Top 10 Best Thermal Leak Detectors 2017

NameVoltage 
Black & Decker TLD 1009V Check Amazon Price
Benetech GM550 Infrared Thermometer 9V Check Amazon Price
KKMoon Infrared9V Check Amazon Price
Bosch PDT 1 1.5V Check Amazon Price
B&D Thermal Leak Detector9V Check Amazon Price
One of the most expensive problems around the home is that of heat loss and a lack of efficiency. For example, did you know that the biggest source of heat loss in the home is through poor insulation, especially in the loft? As every schoolboy knows, heat rises, so when you heat your home, a lot of that heat will find its way upwards and, if there are any gaps in the insulation, will continue its journey northwards. This is, however, just one source of thermal leaks, and there can be many more.

After all, you want your home to be as efficient, warm and energy conscious as possible; this means knowing where you are losing heat. To do so you could simply walk around and determine where you need, for example, thicker curtains or better window insulation, and check your doors for gaps and more, but there is a better way of getting results, and it can be a very effective and surprisingly cheap one. We’re talking about using a thermal leak detector, which is what this review is all about.

Buy one of these and you can check all areas of your home for heat loss and insulation efficiency, and some of them even offer moisture detection, so you can find out where that damp problem is coming from. Of course, we would not advise dealing with damp problems yourself, as they always require the services of a professional, but there’s no reason you should not be able to detect damp spots when they are around. So, before we take the time to review the top 10 best thermal leak detectors, let’s have a quick chat about what they do, and how they do it.

The Top 10 Best Thermal Leak Detectors

1: Black & Decker TLD 100

We begin our review with a model from a brand that will be familiar to all our readers. We always make a point of including top brands, as they tend to guarantee quality, and Black & Decker is one of the most famous names in power tools, DIY equipment and more. This thermal leak detector is a very neat and simple design; it does what it is designed for, with no fuss, and nothing more. You hold it in your hand, walk around, and it indicates where you have issues with your insulation.

It has a light indicator that shows you a blue light for cold draughts, and a red one for those pesky warm draughts, so you get a simple reading. It shows you temperature in the scale of your choice, and it is very easy to use. Use it to see where you are losing heat from your home, and you can decide how to improve your insulation and increase your energy efficiency. This is a good and very simple model – so if you want no-frills it’s worth a look – and at under £30 is a useful addition to your home toolkit.

Pros
  • B&D
  • Simple
  • Affordable
  • Easy to read
Cons
  • None, it does the job

2: Benetech GM550 Infrared Thermometer

It didn’t take us long to ask the question: isn’t a thermal leak detector just a fancy name for a thermometer? Well, in many ways, the answer is yes, but in others there are some differences. This device, however, is a digital thermometer, but it’s perfectly good for using as a leak detector around the home. It’s small and light, and works using infrared technology to provide you with accurate temperature readings wherever you might be around the home.

Accuracy is assured by a laser targeting function, and it has an LED screen for a readout with a backlight for ease of use. It’s a one-hand device so you can use it easily, and it has a full memory so you can store your information, as well as storing low and high measurements and averages. You can use it in C or F measurement scales, and it is very simple and effective. At under £10 it’s also very cheap, so well worth looking at.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Clear readout
  • Multiple uses
Cons
  • Not strictly a thermal leak detector

3: KKMoon Infrared

Sometimes when writing these reviews we come across items that are clearly identical, yet presented under different brand names. This one is the same as the above, so: This device, however, is a digital thermometer, but it’s perfectly good for using as a leak detector around the home. It’s small and light, and works using infrared technology to provide you with accurate temperature readings wherever you might be around the home.

Accuracy is assured by a laser targeting function, and it has an LED screen for a readout with a backlight for ease of use. It’s a one-hand device so you can use it easily, and it has a full memory so you can store your information, as well as storing low and high measurements and averages. You can use it in C or F measurement scales, and it is very simple and effective. At under £10 it’s also very cheap, so well worth looking at.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Clear readout
  • Multiple uses
Cons
  • Not strictly a thermal leak detector

4: Bosch PDT 1

Coming back to our earlier point about brand names, this one comes from Bosch, perhaps the most prestigious of all when it comes to home power tools and DIY kit. It’s a neat little device that is specifically designed for thermal leak detection, and is one that has many excellent features. It’s designed to be held in one hand for ease of operation, and is fitted with a very clear backlit screen. It’s very large and easy to read, and provides a great deal of information.

This one can be used for measuring both surface and room temperature, and also has a moisture and humidity reader, so it is great for assessing mould risk areas and other potential problems with damp. It offers full, automatic analysis of the information to hand, and a handy laser circle shows you the area that is being measured. All in all, this is a comprehensive device that offers the very best in operation, and if you want a professional level thermal leak detector, it’s around £60.

Pros
  • Bosch
  • Easy to use
  • Many features
  • Large readout
  • Humidity measurement
Cons
  • None

5: B&D Thermal Leak Detector

This one comes from Black & Decker, which is one of the most famous names in power tools, DIY equipment and more. This thermal leak detector is a very neat and simple design; it does what it is designed for, with no fuss, and nothing more. You hold it in your hand, walk around, and it indicates where you have issues with your insulation.

It has a light indicator that shows you a blue light for cold draughts, and a red one for those pesky warm draughts, so you get a simple reading. It shows you temperature in the scale of your choice, and it is very easy to use. Use it to see where you are losing heat from your home, and you can decide how to improve your insulation and increase your energy efficiency. This is a good and very simple model – so if you want no-frills it’s worth a look – and at under £30 is a useful addition to your home toolkit.

Pros
  • B&D
  • Simple
  • Affordable
  • Easy to read
Cons
  • None, it does the job

6: FLIR MR160 Imaging Moisture Meter

This device differs from the rest in many ways; firstly, it is primarily a moisture meter – and a very, very good one at that – and secondly, it is much more expensive than any of the rest. This is, we should say, a full professional level device that has many neat features, and one that shows you the results on a nice big clear screen. The trick is that it can ‘see through’ walls, so you can actually see what is behind them when looking for damp problems and other issues.

This is very useful for professionals who need to show clients what is going on behind the outer coating of a wall, before ripping things apart to rectify the problem. Technologically, it is very clever indeed, and it is fair to say that if you are a professional involved in the damp-proofing and rectifying trade, this is very much for you. The problem is, we can’t see it being much use to the DIY enthusiast, especially at more than £500.

Pros
  • Very accurate
  • professional level
  • durable
  • Well made
Cons
  • None, it does the job

7: Senwiet Handheld Digital

There seems to be a standard type of design that comes with these devices; it’s a gun-shape so it can be held in one hand, and has grip with a trigger device to get your reading. Like many of these, this device is a digital thermometer, but it’s perfectly good for using as a leak detector around the home. It’s small and light, and works using infrared technology to provide you with accurate temperature readings wherever you might be around the home.

Accuracy is assured by a laser targeting function, and it has an LED screen for a readout with a backlight for ease of use. It’s a one-hand device so you can use it easily, and it has a full memory so you can store your information, as well as storing low and high measurements and averages. You can use it in C or F measurement scales, and it is very simple and effective. At under £10 it’s also very cheap, so well worth looking at.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Clear readout
  • Multiple uses
Cons
  • Not strictly a thermal leak detector

8: Black & Decker Thermal Detector

We are always pleased to include items from Black & Decker, which is one of the most famous names in power tools, DIY equipment and more. This thermal leak detector is a very neat and simple design; it does what it is designed for, with no fuss, and nothing more. You hold it in your hand, walk around, and it indicates where you have issues with your insulation.

It has a light indicator that shows you a blue light for cold draughts, and a red one for those pesky warm draughts, so you get a simple reading. It shows you temperature in the scale of your choice, and it is very easy to use. Use it to see where you are losing heat from your home, and you can decide how to improve your insulation and increase your energy efficiency. This is a good and very simple model – so if you want no-frills it’s worth a look – but at around £80 we feel it may be a touch expensive, especially when compared to others from the same stable.

Pros
  • B&D
  • Simple
  • Affordable
  • Easy to read
Cons
  • None, it does the job

9: Testboy Mould Detector

Nearing the end of this review, we come to a device that is one of the humidity detectors, rather than a thermal leak device. However, the two do a similar job, as mould can be a result of thermal leaks, so the principle is similar. This one comes from Testboy, who have a wide variety of such items, and it is a very neat design. As with most of these, it is designed to be a one-hand and simple use model, and is very sturdy and well built.

You get a laser image target that is very accurate in terms of where it needs to read. The LCD backlit readout is clear and gives you a full range of results, with memory for high, low and also averages. It tells you very clearly where the mould is likely to be, and it is easy to use and very accurate. All said, it’s a very nice device if you are looking to search for mould in your home or other building, but at around £130 is probably more for the professional than the home DIY enthusiast.

Pros
  • very accurate
  • Detects mould easily
  • Backlit readout
  • Laser precision
Cons
  • None, it does the job

10: Stanley Digital Infrared Thermal Leak Detector

We close our review with an old friend from the world of DIY and power tools, Stanley. With many decades of experience in providing quality tools of all kinds, and a reputation for high quality, this model does not disappoint, and it offers you all the usual features you would expect from a thermal leak detector. It’s easy to use, lightweight and durable, with a nice clear readout and the ability to save readings and also save highs, lows and averages.

This is a very neat model that uses the gun design, so it can be held in one hand, while the accuracy of the area you wish to measure can be pinpointed to a circle as small as 32cm from a 2.5m distance. It also complies with dust protection requirements, so is great for use in industrial situations. Overall, this is a very competent thermal leak detector, and at around £35 is good value from such a prestigious brand.

Pros
  • Stanley
  • Very accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
Cons
  • None

That’s your list of the ten best thermal leak detectors, then, and there are some very interesting devices on the list. We reckon there is something there for every budget, so before we go on to sum things up, let’s have a quick recap of the important features to look for.

Important Features to Consider

The purpose of a thermal leak detector is very specific – to find out where you are losing heat through your home, and to help improve efficiency and save money. Some of these also offer a damp and moisture detection feature, which can be handy for dealing with damp and mould. Before we sum up, let’s have a look at the important features to consider when choosing one of these very useful devices.

Function – when looking for a thermal leak detector, you want a thermal leak detector! Some of these are something else entirely, so check before you buy.

Brand name – it may not be important to everyone, but bear in mind that some of the best deals here are from well-known brand names, and that does guarantee you quality.

That’s really about it because, as we have said, these devices perform a very specific duty, and the price of most of them is pretty much the same. So, before we go, all that we need to do is wrap it up!

How It Works

You could use yourself as a thermal leak detector; stand in the position you think you have a leak, and see if you feel cold! But that’s not very accurate, so you need to take a look at the items on our list. Many people dismiss such devices as this because they provide one use, and one use only, but that is to overlook their usefulness. You have no idea how much extra energy you are using thanks to poor insulation and leaks, and wasted energy means wasted money.

Gas and electricity are not cheap commodities; you pay for the amount you use, also, rather than the amount you should be using. So, if you are losing 10% of your heat through poor insulation, that’s money down the drain. A thermal leak detector is a simple device: there are many different types among our lost, but each performs a very similar task. Put simply, you hold the device in an area of the home – or any other building – in which you believe you have a leak, and it tells you whether you are right or wrong.

It can also be used to detect warm draughts; this is where the heat you are generating is, effectively, going the wrong way. When you get into our review, you will see that some of the devices are more sophisticated than others – and many are more expensive than others, too – so it’s down to you to decide whether you want a full-on thermal leak detector, or a simple one for regular use. Do you need one? That’s a good question; it’s not the item that springs to mind as the first thing you would buy, but when you do get one, you will find it more useful than you may have believed. So, with no further fuss, let’s have a look at the top 10 thermal leak detectors on the market right now.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

So, thermal leak detectors, you need one, yes? Let’s face it, it’s a useful device to have around the home, and you can use it to see where you can be better insulated against heat loss. Think of all those doors, windows and the loft, where that expensive heat is simply seeping away, and a cheap fix may be available to save you much more money.

Which one of these would we chose? To be honest, for value for money, any of the few very simple digital thermometers – at around £10 – might be a handy addition to your kit, but if you want accurate reading, with moisture and humidity and a very full set of features, we can’t help but recommend you spend a little more and buy the very impressive Bosch model.

Have another read, and get your home insulated for the winter months – you never know how much you could save!

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