There Are a Few Things to Keep in Mind
There are many different multimeters on the market today. Some are basic, and some have more features.
Everyone has their own preferences. Some contractors find that different digital multimeters work better for different jobs.
This article reviews the important features of several of the best multimeters. This can help you find the one that suits your needs and work style.
Basic and Advanced Functions of Digital Multimeters
The difference in electrical charge between two circuits’ locations is called voltage. This difference creates a force that pushes charged particles apart.
Voltage is a type of potential energy. It is the energy an electron has when it is at a high point or when there is a lot of pressure on a fluid. A positive charge will attract it if it is free to move. The unit of measurement for voltage is the volt.
Humans and electrical devices are both at risk when exposed to high voltage. Some multimeters use non-contact voltage measurements, which only use a small electrical current to protect the device.
If electrons are exposed to voltage, they will move. The flow of electrons is referred to as an electric current. The unit of measurement for electric current is the amp. Later in this review, we will discuss two types of current, AC and DC current.
Measuring Voltage and Current
To assess circuits fully, you need a digital or analog multimeter. This device can measure AC voltage, AC current, DC voltage, and DC current.
If electrons can’t move through a circuit, much current won’t be. Resistance is how easy, or hard electrons can move through a circuit. The higher the resistance, the lower the current will be. This is all expressed in Ohm’s Law, which says that voltage equals present times resistance.
VOM (Volt Ohm Meter) multimeters are a type of multimeter that can measure voltage, resistance, and current. Multimeters come in a wide variety of designs. Some offer more features than others. It is important to find a multimeter that can do more than just measure electrical current, voltage, and resistance. Make sure to look for a quality digital device with lots of features.
Some multimeters have features that other multimeters do not have. It is better positioned as the best multimeter if it has these features. Ask yourself if these features are essential, irrelevant, or something useful but not necessary.
Analog Versus Digital Display
Analog multimeters are the traditional type of multimeter. They use a dial to measure the voltage amperage or resistance.
Analog multimeters can measure voltage and current directly from a power supply for less money. Analog multimeters are more precise than digital multimeters for various measurements.
A digital multimeter is a tool that uses a computer to help you make measurements. The computer helps make more complex measurements, like the true RMS AC current measurement. It is helpful if the digital multimeter has a long battery life and an auto power shutoff.
Suppose you do not know the range of values you expect for voltage, current, or resistance. In that case, you might have to search through the settings on the multimeter to find one that accurately measures the quantity you need to measure.
An auto-ranging multimeter will automatically set the correct voltage range for each measurement. This will save you time and frustration in figuring out the correct voltage range for each task.
The auto-range function on digital meters can save time and improve measurement accuracy. Not all digital meters have this function, but it is important for a quality meter for professional use. This function automatically sets the correct range.
Probes and Accessories
Electrical characteristics can only be measured when a probe directly contacts wires or other conductive materials. Specialized probes can detect many different things like temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty cycle, and more. This includes voltage, current, and resistance.
Multimeters can have different features, like a carrying case, a stand for hands-free operation, and alligator clips. Some multimeters also come with holders for leads and probes.
Different objects can be measured with a multimeter. If you are using it for work on heating and air conditioning, you should make sure that it has a temperature sensor that can measure up to a high value. This will allow you to inspect furnaces.
Most multimeters measure temperature up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or 537 degrees Celsius. If you need to measure a higher temperature, you can use a specialized temperature probe designed for high temperatures.
5 Best Multimeters for HVAC
1. Klein Tools MM600 Auto Ranging Multimeter
This multimeter can do the basic things we would expect from measuring AC/DC voltage and current. The voltage range it can measure is up to 1000V, and it also has an auto-range function for voltage. It can measure current up to 10 amps.
The AC current meter measures the current that is flowing in a circuit. There are specific settings for testing diodes and checking the temperature and continuity.
To catch the eye, the MM600 sports an eye-catching orange body and an expansive backlit display with bold, legible numbers and text. It has a clearly labeled dial that is simple to operate. Drops of up to six feet are no problem for the MM600 model’s impact resistance.
The MM600 is a multimeter that is capable in many ways. It has features that will make life easier for HVAC technicians. For example, the backlit screen and the orange coloring will help you find it in dark or cramped places.
2. Fluke 179 True-RMS Digital Multimeter
Fluke digital appears in several web lists of digital multimeters. So we decided to compare one of Fluke’s most popular models to the competition. The Fluke 179 can detect DC and AC voltages for a digital multimeter from Fluke.
The Fluke multimeter prevents high input impedance from avoiding an artifact called ghost voltage. The Fluke 179 also has convenient functions like auto-range and true RMS calculations.
The Fluke 179 digital meter is near the top of the field. It has many features that we would want in a digital multimeter, such as a temperature sensor that goes up to 752 degrees Fahrenheit.
This product is an HVAC multimeter, but what differentiates it from other multimeters is unclear.
3. Fieldpiece LT17A Digital Multimeter
The MM600 from Klein Tools is designed to be seen. The case is bright yellow, and the backlight is vivid blue. These characteristics can be found on the Fieldpiece LT17A as well.
The Fieldpiece LT17A is a great multimeter for HVAC technicians. It has features that appeal to them, like microvolt testing for flame diodes and measuring temperatures up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Fieldpiece includes many features that are helpful for HVAC technicians. For example, the Fieldpiece has the auto-ranging capability and true RMS current calculation. Additionally, the Fieldpiece can detect high voltage and continuity. Overall, the Fieldpiece feels like a product designed with HVAC technicians in mind.
4. Milwaukee Digital Multimeter 2216-20
The Milwaukee Digital Multimeter 2216-20 is a compact and sturdy multimeter for industrial use. It can measure alternating current and direct current up to 600V, current up to 10 amps, capacitance up to 1000 microfarads, and resistance up to 40 Mohms.
The Milwaukee digital multimeter is tough and can resist damage from falls and other accidents.
5. UEi True RMS 1000V HVAC/R Multimeter w/ Temperature DM515
It’s the same as other digital multimeters: the UEi True RMS 1000V HVAC/R Multimeter measures voltage. Voltage, current, and capacitance may all be measured with this device.
This multimeter is different from other multimeters because it can measure temperatures up to 1112 degrees Fahrenheit. It also uses true RMS technology to calculate the alternating current.
Some interesting features to HVAC technicians include milliamp and microamp detection, diode testing functions, and an audible continuity warning to check for short circuits.
The bright yellow surface and clear digital display on this device make it easy to see. It also has convenient features like auto shut off and low battery indicator light. It’s equipped with a kickstand and a rubber boot to keep it safe from the elements.
Other 8 HVAC Multimeters
HVAC technicians have one of the most important jobs in the world. They make sure that you and your family are comfortable when home or at work. This is done by using a multimeter. A multimeter is a tool that helps technicians test different aspects of an HVAC system.
The first step in maintaining your HVAC system is to watch what it is doing. That means having a multimeter close by at all times!
It is important to know how each system in your home works. For example, suppose you notice that your home feels stuffy and your air conditioner isn’t cooling the way it should. In that case, you may have a misdiagnosed HVAC system.
Luckily, we have compiled a list of some of the best multimeters on the market that will make any HVAC technician happy.
1. Amprobe AM-510
The Amprobe multimeter is a reliable multimeter for home and business use. It’s a digital multimeter with an LED display that shows test results. This feature makes it easy to learn, especially for non-professionals or amateurs.
Variable resistance, microcurrents, and resistance up to 40 ohms are all measured by this handy tool. It’s also 2 pounds light and portable.
A multimeter for home use must be safe. So the Amprobe is a good choice because it has advanced safety features like non-contact voltage sensing.
With the multimeter are test leads and a 9V battery.
This multimeter is ideal for those seeking convenience. This digital multimeter is accurate, efficient, and user-friendly. It has a tough rubber case.
2. Fieldpiece HS36
This RMS multimeter is a great choice. It is only 1.35 pounds in weight, making it very portable. Aside from that, it has built-in magnetic hangers that allow you to test appliances without having to hold them yourself.
The multimeter is sturdy and protected. It also has a comfortable grip and is easy to use. This makes it ideal for business.
Inexpensive and reliable multimeter It also has non-contact voltage technology for added safety. When not in use, the multimeter automatically shuts down to save battery life.
Fieldpiece’s True RMS stick multimeter is a popular choice. It can measure temperatures up to 1000°F and store lead. Includes silicone leads, meter case, manual, and 9V batteries.
One of Fieldpiece’s best. Its features make it ideal for professional or heavy commercial use. Some of these features may be irrelevant if used at home. Don’t buy this product if that’s your plan.
3. Crenova MS8233D
If you want a multimeter with many features, the Crenova MS8233D is a good option. It can measure continuity, frequency, diode voltage, and resistance. Plus, it has an auto-ranging function, making it easier to get an accurate measurement.
This digital multimeter is sleek and easy to understand. It has a black body with clear markings and labeling. It is also easy to use. You can see the numbers on the LCD screen, which is backlit. This multimeter also has a hold function, which will keep the test results so you can write them down.
It also has a foldable stand, so you can place it anywhere and work comfortably.
This multimeter comes with a lot of things in the box. You’ll get test leads, a carry bag, alligator clips, and a 9V battery.
This multimeter is versatile and a good value. It has features that are helpful for both home and residential uses.
4. Fluke 116
The Fluke 116 multimeter is designed for HVAC professionals. It is a popular and reliable multimeter.
The multimeter’s ergonomic design makes it easy to use. It is also very compact and lightweight, weighing only 1.6 pounds. It has a large, easy-to-read white LED screen. The multimeter has a magnetic handle for easy transport and use.
The multimeter has a built-in thermostat for HVAC systems. It also has low input impedance, which helps reduce false readings.
Inputs are measured by the Fluke 116. It has a safety rating of Category III 600V, making it suitable for both home and commercial use.
Fluke is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality multimeters. This HVAC multimeter is one of the best on the market for home or business use. It has low impedance to prevent false readings and a large white backlit display.
5. Extech EX330
The multimeter is an efficient and attractive tool. It has a built-in non-contact AC voltage detector for your safety and your job quality. The multimeter also has a large backlit LCD display for easy reading of measurements in low light. Its auto-range feature helps you quickly select the right measurement range.
Professionals will appreciate the hold-down button on this multimeter. This button saves time and energy. You can press and hold the button to get the readings.
This multimeter is durable and versatile. It also has auto-power-off to save battery and power when not in use.
The Extech multimeter is ideal for a variety of uses. Professionals and business users can benefit from its advanced features. It is also very user-friendly for beginners and home users. It even comes with a detailed user manual.
6. Triplett 1101-B
If you are a technician or know how to use a multimeter, you should have Triplet 1101 around your home. It has many features that are beneficial for HVAC technicians. Plus, it’s important to have this vital equipment at your home.
This 3-1/2 meter has a built-in auto power-off feature to ensure no battery wastage. The large backlit makes it easy to take readings accurately. The meter also has overload protection to take care of other settings. It has resistance ranges from 2M to 200ohms.
7. Mestek 6000
Why do you need a multimeter at home or work? Not anymore. Mestek will safely solve your issue. It has an accurate and safe automatic clamp meter.
The Mestek auto range clamp meter is great for electrical troubleshooting. It’s versatile and easy to read in low light. The LCD has a large backlight that makes it easier to see in dark areas.
This tool has many uses. One benefit is that any data error caused by the magnetic earth field is eliminated.
To save energy, this multimeter has 30-minute timers. This is a clever feature. The data hold function also monitors battery life. This multimeter also includes free measuring leads, batteries, and test leads.
8. Simpson 260-8P
You’ve found the best high-end analog multimeter. Favorite Simpson 260-8P It’s an HVAC tech’s dream. It has everything they need except clamping and True RMS measurement. It’s tough and built to last.
The test equipment does not come with a carrying case or a protective cover, so take care when transporting it. On bumpy roads, you may want to secure your equipment in your truck.
A variety of probes can be used with the Simpson unit. It also includes the required batteries, which should be replaced after 40 hours.
Simpson offers clamp probes, banana tips, and external power sources for their meters. It also works with AC frequency response. It has an overload protector for condenser or evaporator work.
Benefits of Owning an HVAC Multimeter
An HVAC multimeter can help you fix and diagnose your HVAC system without having to call a technician. You can use it to test switches, fuses, and other components in your HVAC system to see if they are working correctly.
It is important to know how the problem affects the system’s output when adjusting to an HVAC system. With multimeters that feature thermocouples and temperature probes, you can track and check changes in refrigerant lines, air temperature, heating pipes, and return.
HVAC meters are useful in air conditioning, ventilation, heating situations, and electrical applications. These devices can do almost everything a standard electrical multimeter can do, including checking household outlets, switches, fuses, etc.
After considering the pros and cons of each model, Klein Tools’ MM600 model was the best option. It can measure voltage, current, and temperature in AC and DC circuits.
This is the best digital multimeter because it has more features than the other contenders. It has a clear, backlit LCD display that is easy to see and auto-ranges. It can measure temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a bar graph interface.
This multimeter is priced reasonably at most retail stores, considering its features. It has high-end features suitable for professional HVAC maintenance and other fields.
The Fluke 179 and the Fieldpiece LT17A were great digital meters with convenient features. They both come from companies that make good products. But Klein Tools was a little better because it had just a few more features.
These products were each able to do the same things as a multimeter. They could measure DC current, AC current, DC voltage, and AC voltage from electrical devices.
The best digital multimeter is not just for measuring voltage. It must be able to help professionals like HVAC technicians do their job.
They must have great customer service and the automated performance of tasks that reduce the contractor’s workload. This improves the working conditions of the technicians in ways that go beyond just doing their job.
The features we focused on are important, but they are not the only things that matter when you’re choosing a multimeter. The best multimeter is out there, and it might be one of the ones we reviewed. But before you buy a multimeter, make sure you understand your own needs and the needs of your business and repair staff if you’re a contractor who depends on hired help.
When looking for a multimeter to purchase, consider the company’s reputation that made it. Check out the company’s Yelp page to see what other customers have to say.
Like other sophisticated electronics, multimeters might go haywire from time to time. When you buy a multimeter from a reputable retailer, you may have faith in the accuracy of your measurements. The Klein MM600 Multimeter is the best HVAC multimeter, in our opinion.
There are many different types of HVAC multimeters available. You should choose the best one for your needs, whether you want an analog or digital multimeter.
When choosing a multimeter, it is important to take your time and understand what you will be using it for. The environmental conditions should also be considered when selecting a meter. Additionally, know how to handle the meter before purchasing it. If you are a professional, it might be a good idea to buy a high-quality meter. In contrast, new users can start with simpler multimeters.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Multimeter for HVAC
Each of these versions featured the essential features of a multimeter. This gadget can measure the DC current, DC voltage, an AC voltage of various electrical equipment. It is possible to monitor more than simply voltage with today’s most advanced digital multimeters. An experienced contractor is required, such as a heating and cooling specialist.
This is a good meter for the price. It has a lot of features and is reliable and accurate.
The Fluke 116 and the Fluke 117 are both high-quality tools. However, they are designed for different purposes. The 116 is designed specifically for HVAC systems, while the 117 is better suited for electricians.
Because AC signals are not pure sine waves, such as evaluating the output of adjustable-speed motor controls or adjustable heating controls. A meter that can measure “true RMS” is required.
Both Fluke and Klein multimeters are strong and easy to use. Klein multimeters, on the other hand, are often of lower quality. If you want a multimeter for home use that is still affordable, the Klein multimeter is a good choice. However, if you need it for professional or industrial use, Fluke multimeters are the better option.
The Fluke 116/323 HVAC Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo is a great tool for people in the HVAC industry. This has a built-in thermometer, a thermocouple, and a cuff-style pipe sensor, and it has also tested amps, volts, and ohms. On the huge digital screen, the readings are shown.
You can measure AC and DC currents by connecting a multimeter in series with the circuit. This will allow you to measure the current that flows through the circuit, as long as the current is limited or controlled by a load or appropriate values of resistance.
This is a great meter that is packed with features. It is affordable, and I believe Klein would not put their name on a product that was not good.
High voltage transients (or surges) are often called “spikes.” They happen when you are working on outdoor transformers and distribution panels. The good news is that a category 3 meter will likely handle the job for HVAC use.
To measure the resistance, you will need to clean the terminals if they are dirty. You should also ensure that you use the same type of wire for each connection. The lowest reading will be between the Run and Common terminals. The middle reading will be between the Start and Common terminals.
The HTC Instrument DM-97 3 3/4 Digital Multimeter 4000 Counts is a less expensive but very reliable and accurate digital multimeter. It operates at a frequency of 0.1Hz to 30MHz, with a DC voltage range of 1000 V and an AC voltage range of 750 V.
It is a classic case of “you get what you pay for.” If you need occasional, reasonably accurate readings, you might consider a less expensive meter. But if you need frequent and highly accurate readings, there is nothing better than a Fluke.
A true RMS multimeter will read the RMS value, no matter its shape. They are usually marked as “true RMS” somewhere. Cheaper ones work on average or take the peak-peak value and assume a sinusoidal waveform. Then they guess the equivalent RMS value from there.
Most multimeters can safely measure currents up to 10 amps. If you need to measure currents above that, the internal fuse inside the multimeter will blow to protect its circuitry. It’s important not to test this function, as it could damage the multimeter.
To learn more information about the Types of multimeters, their functions, and designations, visit here.