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Best Multimeters for HVAC- Buyer’s Guide and Reviews (2021)

You may not know it, but your HVAC technician has one of the most important jobs in the world. It is their responsibility to ensure that you and your family are comfortable when you’re at home or at work! But how can they do this if they don’t have a good multimeter?

The first step for any HVAC system’s maintenance is to keep an eye on what the current system is doing. That means having a multimeter handy at all times!

Every system has different requirements and challenges, which means it is important to be knowledgeable about how each of them works. You could be dealing with a misdiagnosed HVAC system if you are noticing that your home is feeling stuffy, and your air conditioner isn’t cooling the way it should.

Well, luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of some of the best multimeters on the market that will make any HVAC tech happy.

Let’s dive right in!

1) Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

If you are looking for a tool that combines ease of use with budget-friendliness, Fluke 116 is the way to go. Its integrated flame sensors and thermometer make it a great choice for use in HVAC installation and testing. 

If you are out in the market looking for a multimeter that is best suited to your HVAC works, then get a piece that is engineered for the sole purpose of HVAC services. It measures everything that is needed for the service including voltage, cycles, continuity, capacitance, and resistance. And it does so at the perfect ranges prevalent in HVAC. 

You also get the microamp measurement required for measuring the performance of HVAC equipment. 

Its safety rating makes it suitable for use in residential and commercial HVAC troubleshooting works. The CAT-III 600V makes it resilient under higher voltage. 

At the same time, you can rely on its low impedance feature to prevent ghost voltages from getting into the calculations. 

Although it brings the accuracy and reliability of manual multimeters to the table, this feature undermines the efficiency of this tool. So, if you are a complete beginner in the skill of tackling electrical appliances, you may not use it with ease. With only a bit of experience, however, this multimeter will help you do wonders.

An HVAC system is comprised of several components that it runs on. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you know how they function individually. An HVAC multimeter like Fluke 116 will ensure that you know the situation right inside your electrical system.

Its Lo-Z feature is a time saver as it prevents false readings regarding the ghost voltage. This way, you can be sure of the readings without wasting any time fiddling with it to maintain its accuracy as an HVAC meter.

Pros
  • User friendly: It is an intuitive, lightweight digital multimeter that can be used for various types of applications.
  • The Fluke 116 can be used in many different environments such as automotive or industrial settings. It’s also perfect for field service technicians who need to have a compact device that they can easily carry with them on their job sites.
  • Built-in flame sensors: Although not a specifically designed thermal multimeter, it can be used to detect the presence of flame in real-time.
  • Auto Volt LoZ detects ghost voltage: This saves technicians a lot of time.
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Thermometer accuracy is lower than what is expected for HVAC works

2) True RMS Klein Tools HVAC Multimeter CL450 with K Type Temperature Probe

This is the preferred choice for those HVAC experts who are not only at an advanced level of their skills but also want the highest accuracy level for their work. This HVAC multimeter can measure up to 1000V of voltage and 600A in AC. 

You could be dealing with a misdiagnosed HVAC system if you are noticing that your home is feeling stuffy, and your air conditioner isn’t cooling the way it should. If this sounds like you, then we have the Klein CL450 for you.

Its most remarkable feature could be its low impedance mode but there is more to it than just detecting ghost voltages. The tester has dual k-type thermocouple ports which you can use to measure differential temperature. 

Plus you get integrated True Root Mean Squared (TRMS) technology that significantly enhances the accuracy of readings. The amp clamp is auto-ranging so you don’t have to change the settings every time AC waveform changes. 

The electrical system in your house is one of the most important components because it’s responsible for providing power to all of your household appliances.

That being said, it’s also absolutely vital that any issues be found as soon as possible so that there isn’t an issue with service interruption or worse yet injury

The device is not only good for measuring the current flowing in the HVAC but it also accurately measures the inrush current at the time of it switching on. 

Different properties of current that it measures are not limited to resistance, frequency, voltage, and AC and DC; rather you also get to measure duty-cycle and diode with this jack-of-all multimeter. These are the qualities of the best HVAC multimeter.

Its safety rating stands at CAT IV 600V and CAT III 1000V. Furthermore, you get a Class 2 double insulation safety feature with this HVAC multimeter. A true RMS multimeter with this many features means that you truly are getting value for the price.

The best part is its warranty that covers the buyers for one year after purchase.

Pros
  • TRMS technology: This technology behind the new meters makes them superior to other types in terms of accuracy for measurement purposes, especially when compared to RMS. This will be a whole lot useful to HVAC technicians.
  • Differential temperature measurement
  • Low impedance mode to detect ghost voltage: If you’re a technician, then you probably know the importance of this feature.
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
Cons
  • Batteries drain a little too quick.

3) UEi Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter

So, your needs are not detailed nor you are a complete novice in this field. You can work with virtually any HVAC multimeter as long as it’s easy to handle. What do you do?

You get UEi DL369 clamp-on meter only because of its clamp – or maybe because of some other features unique to this device only. 

Although the multimeter is perfect for HVAC tasks, it’s also used in other electrical jobs just as well. It’s a basic model that focuses on the job plus the accuracy. Yet, you can use it to answer almost all of your testing needs when working on an HVAC. 

The HVAC clamp multimeter allows auto-ranging features without compromising accuracy. You can measure up to 2000 microamp AC/ DC current, 400A AC current, and up to 600V non-contact AC voltage. Other electrical properties that it measures include resistance, capacitance, frequency, diode test, and continuity. 

The UEi Test Instruments DL369 clamp multimeter takes these measurements accurately and you can use it to measure all sorts of things about your system: like how much power it’s using, when it was last serviced, even how well insulated it is!

With so many benefits from just checking with an HVAC multimeter, why wouldn’t you?

Its size and clamps make it the easiest multimeter to work with. What’s better is its test lead storage capacity and auto power-off function. Low battery lock on display also elongates battery life when necessary. You can be sure that the batteries get the job done before you have to replace them. 

Measuring circuit loading can be difficult without the proper tools.

The UEi HVAC digital multimeter measures the voltage drop across a load, which equals current flow through that load or circuit at any given moment in time. This measurement offers insight into the condition of wiring and components connected to that wire as well as the power supply’s ability to provide adequate amperage for those loads. This is why this is one of the best HVAC multimeters on our list.

And then you get 3 years warranty from its trusted manufacturer.

Pros
  • Auto Power-off: This is an advantage because most technicians forget to turn off their multimeters once they are done using them and so it saves a lot of battery.
  • Large easy-to-read dual display: Smaller displays can cause eye strain when trying to view measurements, but this multimeter has a larger display that presents information more clearly and with less distortion or blurring than other products.
  • High level of accuracy
  • Includes a set of leads.
  • Efficient in use
Cons
  • Can’t read the temperature

4) Fieldpiece LT17A Classic Style Digital Multimeter w/Temp, MFD, Microamps, Frequency

If you can ditch most basic multimeters to go pro, you should consider getting this classic one. 

Did someone say classic? Well, here is the answer. With a rugged ABS case and rubber boot, this multimeter offers a durable tester that will stay with you across your HVAC troubleshoot calls. 

If you’re a technician and you’re looking for ways to protect your HVAC multimeter and yourself, then you don’t have to worry about this tester. It offers a tough, rubberized boot that guards your multimeter against damage and also gives you an easy grip for handling it.

With it, you get to measure almost every electrical property that can be covered by any multimeter. It means you are good to measure voltage, capacitance, current, resistance, temperature, frequency, and continuity. 

The temperature is measure by a k-type monocouple together with a temperature calibration pot that enhances the accuracy of the figures. 

Although it might appear as the most basic tester, it comes with all the modern technologies and features. One is its auto power-off feature which helps in the conservation of the battery. As HVAC technicians, we know that an HVAC system should not be ignored when it starts acting up.

Apart from its size, the meter makes reading easy with the help of a backlit display which makes sure that you get the readings even in darker spaces. 

The HVAC multimeter enhances safety by making it easy for the fuses to blow. However, as you can imagine, it translates into the additional cost of getting fuses because previous ones get damaged with minor mistakes. And you can get these fuses only from Fieldpiece making these mistakes even costlier.

Pros
  • Beeper helps prevent hazardous situations: This HVAC multimeter is a go-to for troubleshooting household electrical problems
  • Small compact size and ergonomic design: The meter has the traditional look of Fieldpiece’s original analog meters and comes with silicone leads that have detachable probe tips.
  • A wider range of measurements
  • Measures up to 1400F of temperature
  • Works with Fieldpiece accessory head
Cons
  • Costly fuses

5) Extech EX505 CAT IV-600V True RMS Industrial MultiMeter

When it comes to the reliability and durability of multimeters, there are only a few brands that can compete against Extech. This budget-friendly and shock-proof multimeter is no different. 

Just like most of its competitors, Extech 505 comes with a built-in thermometer. With a type-k temperature sensor, you can measure between -4 and 1382°F. 

Plus, it’s an auto-ranging multimeter so it’s perfect for those beginners and hobbyists who haven’t learned the art of manual ranging. The TRMS makes sure that the AC waveform remains protected against nearby devices. The same function makes it the best multimeter for HVAC works. 

Before you move ahead with this alternative, note that it didn’t originate as an HVAC multimeter. Its design makes it suitable for general electrical work, not just AC and HVAC troubleshooting. However, because it’s good at what it does, you can rely on it just as much as you rely on any other special-purpose multimeter when you are working on HVAC. 

You can use this multimeter to measure capacitance, frequency, temperature; as well as current and voltage. 

If you are buying Extech, your main concern must be the durability of the device. You can be assured with this multimeter as it comes with a rugged exterior that makes it shock-proof. The buyers are further protected by its 3-year warranty. 

Pros
  • TRMS multimeter
  • Auto-ranging
  • Industrial grade
  • CAT IV-600V safety rating
  • Multi-purpose
  • Budget-friendly
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Readings are slow

6) Klein Tools MM600 HVAC Multimeter

When your sole purpose of purchase is HVAC troubleshooting, you should go for this model’s TRMS model. Troubleshooting a heating or cooling system is an important skill for any HVAC technician.

The standard model, as is expected, brings a lower level of accuracy. Troubleshooting a heating or cooling system is an important skill for any HVAC technician.

This HVAC multimeter can be used to isolate problems with the voltage, current, resistance, or continuity. You will then use this information to identify which circuit board or component is broken.

With its higher safety rating of CAT IV 600V, this digital multimeter makes it a great tool for HVAC troubleshooting and other tasks in compact places. 

Other than the current and voltage, this HVAC digital multimeter is built to measure temperature, frequency, capacitance, resistance, and duty cycle. It is an essential tool that will allow you to diagnose the system more efficiently and accurately.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Industrial and residential safety ratings
  • Easy to use
  • Auto-ranging
Cons
  • Not to measure more than 6 Amps continuous current

7) UEi DL479 Digital Clamp Meter T-RMS, HVAC Current Voltage Tester

If you can afford a slightly costlier multimeter to accommodate ergonomics, go with this option. This clamp-on meter saves you the hassle of handling the tester while working on HVAC services. 

The UEi DL 479 multimeter is a digital multimeter that includes an auto-range function and a temperature measurement range.

This is one of the two multimeters on this list that you can use while being clamped. Unsurprisingly, it’s more ergonomic than most of its competitors.

This UEi DL479 industrial clamp meter features True RMS. If you’re looking for a professional-grade tool that will help you accurately test anything from large electrical boards to small household circuits, then this is the product for you! 

The best part of this device is its ease of use. You don’t have to be a skilled electrician or have years of HAC installation or repair experience under your belt to handle this meter. At any experience level, you can do just fine with the help of the user manual that accompanies the meter. 

Whether you want to take a quick check of live wires or check for the proper functioning of the heat exchanger, the UEi DL 479’s suite of practical applications is going to allow you to do both while keeping frustration at a distance.

When working on a motor, this true rms multimeter is an essential tool to use. It helps you check for voltage and current and make sure your motors are in good condition before they start up again.

Use it to measure capacitance, frequency, microamps, resistance, and temperature. The device is suitable for different residential and light industrial works.

Pros
  • Handy
  • Durable
  • High safety ratings
  • Low-maintenance
Cons
  • Temperature readings could have been more accurate

Buying Guide for the Best HVAC Multimeter:

We, as technicians are always looking for ways to make our job easier and more manageable.

The HVAC is a complex mechanical system that can be difficult to operate without proper training. It can be easy for an unqualified technician to make a mistake with the HVAC unit, leading to expensive repairs or worse – blown systems.

HVAC multimeters are must-have tools for any professional technician. They are used to measure voltage, current, and resistance in the circuits of an HVAC system. The best HVAC multimeter, in general, should also be able to measure AC/DC amperage and frequency as well as display various measurements on a digital screen. However, this does not end here.

Before you decide to purchase a new multimeter, keep in mind that quality and the number of features offered must go hand-in-hand. The best HVAC multimeters are those which feature an industrial rating. Such professional tools have features such as CAT III or CAT IV electrical safety ratings – the higher ​the ratings, the better. It is also important to look at whether the HVAC meter you’re buying has a warranty and if so, how long it lasts. The longer the duration of the warranty, the higher the quality of devices you can expect from your purchase.

Safety and Protection:

Dangerous voltages can occur when working on wiring, equipment, or electronics. They can also be present in the form of electric currents flowing through ground wires. A technician must use caution when using any tools that produce electricity during their job. An IP rating tells us the amount of resistance a multimeter can offer against dust and water particles. Usually, the greater the IP rating, the better it is protected especially when you are using it in areas where there is an excess of dust and moisture.

A multimeter’s IP rating is its way of saying “I’m ready for anything”.

A high-quality electrical device, like a multimeter, would never let dust particles or other contaminants get to the sensitive parts and ruin it. That’s why an IP (Ingress Protection) rating system was developed; so that people can have peace of mind knowing which level their equipment has been tested at!

CAT rating:

One of the most common causes for an arc flash is using a device that has been incorrectly rated. This type of blast can cause serious injury to human beings and destroy electrical equipment in the area, like transformers or circuit boards. The CAT rating is the ultimate safety feature for those in charge of HVAC systems. Without it, you risk an electrical surge that could be fatal to your multimeter and even worse! So make sure that you are buying a multimeter. So it’s advisable to invest in an inexpensive meter with a CAT rating since they have higher safety standards than non-rated meters.

Temperature Measurement:

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As one might expect, measuring temperature in an HVAC system is crucial for energy efficiency and comfort levels. When diagnosing problems with your HVAC system, you may need to know the temperature of different electrical components. Traditional thermometers are expensive and hard to use in tight spaces. They also only work for one purpose – measuring temperatures. 

Built-in Thermometer:

Nowadays digital multimeters have a built-in thermometer that is easy to read and works on any type of line – copper, steel, or plastic tubing. They have become an all-purpose tool that saves time and money when working on HVAC systems.

It is sometimes important to know the temperatures of your system because it helps you know when to turn on and off the air conditioning and heating units, as well as how much energy they are using. It’s also important to keep a constant temperature throughout the building all year round.

Fortunately, this can be done by using HVAC multimeters, although not all of them come with temperature probes. You can use the voltage, current, and resistance functions with your multimeter in conjunction with the temperature sensors in order to monitor the temperature on different parts of your building remotely.

Temperature measurement is one of the many functions these devices are capable of. The price range of a multimeter can vary from $15 to over $1,000 depending on what features you are looking for.

Price:

The price range of multimeters varies depending on the capabilities. The more expensive models are able to read higher voltage and current, as well as be used in harsher environments such as outdoors or underwater.

There are many things to consider when purchasing a new multimeter such as CAT rating, accuracy, and durability. You can also purchase various accessories for these units such as probes or even protective cases to keep them safe from drops and spills. LCD screens are common in most HVAC multimeters which makes them easier to read. Especially if they have a backlit display, taking measurements in poorly lit areas becomes fairly easy. So all these additional features along with the basic ones raise the price.

Features:

There are many different types of meters that can be used depending on your needs but they all have similar features with some slight differences. In terms of features, multimeters range from the most basic function which is voltage and resistance to more advanced ones featuring everything from thermometers to tachometers (although these are not found on HVAC multimeters). One feature that is especially helpful is auto-ranging, which automatically selects the voltage or current scale for measuring and displays it on the meter’s display.

Test Leads:

The best HVAC digital multimeters usually have two test leads, one red and the other black. They are used to make contact with wires or terminals that need testing and also provide a way to connect your multimeter to other devices such as an oscilloscope or temperature probe.

Digital Multimeters:

Digital meters take up less room than old-fashioned analog ones did which is perfect if you have a limited desk area. But of course, this is not the only advantage of digital meters.

The features that come with a digital multimeter are handy. For instance, they can measure dB power ratings and has an auto-ranging feature. In order to stay safe around high voltages, you need to purchase one of these tools as well!

Conclusion:

Multimeters are an essential tool and should be used with care to ensure safety. Multimeters can come in two varieties, one for household use and the other for industrial applications. The multimeter is only recommended at its appropriate usage level; never apply it across different industries or purposes without consulting a professional first!

Working on HVAC systems requires an HVAC multimeter for the simple reason that they often have more than one purpose. They can be used to protect you from high voltages as well as to measure temperature.

And of course, they are also necessary in order to test electrical components and check if an HVAC is working properly.

You don’t need any special training for using these devices, but their accuracy should always be checked just in case to avoid false readings.

Our Personal Recommendation: Klein Tools CL450 + Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

If you want your toolkit filled with quality equipment for every job, then check out two great options: The Klein Tools CL450 and the Fluke 116 Multimeter.

They allow you to measure all kinds of things, including voltage and current flow in both AC and DC circuits as well as resistance values on a variety of wiring setups. Our favorite multimeter is the Fluke 116 because it has a built-in thermometer that saves us from going to other tools for checking the temperature of the HVAC tech.

The Klein Tools CL450 can also be regarded as the best HVAC multimeter that can be used in HVAC applications. With CAT IV at 600V and CAT III at 1000V, this is a tool that gives you the power to take on tough jobs. It has an auto-ranging TRMS function that makes it easy to read measurements without having to worry about making manual adjustments.

Other multimeters are great if you’re looking for a cheap replacement or something more advanced. No matter what kind of HVAC job you need it for, just make sure you’re protected with the right tools!

This list should help you find the best HVAC multimeter for your needs. Do you have a favorite that we didn’t mention in the HVAC multimeter reviews above? Share it with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our other blog posts about multimeters if you’re looking for more information on this topic.

Wrap Up

Multimeters used for HVAC installation or troubleshooting take the same specifications as do the multimeters which are built for general purposes. The only features you would need to consider include the AC/DC voltage range of these meters as well as their amperage. 

Note that the maximum AC voltage reading of these testers should reach at least 600V, DC voltage reading to 300V, and amperage to 300A. 

Also check out:

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