Best hvac multimeter – The #1 buying guide & Review
From something as simple as simple home maintenance to trouble shooting automotive, a multimeter can enable us to handle quite a lot of electrical and electronic stuff.
For the HVAC technicians, having a multimeter in their tool bag is a must. The tricky part however, as with other electrical maintenance tools is how to get the best hvac multimeter. I have to say, this is not a walk in the park; with the large number of brands claiming to give you the best, it will definitely be hard to really get one.
What if I told you that by the end of this review, you’ll have utmost knowledge of what to seek out when looking for one and even better, you’ll also be taking a look at 5 of the best.
Enough with the introduction already, how about we move on to the main agenda right away? Here’s the #1 buying guide and product listing of 2018 for the best hvac multimeter.
Let’s get started…
3 of our Best- Comparison Chart.
You probably should read all through; which would also be for the best but if you really want to get your hands on an outstanding hvac multimeter, you can pick one right below from 3 of our best.
Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter
Amprobe AM-520 HVAC Multimeter
Amprobe AM-560 Advanced HVAC Digital Multimeter
2018’s best hvac multimeter #1 buying guide.
The first section of our review is exclusively meant to let you know exactly what to do when it comes down to selecting a multimeter that’s meant for Heating Ventilation and Cooling systems.
What exactly is a HVAC multimeter?
Only a handful of people can tell apart the hvac multimeters from the standard multipurpose multimeter. Whereas the appearance may be the same, hvac multimeters are different in the sense that they can be able to take readings that are much higher or lower than what you’ll get from the average multimeters.
Besides just being able to take higher readings, hvac multimeters do have a better design since they are mostly used outdoors. This automatically leaves them subjected to rough conditions which should then be compensated for by the high-quality exterior construction.
In addition to the capability of taking higher readings, you’ll also get accessories that will prove quite useful to you as a hvac technician such as a backlight at the rear. Others may also have surface temperature probes as well as LED flashlights.
Taking the above into consideration, it’s clearly not easy at all for you to get the best. Even so, consider yourself lucky since in a short while, you’ll have utmost knowledge of how to get your hands on one.
The design- should be lightweight and durable.
You will mostly be holding this multimeter in your palm and it would be best if you went for something that’s lightweight and at the same time does have a compact design.
Whereas it would be quite outstanding to work with a compact and lightweight hvac multimeter, it would also be better if it had a durable construction. For starters, it should have a rugged design which saves it from wear and tear and even much better, you could go for one that has a rubber guard all around it which would offer utmost drop protection.
Is it easy enough for you to use?
Besides quality construction, it is important that the multimeter you go for be as easy enough to use as possible.
The best hvac multimeter, for instance should have clear labelling on the front surface. Considering you’ll be using it in rather harsh conditions as compared to the standard multimeter, it is also important that the display be clear enough and the symbols of different electrical units be distinct from each other.
You’d definitely be at an advantage if your multimeter had a backlit display in addition to it just having a large and clear display since this would make it easy to use in dim light conditions.
How much should I spend on the best hvac multimeter?
Yet another thing that raises a lot of eyebrows is the amount of money your should spend on the best multimeter.
My take on this is that you first of all pay heed to the question of whether or not the multimeter will be able to meet your day to day demands. Having done so, you can then have a look at price tag and depending on how your budget is, you’ll go ahead and make your purchase.
The more accurate it is, the better off you are
Regardless of how handy and durable a hvac multimeter is, it won’t do you any good if the accuracy is compromised/ due to this, you should prioritize accuracy above all other things. With the large number of multimeters in the market today, you may easily fall for one that’s really bad on the accuracy. All things considered, such a multimeter will even increase the complexity of your work.
When it comes to choosing an accurate hvac multimeter, you should, first of all have in mind most of the tasks that you’ll be using to carry out with the multimeter. Having done so, you should go ahead and have a look at the level of accuracy on the multimeter which is normally in percentage in which case the lower it is the better off you are.
It would be even much better if you could get your hands on a true-RMS multimeter the reason being that the level of accuracy is way above average.
Whereas going for a multimeter that can be able to handle most of your daily tasks is advised, you should also consider going for one with additional functions. You never know when you may need to put in some extra effort.
Does the multimeter brand really matter?
When you’re getting one for the first time, you’ll definitely be worried not to select something that will prove disappointing in the long run.
One of the things that could make a big difference between one that would prove best to you and one that would disappoint you is the brand name. it’s definitely not easy for you to get a brand that will promise, durability, versatility and reliability all in one multimeter.
The few that would do so include fieldpiece, Fluke, Klein and UEI. It is also worth mentioning that these brands have been around for quite a long time which is yet another contributing factory to why they have got the best hvac multimeter in the market.
Even with the above named brands, you should pay attention to whether the multimeter will meet your most important demands.
Just for the sake of convenience, you could go for a multimeter that has some additional features in addition to just handling the important measurement functions.
Some of the things you should look out for include a backlit display which should come in handy in dark areas such as the attic.
You should also look out for an autoranging multimeter. As compared to a manual ranging multimeter, one with the auto range function will come in handy especially when you want to do the work twice as fast.
Other things you should look out for include a temperature probe which would make temperature measurement quite easy.
Best hvac multimeter reviews.
now that you have all you need at your fingertips to get the best, how about we take a look at the best hvac multimeters that 2018 has to offer?
Let’s get started right away…
Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter
Accuracy = 99/100
Build quality = 70/100
The Fluke 116 has got the low impedance rating which eliminates ghost voltages for more accurate readings. It also has got a rugged construction and more so, it conforms with the CAT III 600V safety standard
If you know anything about digital multimeters, then you probably know that the fluke brand of multimeters is one of the best out there in the market. It therefore, won’t come as a surprise to see one of these in our top 5 list.
The design quality.
Starting with the exterior design, this multimeter will definitely give you a kick for your buck. Due to it’s compact and lightweight design, you will indeed be able to use it comfortably in one hand. This allows you to operate comfortably without having to worry about dealing with too much weight.
As for the material construction, it is rugged all round which makes it ideal to use for HVAC maintenance since it will withstand wear and tear quite well.
Easy to use.
In addition to having an outstanding design, the Fluke 116 will prove quite easy for you to use. For starters, it’s got abuilt-in thermometer for HVAC applications. There is also an LED backlight that makes it possible to use in dim light just as easily as you would have in proper lighting.
You will aso be able to take quite a lot of measurements with this multimeter such as resistance, frequency, continuity, voltage capacitance etc.
Whereas some multimeters may allow a little bit of errors when it comes to measuring voltage, this ne has got the LoZ i.e. the low impedance rating. This functions to eliminate any ghost voltages to give you the most accurate readings.
It’s not an all-round multimeter unless it’s safe enough for you to use. Yet another thing that deems this multimeter worthy as a best hvac multimeter you should go for is the CAT III 600V safety rating it has. This allows you to work with high voltage ratings which would be quite often in HVAC maintenance.
Fieldpiece LT17A Classic Style Digital Multimeter
Accuracy = 99/100
Build quality = 90/100
Whereas it’s not an auto ranging multimeter, it will handle plenty of your measurements and has a clamp included for ACC measurement. This multimeter handles quite a lot from voltage and current measurement to measuring temperature, it will perform flawlessly.
Coming up next on our list is the Fieldpiece LT17A. As far as multimeters are concerned, this one just so happens to be one of the best brands.
Let’s take a look at what it packs under the hood, shall we?
Starting with possibly the most striking feature that this multimeter has to offer, you’ll undoubtedly be blown away by how much you can actually be able to do with it.
From dimply being able to take care of current and voltage measurement just like any multimeter would to handling temperature of up to 1400F, it surely is the best companion for HVAC maintenance.
The design quality
Having a rugged case with a rubber boot on the multimeter prevents it from potential wear and tear as well as any imminent shock.
Another additional feature on the design that will definitely come in handy is the tilt stand and the magnetic hanger. When not in use, you can use the former to securely store the meter and for hands free usage, you can use the tilt stand.
To make it easy to take the current measurements, there is an included clamp with which you can conveniently use with the meter.
The Fieldpiece LT17A also does have the max/min hold function which means you can be able to keep track of your values and more so, freeze your recordings at will.
Amprobe AM-520 HVAC Multimeter
There’s a built-in flashlight, a large LCD display, non-contact voltage, a k-type thermocouple probe, a wide range of measurements and an outstanding rugged construction. In addition to being durable, you can, as well be able to measure pretty much anything using this.
The next product on our review is the Amprobe AM-520. I have to say; this multimeter is equally as good for a first-time user just as it is for an expert. Let’s have a look at what it packs under the hood, shall we?
An outstanding display quality.
Starting with the display, the Amprobe AM-520 not only has a large digital LED display but the same is at the same time backlit.This makes it ideal for usage in dimly lit areas.
In addition to having the backlit feature, the multimeter does have the MIN/MAX function as well as the relative zero mode. The MIN/MAX simply allows you to record your extreme measurements whereas the relative zero mode allows you to compare your readings with a fixed value of your choice.
Still at the display, it is also worth pointing out that besides just showing the readings in digits alone, you can also be able to see the same on a 41-segmented bar graph
With the rugged quality on this multimeter, it stands out to be suitable for use in almost any environment. This rugged electrical multimeter does have a tilt stand at the rear which makes it possible to use it hands free.
A wide range of applications.
I have to say, as long as you have this multimeter with you, you can be able to do almost anything. For temperature, you’ll have a temperature probe coming along with it. in addition to this, there is the non-contact voltage detection which means you won’t have to use the probes.
The Amprobe AM-520 also allows you to conveniently measure capacitance as well as resistance, frequency, duty cycle diode test and voltage. The voltage measurement is up to 600V AC/DC which should come in handy especially in HVAC maintenance.
Amprobe AM-500 Digital Multimeter
This multimeter obeys both the CAT III 600V safety standard as well as the third-party standards of the CSA and ACMA labs that verify it ideal for use as far as your health and environmental preservation are concerned. Being auto ranging, you’ll easily be able to use it even as a first timer.
Yet another outstanding hvac multimeter from Amprobe is the Amprobe AM-500. Owing to the fact that Amprobe has been around for quite some time, it won’t come as a surprise that they have some of the best.
Here’s what you’ll be getting from the AM-500
Even though most multimeters today come with this feature, I’d say that it would be quite ideal to have it in your hvac multimeter.
Unlike other multimeters, hvac multimeters are normally used by the technician as they move around. It therefore would only be fair if they got to work with the auto-ranging function which would save them a little bit of time and effort in their work.
Even with the auto-ranging function, the display quality is not left out. You’ll be getting a 2000-count 3 ½ digit LCD display.
Something else that you’ll be enjoying from the display is the data hold function. With this, you’ll be able to freeze your displayed recording.
As for the measurement functions, this multimeter can handle quite a lot. In addition to measuring current and voltage just like a normal multimeter would, this one does have the micro amp function which will come in handy when troubleshooting flame sensors that are used in gas appliances.
You’ll also be getting the diode test as well as the continuity test
This multimeter is CAT III 600V which qualifies it as an ideal multimeter for handling reasonably high voltage levels. Besides this, it also has the 3rd party safety listing with the CSA and ACMA labs. it has, therefore been assessed to meet high safety as far as health and environmental protection are concerned.
Amprobe AM-560 Advanced HVAC Digital Multimeter
Besides just being an auto ranging multimeter, it allows you to get a lot of measurement functions, utmost safety and it can record the max/min values, relative-zero value and has the data hold function too. By conforming with the CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V ratings, it’s one of the safest multimeters out there.
When it comes to accuracy, I’d say that this ought to be the best hvac multimeter for you. Unlike most of the other amprobe multimeters we’ve already had a look at, this one comes with the true-RMS feature. this allows you to take both the continuous and the non-continuous wave forms of both voltage and current and with utmost accuracy.
Besides accuracy, let’s have a look at other reasons as to why you should consider getting this digital multimeter.
Safe for use.
By meeting the CAT III 1000V rating and the CAT IV rating of up to 600V, you’ll be able to handle quite high voltage levels which would be the case when it comes to hvac maintenance.
I have to say, considering the much that you can be able to do with this digital multimeter, it surely is worth every penny. Other than voltage and current measurement, it can also handle resistance, frequency, capacitance, duty cycle as well as temperature measurement.
For the voltage, it does have the non-contact voltage detection feature which ascertains of safety while carrying out voltage measurements. Speaking of non-contact voltage, it also has the low impedance mode which eliminates the chances of getting erroneous readings that could otherwise be due to the stray voltages
Speaking of temperature measurement, it is worth pointing out that it does come with a dual K-type probe which allows you to do this conveniently.
Besides just having a lot of measurement functions, the built quality on this multimeter is quite outstanding. From the probes to the multimeter itself, every part is passed through rigorous testing to ensure that you get the highest quality.
The rugged design of the multimeter prevents it from any imminent wear and tear.
With the AM-560, you’ll also be getting a backlight on the LCD display. In addition to this, there is also the data hold function which allows you to take your readings with ease and more so, the min/max memory to keep track of your records. There is also the relative zero mode, the auto power off feature as well as the low battery warning for an even much better experience.
Conclusion- Our final take on the best hvac multimeter
Coming to the end of our review, there’s clearly a lot of work to be done in order for you to get the best. whether you’re a beginner HVAC technician or an expert, you owe it to yourself to only work with the best.
Accuracy and durability are the two key things you should look out for if you want to have a smooth time on the field.
Having given you a head start of what to look for as well as a top the5 list which will definitely arm you with the best hvac multimeter, all that’s left now is for you to make your pick. All in all, you owe it to yourself to get exactly what you need- good luck in getting the best.