Best Multimeter For Hvac Work

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HVAC is for Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning system performance test. We are going to use, FLUKE 116 HVAC Multimeter to learn to test the HVAC system. And we also required a clamp meter. An HVAC system is the technology of the device and processes the system that provides heat, cool and ventilates a commercial or residential property.

In terms of heating, most of the homes will be built in furnace heating. The home furnaces come in different types and can use other fuel sources like natural gas, electricity, propane and heating equipment. Generally, it includes a blower motor, which moves the air throughout the home in cooling an HVAC system.

Traditionally it consists of an air conditioner or heat pump; an air conditioner only cools the home, whereas a heat pump can cool and provide heat for a home. Fluke 116 digital multimeter is made explicitly for engineers who work in the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) industries.

The Fluke 116 includes exclusive functions such as a built-in thermometer for measuring temperature and a microamp mode designed for testing flame sensors.

It can also test all standard electrical parameters, including resistance, continuity, frequency, capacitance and voltage.

2. Best Digital Multimeter—INNOVA Digital Multimeter

Fluke 116 specifically designed for HVAC technicians. A/C, D/C voltage measures up to 600mV. D/C millivolts measures up to 600mV. Continuity, Diode test. Resistance 40M Ohms. Capacitance 1000uF. Micro amps mode made for testing flame sensors.

Frequency measure up to 50Hz. True RMS when testing an irregular A/C circuits. LoZ low input impedance eliminates false readings caused by ghost voltage.

Read more:Best automotive multimeter under $100.

Multimeters are used to do voltage A/C, D/C and Ohms some do Amps. For that purpose, we used the best HVAC digital multimeter, which is a True RMS meter means the meter is a little more accurate.

To test an HVAC system, in this article we will describe to you what to look for in a digital multimeter, when you are planning to apply it to HVAC appliances, and which features will make the biggest implement. Most of these features can be found in many digital multimeters. Almost all digital meters can check voltage.

For HVAC, you required a multimeter that can measure A/C voltage up to 600V and D/C voltage up to 300V. Resistance is measured in Ohms, which can tell you the performance of a circuit or a component how well it is. The multimeter should at least measure up to 5M Ohms (5 megaohms) in increments of 1/10 Ohms. The multimeter should measure A/C amps up to 300A. The minimum amperage measurement should be at least 1/100A with an increase of 1/10 Ohms. For the microamps measurements, your digital meter should read as little as 1/10 of microamps. The continuity test detects an electric circuit is open or close. This feature is also present in every digital multimeter, and the function is performed with a beeping buzzer. The most important and common problem in HVAC compressors is the failure of a capacitor to start, which results in a trip-breaker.

You should have a multimeter that can test for capacitance to diagnose certain problems.


A true RMS meter will tell you to read distorted or non-sine waves, and this will be carried in bigger appliances with very high voltage, such as HVAC appliances. Other than all these features, ghost voltage detection also plays a false role; you also need a multimeter to detect ghost voltage to eliminate these faults.

There is a list of features, all in one, to consider buying a multimeter. That can be held into one multimeter. There are some manufacturers, they have designed their multimeters specifically for HVAC technicians. All the features mentioned above are present in one best multimeter; the Fluke 116 HVAC is the best quality digital multimeter you can buy.

The durability and quality of fluke 116 are beyond the market, and you will need a piece of equipment like this for best results.

A multimeter can be an HVAC technician’s best friend. For diagnostics purposes, a multimeter will help you find the exact problem without having to replace random parts, hoping to find the right one. This article will explain why certified HVAC technicians (and electricians) should always have a multimeter in their tool bag.

We will cover how to use a multimeter and show you the best HVAC multimeter, reviewed, and compared just for you. Currently On Sale. The purpose of a multimeter is to test for resistance, current, and voltage of electricity through a circuit, component, or line.

High-end multimeters can also check specific electrical components, like diodes, resistors, short circuits, and continuity. Depending on what you are checking for the two metal prongs on the device will attach or touch the component on either side of the electrical line (input and output).

Lights, audio alerts, and gauge readouts will then tell you how much electricity is flowing if there is a flow at all, or if the amount of electricity is enough to power the device or part.

Based on these readouts or alerts, you will know if the tested component is working, disrupted, or broken. From there, you can either replace the worn or broken part or continue testing.

What is an HVAC system?

When you set out to buy the best HVAC multimeter for your specific needs, there are a lot of things to consider. Below is a quick buyer’s guide aimed at helping you find the ideal meter for you.

For the HVAC tech, multimeters are a versatile tool. The truth is, though, they won’t see as much use as other tools like your charging hoses and manifold sets.

For this reason, there is such a thing as “too much.”. You will need to consider the use factors versus the need factors.

Your meter should be lightweight and easy to use. You won’t need all of the features a professional electrician might need. So focus on the meters that offer you various testing features, the right type of probes, and a display that is easy to read and understand.

Another thing to consider is how accurate you need the meter to be versus how versatile the meter should be. High accuracy is essential, don’t get me wrong. However, most HVAC techs only need to diagnose with their meters.

If the resistor is bad, it doesn’t matter how many thousandths of a volt is pushes through. Likewise, you will need to be able to check for volts, ohms, amps, and current, so ensuring your meter has the basic functionality along with a broader versatility will suit your needs better than a meter that focuses on accuracy instead of being adaptable.

The display count is the number of digits the meter will show on display. The most common for digital displays is measured in counts (2000, 6000, 20000, etc.). The other measurement you will see is digits, always with a half digit (a 1 or blank). A 3 ½ or 4 ½ digit display will show 3 or 4 digits (respectively) and the ½ digit, which is always a 1 or left blank.

Display counts will always start at 0. So, for example, if your meter has a display count of 6000, the maximum number your screen will show is 5999 (the 0 is the 6000th count).

The higher the count, the more accurate the reading. The most common digital meters use 4 ½ digits and a minimum of 6000 counts.

  • Most multimeters will go through a barrage of testing and certification process for safety requirements. Because they deal with electricity, they fall under the watchful eye of many independent testing laboratories. You may find the certification labels such as UL, CE, CSA, etc. Multimeters need to be protected (and protect you) against current and voltage, arc, over-spikes, and grounding issues.
  • There are 4 primary categories (CAT I, II, III, and IV) to determine which application is best suited for that particular meter. The higher the category rating, the more protection the meter has against transient spikes and over-voltage. To determine the required CAT number for you, the simple rule is to determine how far you are from the power source.
  • If you are working at the breaker panel where the power enters the home, for example, a CAT III is required. Inside breakers need a CAT II, and devices connected inside the circuit require a CAT I. For the voltage and amps, most HVAC systems use a CAT II, or III is your best bet. There are certain features that a multimeter can offer that are nice to have, but not essential.

Other features, for the HVAC technician, are crucial.

Without listing every possible feature available, let’s focus on the ones you will want to ensure your model has for your HVAC needs.

While a temperature gauge on a multimeter is a rare find, it is an important one when you can locate one.

The temperature gauge will help you monitor line temps without the need for using multiple tools.

With a digital multimeter, you will have access to the LED display.

Some models will offer backlit displays while others have bright LED displays.

If you work a lot on systems in low light situations, such as in an attic or crawl space, the LED displays will serve you better.

However, any model with a lit display will be better than none at all.

NCV, or non-contact voltage, is a method of testing the line for voltage and current without actually having to touch or connect to the wires.

This alternative testing method is a quick and easy way to determine if the power has been shut off (or restored) before you open the HVAC panels and begin working.

Most digital meters will run on 9-volt batteries.

As a result, they will work fine for about 40 to 100 hours.

However, you can help extend this battery life by picking a meter with an auto-shutoff function.

When the meter is not in use for a predetermined time, the meter will shut off to conserve battery power.

Some meters will retain last readings even through a shutoff, but some will not, so you need to verify which one your chosen meter is capable of.

You also need to consider the price and warranty period of the meter.

Because you won’t be using the meter at every job or even every day, it isn’t very feasible to spend a lot of money on a meter that you rarely use.

However, you don’t want to opt for the cheapest meter either, as you want your HVAC multimeter to be accurate and offer the features you need when you are required to use it.

The warranty period should cover the meter from damage, normal wear and tear, and craftsmanship.

Check the term length and claim requirements before committing to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.

Now we get to the good part.

Let’s take a look at the 7 best HVAC technician multimeters, reviewed, and compared for you.

If you are looking for the best high-end analog multimeter, you have found it.

Our top pick, the Simpson 260-8P is an HVAC tech’s dream.

Except for not being able to clamp or measure True RMS, the analog meter is rugged, durable, and built to last. You won’t receive a carrying case or a protective cover, though, so if your travels take you off the beaten path, you might want to find a way to protect the test equipment from rolling around your truck.

The Simpson unit comes with alligator probes but will accept many aftermarket styles and options. It also comes with the required batteries (AA and 9-volt), which will last up to about 40 hours before needing to be replaced. If you are a purist, Simpson also offers a wide range of accessories, including clamp probes, banana tips, and external power sources. The color-coded meter is also gauged for AC frequency response and has an overload protector for when you are working directly in the condenser or evaporator units.

Probes and batteries included. Many accessories available. Ideal for any HVAC situation. Durable enough to go anywhere.

Will require calibration before use. Must view needle from straight on.

Best HVAC Multimeter – Buyers Guide was last modified: February 4th, 2019 by