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Before you know which HVAC meter to buy, you must know how they work.
The first thing technicians will tell you about HVAC meters is that they’re used for troubleshooting. This means that when some appliance is not working correctly, an HVAC meter can detect what’s wrong.
The most common appliances that an HVAC meter is used for are refrigerators and air cooling systems. It detects the dB rating, trigger points, and acquisition, and other important ratings of the appliance.
Some high-quality and digital HVAC meters also come with sample ratings. This allows the technician to compare the actual rating and ideal rating of a certain appliance.
Types of HVAC Meters
There are two types of HVAC meters: analog and digital.
Analog is the classic choice. It comes with a needle on a readout scale. Just like old-times the way you used to read the speed on the speedometer in a car.
Technicians with decades of experience often fall back on traditional tools that work. And analog HVAC meters are one of them. Fast, accurate, and handy.
Having said that, analog HVAC meters have some drawbacks. For starters, you cannot read them in the dark or around too much sunlight. And when you compared analog to digital, analog seems like a limited pick.
But if you want a cheap and valuable HVAC meter for simple tasks, an analog meter is best.
Digital HVAC meters take care of the basic and advanced testings. It has plenty of features - most of which I will discuss below. On a parting note, it’s more efficient, costly, and long-lasting.
Now that you know how an HVAC meter works, let’s look at the important features...
1. Alternating & Direct Current
The electric current that an HVAC meter functions on are known as the ‘AC’ or ‘DC’ current. As the names suggest, alternating current is when the electric current flows at intervals. This is commonly used for home and power supplies.
And a direct current has one fixed direction of electric current flow. You will find this type of current commonly in automobiles and household batteries.
2. LCD Screen
Without an LCD screen, you cannot get an accurate reading off of an HVAC meter. Whether you’re measuring the current, resistance, etc. with the HVAC meter. An LCD screen is a very important feature to have.
It also allows you to manage sample ratings, auto-ranging, and data storage. A professional technique that does both residential and commercial work will get more usage and value out of a large LCD screen.
3. Ease of Use
Most of the HVAC meters are simple and effective to use. You simply have to press a button and you get the readings right away. If you’re using a more intricate and advanced HVAC meter, make sure you read the manual properly.
Having said that, considering the way HVAC meters work, there’s no need to buy a complicated HVAC meter. Even for a professional technician, a user-friendly HVAC meter is suitable.
The last thing you need is to waste time on figuring out how the HVAC meter works. And spend less time on the project you’re using the HVAC meter for.
An HVAC meter detects how much resistance electric wiring has. The material that carries the electric current, at what rating does is it resisting electric flow? This helps the technician determine the source of the problem. Without this setting, an HVAC meter is useless and ineffective.
As the name suggests, the temperature reading of the electric current plays a critical role in troubleshooting. A high-quality HVAC measures the warmth of the circuit in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
1. Do all HVAC meters have an auto-range function?
If you’re using a manual multimeter, it’s more time-consuming to get an accurate reading. You have to manually adjust and monitor the reading. First, it gives you an estimate in ohms. Then you’re supposed to keep clicking the button to get a proper readout.
That is why auto-range is so popular today. It’s fast and gives you an accurate readout for voltage, resistance, and current.
It automatically detects and matches the range of the circuit. So you don’t have to do a thing.
All digital modern multimeters have an auto-range function. It generally doesn’t cost extra unless you want a more advanced and intricate HVAC meter.
2. What are some of the additional features of HVAC meters?
Additional features add convenience and accuracy. Such as a backlit display, temperature probe, and a magnetic strap. Some of these features cost a little more in a digital HVAC meter for residential or commercial use.
The backlit display allows you to read in the dark or with sunlight glare. The temperature probe measures the circuit’s temperature for warmth. And a magnetic strap makes carrying the HVAC meter around easy. Even during the application, you can use both hands without handling the meter.
3. Is storage data necessary?
Storage data in digital HVAC meters allow you to save sample ratings. This is a more advanced feature and costs a little more. Memory carries readout data in HVAC meters. It’s necessary for technicians whose job is to take readings and do troubleshooting on a regular basis.
Instead of writing the ratings down in a notepad, the meter saves it all. And you can access it easily with the help of the buttons on the meter. It improves on-the-job dependability and ease of use.
If you want accurate readings quickly, digital HVAC multimeters are good for you. They make your job much easier. And you can professionally calibrate what needs troubleshooting. Electricians use HVAC meters to check on refrigerators, air cooling systems, automobiles, and other electronic devices. And it comes particularly handy when you’re working in the dark or in a cramped space.
What do you think of the best HVAC meters? Aren’t they one of the most versatile and productive home maintenance tools to use?