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Best HVAC Multimeters in 2017

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  • Product Name:
  • Price:
  • Rating:
fluke_117
  • Fluke 117 Multimeter
  • $$
fluke_87-V
  • Fluke 87-V Multimeter
  • $$$
fluke_116
  • Fluke 116 Multimeter
  • $$
fieldpiece_hs33
  • Fieldpiece HS33 Multimeter
  • $$
extech_ex505
  • Extech EX505 Multimeter
  • $
fluke_117
  • Fluke 117 Multimeter
  • $$
fluke_87-V
  • Fluke 87-V Multimeter
  • $$$
fluke_116
  • Fluke 116 Multimeter
  • $$
fieldpiece_hs33
  • Fieldpiece HS33 Multimeter
  • $$
extech_ex505
  • Extech EX505 Multimeter
  • $
R

Good for

As their name suggests, the HVAC multimeters have been specially designed to make work easier for the HVAC technicians. Typically, they combine a variety of measurement functions – such as frequency, current, capacitance, voltage, and so on. Considering the sheer number of different functions, you will agree that this tool is invaluable when it comes to testing all kinds of HVAC applications. The same goes for troubleshooting – it’s just something that a person working in this field can’t do without.

Knowing that the HVAC technicians usually work in all sorts of inconvenient locations, the manufacturers made these types of multimeters to be sturdy and durable. That’s yet another advantage of these devices – one has to be really incautious to break an HVAC multimeter. It’s something that makes these devices very convenient even for the amateur DIY enthusiasts – it’s always nice to have reliable tools by your side.

Q

Not Good for

Unfortunately, these types of multimeters also come with some disadvantages. The most significant one is the fact that they can record errors in case of transients and fluctuations, unlike their analog cousins. It’s also important to note that warming of the meter, while it is in use, can change its properties, which can lead to mistakes in the measured value.

Even though the LCD displays that are featured on these devices are a lot better solution than the needles on the analog models, they still come with a specific flaw. They’re dependent on the device’s battery, which means that they will become dim and thus almost unreadable once the battery is low. We should also mention the voltage limitation which, if increased over the limit, can damage the device. But even in spite of these disadvantages, the HVAC multimeters can still be incredibly useful – they’re not gaining popularity for no reason.

TOP RATED HVAC MULTIMETERS


The HVAC Multimeters are pretty similar to the regular multipurpose multimeters. The major difference is in the range. HVAC unit has a much higher and lower range in comparison to the conventional non-HVAC products. Also, they are built to withstand rough conditions such as falling from a certain height, because most of these instruments are used outdoors. In fact, HVAC stands for “Heating, ventilation and air conditioning” which means you’ll probably use it outside and under various weather conditions.

If you’re looking for a decent multimeter, take a look at our reviews. We’ve covered most of the products that are worth checking out. Many people have a common problem of not knowing which one to choose and purchase. Because the market is flooded with instruments of various qualities, a lot of people end up overpaying a tool with a ton of unnecessary features that they are not going to use.

However, if you go ahead and read our reviews, you’ll get a better insight into the features and capabilities of a particular unit. Needless to say, those pieces of information will help you with the choice. Instead of lurking on the Internet for hours and reading biased reviews, you can find all information here.

Our Rating: 4.7
The Fluke 117 is a compact multimeter with a bunch of useful features. It can measure capacitance, voltage, current, resistance, frequency, and more. It has the True RMS technology integrated which allows it to display accurate and precise data. It’s a great tool for professionals who are dealing with electricity-related stuff on a daily basis. The design is neat and practical. The unit is well-built, the casing is sturdy, and it should last for years as long as you take care of it and keep it in good condition.

This DMM can measure voltages as low as 0.001V. As you may already know, that’s quite a range for a standard multimeter; however, it’s fairly common for HVAC units. The exact range of this product is 600mV. The voltage ranges are 6, 60, and 600V. It has a 0.5% accuracy which is more than enough for troubleshooting and maintaining electrical stuff.

The auto-volts feature is especially useful for professionals. It measures the voltage in the 600V range, and it has 2.0% accuracy at lower frequencies. On higher frequencies, it has 4.0% accuracy. The data hold function is also a great benefit for people who are in a hurry or don’t have a piece of paper to write down the values. If you press the “hold” button once you’ve conducted a measurement, the device will store the result until you overwrite it with a new one or press the “hold” button again.

The screen is one of the impressive parts. It has a bright LED backlight which allows you to work in a dark environment without much hassle. The contrast is good, and most importantly – the numbers don’t lose contrast under certain angles. Once you get a hold of this unit, you’ll see how useful it is. It’s also quite easy to use, so you won’t have a problem with comprehending its capabilities.

Our Rating: 4.7
Fluke is a well-known company for their quality of manufacture. Whatever they build, it has to be sturdy and durable. Well, the Fluke 87-V isn’t an exception either. It has a great design, and it can withstand bumps, hits, and unfavorable conditions in general. When it comes to efficiency, precision, and productivity – this multimeter is among the best. You can rest assured that you’re going to get accurate and reliable data every time you decide to conduct a test with this particular unit.

As far as the available features go, you get more than enough options for doing serious tests and analysis. It can measure up to 1000V of AC/DC, 10 or 20 amps of current (for up to 30 seconds), frequency, and more. It has a built-in thermometer which can measure temperature with ease without any additional instruments or probes. The display is also good. It has a dual resolution of 6000 or 20 000 counts. The high resolution allows you to see even the slightest changes in values immediately on the screen.

This multimeter has CAT III 1000V and CAT II 600V safety certificates. It’s quite important because every professional multimeter should have safety mechanisms and certificates. After all, the crucial thing you need to think about every time you’re using these units is your safety. We all know that even the smallest error leads to potentially fatal consequences. One thing that everybody likes about the Fluke 87-V is the lifetime warranty that you get with it. It’s yet another proof of quality and reliability of Fluke’s products.

While it’s not the easiest tool to operate, it’s not as hard as you might think. Also, it comes with a user manual, so make sure you read it before you start using the multimeter. The manual is well-written and comprehensive, which is also a rarity with these products.

Our Rating: 4.7
Fluke is a well-known company for their quality of manufacture. Whatever they build, it has to be sturdy and durable. Well, the Fluke 87-V isn’t an exception either. It has a great design, and it can withstand bumps, hits, and unfavorable conditions in general. When it comes to efficiency, precision, and productivity – this multimeter is among the best. You can rest assured that you’re going to get accurate and reliable data every time you decide to conduct a test with this particular unit.

As far as the available features go, you get more than enough options for doing serious tests and analysis. It can measure up to 1000V of AC/DC, 10 or 20 amps of current (for up to 30 seconds), frequency, and more. It has a built-in thermometer which can measure temperature with ease without any additional instruments or probes. The display is also good. It has a dual resolution of 6000 or 20 000 counts. The high resolution allows you to see even the slightest changes in values immediately on the screen.

This multimeter has CAT III 1000V and CAT II 600V safety certificates. It’s quite important because every professional multimeter should have safety mechanisms and certificates. After all, the crucial thing you need to think about every time you’re using these units is your safety. We all know that even the smallest error leads to potentially fatal consequences. One thing that everybody likes about the Fluke 87-V is the lifetime warranty that you get with it. It’s yet another proof of quality and reliability of Fluke’s products.

While it’s not the easiest tool to operate, it’s not as hard as you might think. Also, it comes with a user manual, so make sure you read it before you start using the multimeter. The manual is well-written and comprehensive, which is also a rarity with these products.

Our Rating: 4.5
This HVAC multimeter isn’t much different from the Fluke 87-V. They both have a ton of additional features which are pretty useful, especially for professionals. First of all, it has a built-in thermometer for easy temperature tests. While many other multimeters require a separate probe, this one doesn’t. Everything is integrated into the unit; all you have to do is select the proper mode and conduct the measurement.

The low input impedance prevents inaccurate and false readings. If you think about it, every professional multimeter has to have as many precision-enhancing mechanisms as possible to minimize the potential for errors. The display is pretty neat. It has a bright white backlight to alleviate the issues when working in dark environments. It’s big and legible, which means you won’t have a problem with reading the values even under certain unfavorable angles.

You’ll also get the possibility to purchase an additional magnetic hanger. It’s a useful accessory, especially if you’re a professional. It comes in handy because you can work with both hands; all you need is a piece of metal on which you can attach the unit. People who test more than one thing at a time appreciate this feature a lot.

The design is pretty neat. It’s ergonomic, and it fits in any hand quite well. It will fit your pocket, so you don’t have to carry it in your hands all the time. The min/max/average feature calculates the signal fluctuations. Electricians that deal with frequencies on a daily basis need this feature to draw conclusions and set up an accurate diagnosis. As you can see, the Fluke 116 is a sensitive instrument with top-notch features. Some find the country of origin a benefit as well. It’s made in the United States, and you’ll get a lifetime warranty along with it.

Our Rating: 4.7
The first thing you’ll notice about the Fieldpiece HS33 is its design. It looks unusual when compared to the other units from this category. Although one might say it has a strange design, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. In fact, it’s quite ergonomic and comfortable. People argue about the influence of the design on the size of the screen. Some say the screen is significantly smaller in comparison to other models, while others consider it large enough. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if the size of the display suits your needs. It is supported with bright white LED light which is handy in dark environments.

The rotary switch is pretty smooth and easy to use. You can rotate it single-handedly which is pretty useful, especially for professionals who use this tool daily. Bear in mind; this is a manual ranging multimeter, so you’ll need to set the range yourself. There are two indicators on the front of the multimeter, one is for high voltage, and the other is for continuity. It also has a non-voltage detection feature which notifies you about the presence of ghost voltage. The feature is easy to use; all you have to do is wave above an individual source to check for ghost voltage while holding the NCV button.

The Fieldpiece HS33 also measures temperature. If you want to measure the room temperature, selecting the mode is enough. However, if you want to measure the temperature of a particular liquid or object, you can do it by connecting the switch that’s included in the box. Make sure not to dip the probe into corrosive liquids because it won’t provide accurate data. You’re compromising the integrity of the thermocouple by putting it in corrosive liquids.

Our Rating: 4.7
The first thing you’ll notice about the Fieldpiece HS33 is its design. It looks unusual when compared to the other units from this category. Although one might say it has a strange design, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. In fact, it’s quite ergonomic and comfortable. People argue about the influence of the design on the size of the screen. Some say the screen is significantly smaller in comparison to other models, while others consider it large enough. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if the size of the display suits your needs. It is supported with bright white LED light which is handy in dark environments.

The rotary switch is pretty smooth and easy to use. You can rotate it single-handedly which is pretty useful, especially for professionals who use this tool daily. Bear in mind; this is a manual ranging multimeter, so you’ll need to set the range yourself. There are two indicators on the front of the multimeter, one is for high voltage, and the other is for continuity. It also has a non-voltage detection feature which notifies you about the presence of ghost voltage. The feature is easy to use; all you have to do is wave above an individual source to check for ghost voltage while holding the NCV button.

The Fieldpiece HS33 also measures temperature. If you want to measure the room temperature, selecting the mode is enough. However, if you want to measure the temperature of a particular liquid or object, you can do it by connecting the switch that’s included in the box. Make sure not to dip the probe into corrosive liquids because it won’t provide accurate data. You’re compromising the integrity of the thermocouple by putting it in corrosive liquids.

Our Rating: 4.1
If you’re looking for an all-in-one multimeter, this might be the one. It has more than enough features for serious capacity, voltage, frequency, temperature, and other tests. The design is quite good; it’s ergonomic, sturdy, and durable. It’s also double-molded for waterproof protection. The professionals appreciate its waterproof casing, especially when working on construction sites or under rainy conditions. If one would have had to describe it in few words – it’s versatile, durable, and can withstand harsh conditions.

While it’s a good tool for electricians, the hobbyists are very happy with it. It may have a somewhat premium price, but it’s worth every penny. Although the auto shut off function is a standard edition in this category, it’s worth mentioning. It saves battery which is pretty important, especially for professionals. Many people forget to turn off their instrument after use. However, this feature will shut the device off after 15 minutes of inactivity and prolong the battery life. Also, you can turn off the feature if you’re conducting a continuity test that’s over 15 minutes long.

The screen has a bright LED backlight, big numbers, and legible symbols. It’s a 4000-count display with a good refresh rate. The accuracy of the Extech EX505 is 0.5% which is a small percentage. Some multimeters go up to 4% of error under certain conditions. So, it’s safe to say that it’s an accurate instrument with a good resolution. It can measure electrical frequencies from 5 Hz to 1 kHz and electronic frequencies from 0.001 Hz to 10 MHz

It’s important to point out that it’s an auto-ranging multimeter. Auto-ranging is not critical for professional electricians, but it’s quite useful for beginners because they don’t have to set the range manually. It has a CAT IV-600V certification which indicates it can be handled safely even by beginners.

Quick Product Comparison


 TRUE RMSVOLTAGEAUTO RANGEWEIGHTPRICE 
fluke_117

Fluke 117

600V1.6 lbs$$Check Price
fluke_87-V

Fluke 87-V

1000V0.78 lbs$$$Check Price

fluke_116

Fluke 116

600V1.4 lbs$$Check Price

fieldpiece_hs33

Fieldpiece HS33

400AAC1.6 lbs$$Check Price

extech_ex505

Extech EX505

1000V1.9 lbs$Check Price

Our Verdict: Which Product Do We Prefer


While all five of these are worth checking out, we’ve decided to pick the Fluke 87-V. It has everything you need for testing, diagnosing, and repairing various things. As we said, Fluke is a well-known company from the United States, and they produce products of high quality. They offer a lifetime warranty, which is a quite rare occurrence nowadays. You can rest assured that it’s going to perform as advertised for many years, as long as you use it properly and by the rules.

If you work with HVAC equipment and applications, choosing Fluke 87-V wouldn’t be a mistake. Although it’s not much different from the other four models we’ve reviewed, the versatility of it made us pick it as the best one from the list. It’s up to you to see if it meets your expectations. However, we have no doubt that it will. You’ll get a carrying bag, a pair of test leads, thermocouple, and a non-standard battery. It is an all-around instrument adequate for people who deal with electricity and high voltages every day. If you’re one of those individuals, you can count on all five of the units we’ve described. Every single one of them performs as advertised.

HVAC Multimeters – Buyer’s Guide


One thing is certain – today’s market is filled with all sorts of HVAC multimeters. If you’re not exactly sure that you know what you’re doing, it might be very easy for you to pick up the wrong device. It won’t meet your expectations and you’ll end up disappointed. That’s why we advise you to use the following factors to find the correct tool for your HVAC work:

Construction Quality


One of the first things that can define a quality HVAC multimeter is definitely a durable construction. Don’t forget that HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – a lot of your work will take place outdoors, and that’s where you could unintentionally drop your invaluable tool from a great height.

To prevent damage in such scenarios, it’s of paramount importance to purchase a model that’s sturdy and has a durable construction. An HVAC multimeter with outstanding shock-absorption capabilities is guaranteed to last you for years.

Compact & Lightweight Design


Along with the durable construction, you will also have to make sure that your future model possesses a design that’s compact and lightweight. Why? Well, you’ll be carrying the device with you wherever you go, and if it’s compact and lightweight, it is also very portable. It won’t take too much space in your tool bag and it will feel comfortable while in hands.

sturdy and durable multimeter

Reliability & Accuracy


With so many different brands and models on today’s market, it is incredibly easy to purchase a model that just doesn’t show accurate results. That’s certain to make your work harder and is precisely why you should be very watchful and careful when purchasing a new HVAC multimeter.

You will have to make sure that your future model features all the necessary measurements that you’ll be using in your job, such as frequency, resistance, voltage, current, and others. Models with a larger number of functions often sport higher reliability.

the brand with good warranty

The Brand


Over the years, a number of brands have introduced their models into the market. But, like with all other tools, some of these manufacturers are selling poorly-constructed HVAC multimeters that can’t survive a fall and don’t show accurate readings.

The secret is in buying from the well-known, respectable manufacturers that guarantee good performance, dependability, and reliability. Some of the best brands are Fluke, Extech, Fieldpiece, Milwaukee, Klein, UEI, and others.

Warranty


As you already know, an item that comes together with a warranty is something that shows that the company is confident that their product is not something that will break easily. That’s why it’s important to get a model with an extended warranty – it will act as your safety net in case your device malfunctions.

As far as we’re concerned, you shouldn’t get an HVAC multimeter unless it comes with a warranty period of at least one year.

That’s it! By following these suggestions, you will inevitably arrive at the right device for your HVAC needs. Try to find a compact, well-constructed model with reliable performance and an extended warranty, and you won’t have any issues with it in the future.

The Conclusion


As their name suggests, the HVAC multimeters have been specially designed to make work easier for the HVAC technicians. Typically, they combine a variety of measurement functions – such as frequency, current, capacitance, voltage, and so on. Considering the sheer number of different functions, you will agree that this tool is invaluable when it comes to testing all kinds of HVAC applications. The same goes for troubleshooting – it’s just something that a person working in this field can’t do without.

Knowing that the HVAC technicians usually work in all sorts of inconvenient locations, the manufacturers made these types of multimeters to be sturdy and durable. That’s yet another advantage of these devices – one has to be really incautious to break an HVAC multimeter. It’s something that makes these devices very convenient even for the amateur DIY enthusiasts – it’s always nice to have reliable tools by your side.

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