Updated: November 2017

Thermal Leak Detector Reviews:

There is no doubt that many of us live in drafty, older homes that could use some updating. One area that is always on my radar for fixing are the regions of my house that have air leaks. In the winter, I can sit next to some of my windows and feel the cold air seeping through the edges. You may not even know the extent of how cold temperatures really effect your household conditions on the inside. Buying new windows and doors is one way to improve energy efficiency and heating conditions, but using simple instrument like a thermal leak detector can solve much of it. The infrared sensor on thermal leak detectors will help you find those air leaks along molding, walls, and even in your ductwork. Once you have found the source(s) of where the cold air is creeping in, you can then proceed to insulate or caulk better. Some thermal leak detectors claim they can reduce energy bills by 20%. Sounds pretty good doesn't it? We will investigate the products below and look into consumer reviews to see which products perform the best.
thermal leak detector

Choosing a Thermal Leak Detector - First off, you may find these marketed as temperature guns, temperature sensors, thermometer guns, and infrared thermometers. Home improvements stores like Home Depot and Lowe's carry these. The leading brand for thermal leak detectors is Black & Decker and their TLD100 model is top rated by experts and consumers alike. A similar product is the Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer which does a good job of reading tempertures around your house. Features to look for - An easy to use leak detector is probably the most important feature to consider. Who wants to read pages and pages of an owners manual just to figure out the basics. The LCD screen should display all the data in an easy to read format. Most of these temperature guns put out an infrared light which delivers a temperature reading on the spot it's pointed at. Go from a normal reading on a wall and then set the detector to scan around windows, doors, attic openings, etc. You will instantly see the feedback and realize quickly where the energy sapping drafts are coming in from. Most are fairly obvious, but you may be surprised at how much energy is being wasted in some areas of your home. With the Black & Decker TLD100, the light scans green at first and then goes either red (warmer) or blue (colder). Many of these products will also help you with diagnosing problems with HVAC systems or engine isuses with cars. If you know that your house leaks in cold air, then sealing it up should be a top priority so you can stop wasting money paying for unnecessary heating or cooling bills. You can browse the best selling thermal leak detectors here.

Best Thermal Leak Detector:

RECOMMENDED - The #1 seller in this category on Amazon and in home improvement stores is the Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector which sells for roughly $50. The Black & Decker uses an infrared sensor to measure temperatures on the surface of your walls, door jams, attic doors, etc. It's considered the easiest to use device of all and will guide you to all those drafty spots in your house. We have attic storage doors that lead from our playroom area and the storage is great, but the drafts that come through those doors is incredible. The builders of the house put in a styrofoam piece that sits behind the door and is supposedly to block out wind and cold although we have found them to be deficient. The Black & Decker thermal leak detector instantly showed the temperature difference between a wall near the attic/storage doors and the drafty temps that were closer to the door opening. I can't attest to the true accuracy of the readings, but we found about 8 degrees difference between the two. Simply put, having a thermal leak detector like the TLD100 from Black & Decker can be useful for the average homeowner. I like the fact that the detector comes with a 5 step guide on fixing the basic leaks. Learn about caulking and weatherstripping around your doors and windows. They claim that by sealing up the leaks you could potentially save 20% on your energy bills. I have yet to see that difference on my bills, but the house feels warmer in some spots than it did before.

Temperature Gun - Kintrex Infrared Thermometer:

BEST - A very similar functioning product is the KINTREX IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting which sells for $50 too. It has a measurement range from -76 to 932 degrees fahrenheit. The distance to spot ratio is 12:1 and response time is about 1 second. There is an auto shut off feature if the infrared thermometer sits idle for more than 15 seconds. The Kintrex IRT0421 is accurate and the LCD display is easy to read. Great for monitoring temperatures. Kintrex is a well respected name in this industry as well as Fluke and Raytek. You can view top rated temperature guns and gauges here. We highly recommend reading the owner comments and even watching the videos we have posted down below on these products. Get a feel for how you use them.