TOOL TIPS-Tool Pick for November

This (hopefully) monthly post is for anyone, male or female, who likes to wander around a hardware or home improvement store ogling the tools and dreaming of ways to justify buying them. My wife sees me sitting around with a tool catalog and calls it tool porn so here are some tool reviews/posts for kindred spirits. I hope you enjoy my TOOL TIPS posts.

What is our tool for the week you query with giddiness? The IR Thermometer! There are many different brands out there and my adage is always, “Buy the best that you can afford. Good tools are not cheap and cheap tools are not good.”

IR Thermometer

The IR Thermometer measures SURFACE temperature with an infrared beam. Now, surface temp is important to remember and I will explain in another section, How To Justify This Purchase, a very important section. 😉 As you point the beam at something, the surface area that it measures spreads out as you move further away. So, for instance, at one foot away it is measuring the surface temp of a 1″ diameter spot on something and as you move further away it gains an inch diameter for every foot more you move away. I purchased this for home inspections to measure water temp coming out of the faucet and it can also be good for a quick temp read in an attic (to make sure it is properly vented and not overheating).

What it does is of little consequence though if you cannot justify your purchase to your significant other. Because of this I will now attempt to cover as many possible uses and you can pick and choose what will work. Sort of an a la carte menu as it were. We will start out with the more concrete and serious uses and then move on to the more frivolous ones, you never know what will work. Pay attention, this is the important part!

How To Justify This Purchase

Water temperature. The hot water coming out of your faucet or tub spout should read right around 120 degrees when fully on. Much more than this and you run a risk of being scalded, especially for older adults and young children. If you are like me and your spousal unit likes to take a shower that is so hot she looks like a cooked lobster when she comes out of the shower, well, we just have to resign ourselves to waiting a bit for the water to heat up again or getting a bigger water heater. Setting your temp on the hot water heater appropriately will also save energy if it is normally set higher. Save money AND no 3rd degree burns. If this alone doesn’t get you the go ahead to purchase that bad boy, well then read on.

Attic temp. We already talked about attic insulation and this is a good thing to do while you are up in that attic. Optimally it should be when it is in the heat of the summer. When it is really hot in the middle of the summer your attic temperature shouldn’t be getting any hotter than about 130 degrees. If so, it will shorten the life of your shingles AND make the upstairs rooms hotter. This is a ventilation issue. You don’t have the appropriate number or position of roof, soffit or gable vents. Now on to some fun stuff!

Pet exerciser. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that anyone who has a dog or cat has been prey to the impulse buy of the little laser pointer at the hardware store that is positioned to draw our attention while we are waiting to pay for something. They are junky, a pain to find batteries for and always get lost. Well here you go, a professional pet exerciser! These IR thermometers take AA batteries which are easy to find. They have a nice pistol grip for ease of use. What more could you ask for? Demo included below.

Exercising the office staff. Otis takes care of comic relief and greeting clients. from Travis Moyer on Vimeo.

Ghost hunting. This is my last excuse for you. If these don’t work than you just aren’t trying hard enough. C’mon, put some effort into it. If you are a fan of Ghost Hunter and Paranormal State, you will see them using this tool in the show!! Now here is where my wife would roll her eyes at me IF she were to read my posts but I don’t think she does so I’m safe. You see, the way they use the IR thermometer is COMPLETELY wrong. They walk around with it measuring a change in air temp which they say means there is an entity in the area. The problem is that this tool measures surface temp not air temp. And no, I’m not a geek honey (she just doesn’t appreciate my particular talents and pool of knowledge).

Well, that’s all for now. If you are looking for a reason to justify buying a different tool, write me. Seriously, I have found a reason to buy everything from a commercial grade power washer to laser levels and most things in between.Maybe there is a tool I don’t have and you are my enabler.

Happy shopping and thanks for reading,

Travis “That Home Inspector Guy” Moyer

About Travis "That Home Inspector Guy" Moyer

I am a certified home inspector, rehabber, landlord, carpenter, handyman and generally inquisitive person who wants to know how everything works. I love to educate other DIY homeowners and potential homeowners about projects that they may be interested in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: