What is the use of a thermometer

The most widely used thermometers in everyday life

Thermometers play a big role in our everyday life. Which thermometers are used most often?
Image: depositphotos.com @ kocetoilief

thermometer are not only important scientific instruments, but are often also indispensable for private use.

Basically there are thermometers to be able to carry out temperature measurements. In the private sector, they are most often used to determine body temperature. This can be used to check, for example, whether someone has a fever.

However, thermometers also have their raison d'etre outside of the medical field. They can be used, for example, to check the temperature of the aquarium, to detect thermal bridges in the apartment and otherwise temperatures in everyday life have to be determined from time to time - for example when grilling a juicy steak.

In the following, we are therefore introducing you to the most common types of thermometers for home use.

Table of Contents

Mercury thermometer

This thermometer is the classic model. It works with a filling made of mercury, which is located in a slim tube and expands according to the temperature. Mercury thermometers can be found in many households on the balcony or terrace.

After the temperature has been measured, the mercury does not automatically move back to its original position, but has to be turned or shaken.

The big disadvantage of a mercury thermometer is that the toxic mercury can leak if damaged. Due to the risk of using such a device, especially in households with children, the EU has banned the sale of thermometers containing mercury for several years.

Nevertheless, there are similar variants on the market that work on the same principle, but instead are filled with gallium or gallinstan (a combination of tin, gallium and indium). The liquid moves within a tube made of glass according to the temperature. An associated scale then enables easy reading.

Digital thermometer

Most households these days have a handy thermometer with a digital display. This variant is known, among other things, as an LCD thermometer and measures the body temperature with the help of an electronic sensor. The measurement is carried out in that when the temperature changes, another electrical resistance occurs, which the device registers and then shows on an LCD display.

Thus, digital thermometers have many advantages over conventional thermometers that are filled with gallium or mercury. On the one hand, they are absolutely harmless, but on the other hand they are also very robust and easy to use. The measurement is carried out within a few seconds, after which a bright beep usually sounds, which informs about the present measurement result.

A small disadvantage: batteries are almost always required for a digital thermometer, otherwise the measurement will not work. If you don't feel like using batteries, you should look around for a digital thermometer with a solar panel.

Infrared thermometer

One of the most modern versions of the thermometer is the infrared thermometer. With this, the infrared radiation is measured, which emanates from different parts of the body, such as the ear or the forehead. Infrared thermometers have a type of lens that records the current radiation and then converts it into a value in Celsius. The information is then shown on a display.

The biggest advantage of an infrared thermometer is that it takes measurements much faster than the other variants on the market. For this reason, doctors are also increasingly using infrared devices instead of conventional clinical thermometers. The very fast measurement is very helpful especially for anxious patients or children. With this variant, however, it is very important that the thermometer is correctly placed in the ear - only then is the measurement really correct. When buying such a device, it is essential to find out how to use the thermometer correctly.

In addition, you should of course make sure that infrared thermometers are approved for medical use at all. An inaccurate thermometer for construction is not suitable for measuring fever.

A measurement in the mouth is also easily possible with an infrared thermometer. It must be noted, however, that shortly before the measurement, neither strongly chilled nor hot meals or drinks may be consumed - otherwise this can have a negative impact on the measurement result.

It is advantageous to heat the infrared thermometer to body temperature if possible. In this way, the difference between the environment and the thermometer itself is no longer so great and the value in Celsius is displayed unadulterated.

If the temperature is measured under the arms or in the groin, you should add another 0.5 degrees Celsius to the value, and around 0.3 degrees Celsius for the measurement in the mouth.
By the way: the most accurate is a rectal measurement, but of course this is not for everyone.

In addition to medicine, infrared thermometers are helpful measuring devices in everyday life. They can be used, for example, to detect thermal bridges in the house or measure other temperatures that - for whatever reason - have to be measured.

Meat thermometer or meat thermometer

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A meat thermometer usually consists of a head, which contains the display and the electronics, and a long stick that can be inserted into a wide variety of foods. Meat thermometers are most often used when grilling meat or baking whole chickens.

The meat thermometer measures the temperature at its foremost end. For example, you can check whether the chicken inside is already done.

Clinical thermometer

Medical thermometers exist solely to measure the body temperature of living things. Some work with the help of contact sensors that have to be inserted into various body orifices for a certain period of time, others work without contact - for example, medically approved infrared thermometers.

The editors of infrarot-thermometer.info write here

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