Best Thermal Camera For Home Inspections of 2022: Top 6 Picks

Last update: 2022-10-02

Selecting the best thermal camera for home inspections, especially when this gear is a significant investment, is never easy. To help you simplify your purchase process, our experienced reviewers have listed the 6 top-rated options on the market. Check it out!

Here are the best thermal cameras for home inspections you can buy in 2022:

  • Long Battery Life (Pocket-Sized Camera): FLIR C3-X
  • Budget Option (Pocket-Sized Camera): FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC
  • For Quick Results (Pocket-Sized Camera): Hti-Xintai HT-A2
  • Highest Resolution (Handheld Camera): Hti-Xintai HT-19
  • Sturdy (Handheld Camera): HIKMICRO B20
  • Widest Temperature Range (Handheld Camera): PerfectPrime IR0280
6 Best Thermal Cameras For Home Inspections
Long Battery Life
FLIR C3-X
  • Pocket-Sized Camera
Budget Option
FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC
  • Pocket-Sized Camera
For Quick Results
Hti-Xintai HT-A2
  • Pocket-Sized Camera
Highest Resolution
Hti-Xintai HT-19
  • Handheld Camera
Sturdy
HIKMICRO B20
  • Handheld Camera
Widest Temperature Range
PerfectPrime IR0280
  • Handheld Camera

Long Battery Life: FLIR C3-X

FLIR C3-X
FLIR C3-X
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Suitable for complex tasks – super-long battery life
  • Multipurpose - a normal thermal camera/LED floodlight/visual inspection camera
  • Ultra-sharp image quality – patented technology
Cons
  • The power button is difficult to use
  • Hard to determine the battery level

The FLIR C3-X is a wonderful thermal camera with an emphasis on super-long battery life. Depending on the frequency of use, it can last up to 72 hours per charge, which is perfect for complex tasks.

You can use it as a normal thermal camera, a LED floodlight, or a visual inspection camera. What a multi-purpose device!

In addition, it has passed a 2m drop test and is IP54 rated waterproof, so you can use it outdoors with no worries.

The C3-X is also renowned for its super-sharp image quality with embossed visual details, thanks to the use of patented technology.

FLIR C3-X Specifications

Dimension

‎0.54 x 0.33 x 0.09 inches

IR Resolution

128 × 96 (12,288 pixels)

Temperature Range

14-122 Degrees F

Highlight Features

super-long battery life

a normal thermal camera/LED floodlight/visual inspection camera

patented technology

Verdict

In terms of long battery life, the FLIR C3-X takes our top position.

Budget Option: FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC

FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC
FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC
9.6Outstanding
Pros
  • The most affordable option
  • Flexible – adjustable connector
  • Good image quality - the VIVIDIR image processing technology
Cons
  • Lower resolution than the more expensive models
  • Limited battery life

For light-duty tasks such as circuit hot-spot detection or home cold-spot detection, the FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC works perfectly.

It is powerful, accurate, and produces high-quality images thanks to the VIVIDIR image processing technology.

The app works well.

One notable feature is its connector is adjustable up to 4mm to fit almost mobile devices while staying in its protective case.

No complaint about the price when compared to any other pocket-sized thermal cameras; we would say this one is 40-50% more inexpensive.

FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC Specifications

Dimension

‎2.7 x 0.6 x 1.4 inches

IR Resolution

4,800 pixels

Temperature Range

-4F to 248F

Emissivity

1

Measurement Accuracy

±3°C or ±5%

Highlight Features

adjustable connector

the VIVIDIR image processing technology

Verdict

In search of the best budget option? Look no further than the FLIR ONE Pro LT USBC

For Quick Results: Hti-Xintai HT-A2

Hti-Xintai HT-A2
Hti-Xintai HT-A2
9.6Outstanding
Pros
  • Produce the sharpest image quality - up to 76,800 pixels of resolution
  • Offer a wide image view - a 56°×42° wide field angle
  • Quick results
Cons
  • The battery life could be better
  • The charging port cover is hard to open

If you want a thermal camera that can quickly and accurately detect the smallest temperature differences in your home, our favorite pick is the Hti-Xintai HT-A2.

Its resolution is upgraded up to 76,800 pixels, which is among the highest on the market.

Along with that, it features high thermal sensitivity, an extra-large color display screen, and a 56°×42° wide field angle to take an ultra-wide image view, making the home inspections simpler.

Hti-Xintai HT-A2 Specifications

Dimension

5.5 x 3.1 x 1.1”

IR Resolution

320 x 240 (76800 Pixels)

Temperature Range

-4°F to 572°F

Emissivity

0.1-1.0

Highlight Features

up to 76,800 pixels of resolution

a 56°×42° wide field angle

Verdict

We highly recommend the Hti-Xintai HT-A2 for those who want a high-quality pocket-sized thermal camera that can produce quick results.

Highest Resolution: Hti-Xintai HT-19

Hti-Xintai HT-19
Hti-Xintai HT-19
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • The most versatile - 300,000 pixels of resolution
  • Easy to read - a 3.2 inches-size color screen & 5 different color scale palettes
  • Great value – including a carrying bag and a 3GB built-in memory card
Cons
  • Unable to connect to a Window 10 PC

With 300,000 pixels of resolution and an accuracy of up to 2%, the Hti-Xintai HT-19 is among the highest resolution options we found at a reasonable price.

Combining a 3.2"-size color display screen and 5 different color scale palettes, this device is super-easy to read and can meet different needs such as home inspections, archaeology, studying traffic, and more.

The price also includes a carrying bag and a 3GB built-in memory card.

The battery life is not the longest but it charges fast to ensure consistent performance.

Hti-Xintai HT-19 Specifications

Dimension

10.79 x 7.4 x 4.53 inches

IR Resolution

300,000 pixels

Temperature Range

-4°F to 572°F

Emissivity

Adjustable from 0.01 to 1.0

Measurement Accuracy

±2% / ±2℃

Highlight Features

300,000 pixels of resolution

a 3.2"-size color screen

5 different color scale palettes

Verdict

With 300K pixels, the Hti-Xintai HT-19 becomes the highest resolution handheld thermal camera in our list this year.

Sturdy: HIKMICRO B20

HIKMICRO B20
HIKMICRO B20
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Sturdy build
  • Ample storage space – a 16GB built-in memory card
  • Flexible & convenient - 4 image modes & a 2MP visual light
Cons
  • The instruction could be clearer
  • Buttons are hard to use

This thermal camera from HIKMICRO doesn't produce as high-quality images as the previous option, as its resolution is only 49,152 pixels.

In turn, this device looks sturdy and well-built. It provides wider temperature ranges (from -4°F to 1022°F), a larger capacity memory card (16BG), and longer battery life (up to 6 hours).

Also, it offers 5 color palettes and 4 image modes, along with a 2MP visual light for better image quality. You can connect it to three of your mobile devices or track all the work-based features through the HIKMICRO Viewer App via Wi-Fi.

HIKMICRO B20 Specifications

Dimension

12.13 x 7.09 x 4.65 inches

IR Resolution

256 x 192 (49,152 pixels)

Temperature Range

-4~1022°F

Measurement Accuracy

Max (±2 °C, ±2%)

Highlight Features

a 16GB built-in memory card

4 image modes & a 2MP visual light

Sturdy build

Verdict

Seeking a sturdy, reliable handheld thermal camera for home inspections? The HIKMICRO B20 should be your best bet.

Widest Temperature Range: PerfectPrime IR0280

PerfectPrime IR0280
PerfectPrime IR0280
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • The most affordable in its field
  • Able to accurately detect the most temperature differences - -22 to 1832 °F of temperature ranges
  • Easy to use – a touch screen
Cons
  • Low resolution

The PerfectPrime IR0280 is the most affordable option in its field without compromising the quality.

In fact, this model offers the widest temperature ranges even when compared to higher-end thermal cameras. And, it can detect temperature differences accurately up to 2%.

The IR0280 has a touch screen, as a great plus.

PerfectPrime IR0280 Specifications

Dimension

11.26 x 7.68 x 3.31 inches

IR Resolution

1024 Pixels

Temperature Range

-22~1832°F

Emissivity

0.1 – 1.0

Measurement Accuracy

+/- 2 % or +/- 2 °C

Highlight Features

-22 to 1832 °F of temperature ranges

a touch screen

Verdict

The PerfectPrime IR0280 features the widest temperature ranges without leaving a hole in your wallet.

How To Choose The Best Thermal Camera For Home Inspections?

IR Resolution

The IR resolution of thermal cameras helps you figure out any potential problems and is measured in pixels. The higher the pixel count, the higher the image quality.

Lower IR resolution cameras still show the issues but they cannot pinpoint them.

For example, suppose that there’s a hot water leak in your house’s plumbing system and you are using a thermal camera to detect it.

With a low IR resolution camera, that leak will be vaguely shown on the screen as an increase in temperature that broadens outside of the pipe, but not the accurate spot.

With a higher resolution model, it can pinpoint this leak, its width, and the water flow. That results in a more precise and effective solution to stop that leak.

For home inspections, opt for a thermal camera that has at least 160x120 pixels.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a thermal camera tells you about the ability of this device to measure temperatures. It is measured in degrees F or degrees C.

It is recommended choosing a thermal camera that can detect temperature differences and show the accurate temperatures of the thing you are checking.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of a thermal camera is the minimum and maximum temperatures it can measure. For home inspection, the -13 to 700°F range is good enough if you are going to use a handheld camera and -4 to 250°F if that is a smartphone attachment.

Type

When it comes to thermal cameras for home inspections, there are two common types: handheld thermal cameras or thermal camera smartphone attachments. The choice depends on how long you are going to use it each time and your preference.

Handheld models provide better grip and comfort for extended use.

Meanwhile, thermal camera smartphone attachments are pocket-size, travel-friendly, and suitable for quick inspections. But take note that this type generally has lower IR resolution than the handheld.

Which Brands Make The Best Thermal Camera For Home Inspections?

Teledyne FLIR LLC

Founded in 1978, Teledyne FLIR LLC is the world's leading brand in thermal imaging infrared cameras. More than 30% of its revenues in 2020 were from the US federal government and its agencies. Now, it is a global brand with a total of 3,000 + dedicated employees.

Hti-Xintai

Started in 2009, Hti is dedicated to providing a wide range of digital measuring instruments and consumer electronics. Their big success comes from the strong R&D team that includes 40 personnel with over 8 years of expertise. Having 40+ invention patents, it's not strange when Hti products are leading in technologies.

HIKMICRO

HIKMICRO is a trusted brand for thermal imaging equipment and solutions. They have provided high-quality products for over 100 countries around the world since 2016. At the current time, they have had 11 international branches and 73 patents.

FAQs

What's the difference between thermal and infrared cameras?

The difference between thermal and infrared cameras is: thermal cameras utilize mid- or long wavelength IR energy while infrared ones utilize short wavelength IR energy.

Why is thermal imaging so expensive?

Thermal imaging is expensive for some reason:

  • The materials used for converting infrared radiation into an electrical voltage signal are at high prices
  • The material used for lenses is unique, distinct, and costly

Is thermal imaging worth it for a home inspection?

Yes, it is. Thermal imaging helps you detect all the potential damage in your home so that you can figure out a prompt solution and minimize the repair cost.

If you plan to sell the house, thermal imaging lets you make a quick scan of the home to fix all the serious problems, then sell it at the best price.

What thermal camera can see through walls?

There's no thermal camera that could see through walls. Walls are too thick for any infrared radiation to go through.

Can I use my phone as a thermal camera?

Yes, you can.

There are some thermal cameras built to suit certain smartphones and work as thermal cameras.

In most cases, you will need to attach this camera to your smartphone camera. They will allow you to take thermal videos or photos, share findings, and send for documentation.

Conclusion

Picking the best thermal camera for home inspections is a difficult task. That’s why we did this deep dive into the world of thermal cameras, so you do not have to. Hopefully, our suggestions are helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

Eugene Williams
Eugene Williams

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