Thermometer Calibration: Everything You Need To Know


If you’re like me, you probably calibrate your thermometer once a year. And if that’s true, then I bet you’ve never considered how important it is to calibrate your thermometer. Today, we’ll discuss the importance of calibration of thermometer and everything else you need to know about ensuring that your thermometer is giving accurate readings.

Why is it Important?

Calibrating a thermometer is important for two reasons:

  • It ensures that you are getting an accurate reading.
  • It helps ensure your safety, especially if you’re cooking meat at high temperatures, because it can help prevent foodborne illnesses due to bacteria growth.

What’s the Difference Between a Certified and a Non-Certified Calibration?

A certified calibration is a more accurate measurement than a non-certified calibration.

Certification is an official process that occurs when an authorised third party verifies the accuracy of your thermometer, and you can use this certification to prove your instrument’s accuracy to clients or employers. You can also use it in legal situations where accuracy is important—for example, if you need to take temperature readings from multiple people on behalf of the state police or other government agency, using certified instruments will make sure that your readings are as close as possible to what they should be.

Certification costs money (usually around $200), but if you think about it as an investment in your business or career, it makes sense: having confidence in the results of your work can help build trust with customers and clients, which ultimately leads to repeat business (and hopefully new ones).

In contrast with certification, non-certified calibrations don’t go through any kind of official process; they simply check whether there are any obvious problems like corrosion or cracks. These types of calibrations are cheaper than their official counterparts ($100-$150), but they might not spot small errors until after they’re used by many patients/clients/patients over time—which could end up costing more than just paying extra upfront for a certified model!

calibration of thermometer

What Do I Need to Consider When Choosing a Calibration Service Company?

The following are some things to look for in a calibration service company:

  • How long have they been in business? If it’s a new company, ask to speak with previous clients and get their feedback.
  • What do they charge for calibrations? Some services offer packages that include routine calibrations, while others charge by the hour or by the size of your system.
  • Do they calibrate using EPA approved standards? If so, how often do they check their equipment against these standards? This ensures that it is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across all their instruments.
  • What kind of equipment will they use during your calibration? For example, some companies use infrared technology while others use thermocouples. The choice depends on your specific needs (like whether you need an instant reading). In general though infrared is good because it has faster response time than thermocouples which means less waiting time when recording temperatures (but also lower accuracy).

What’s the Procedure?

Calibrating a thermometer is simple, but it’s important to follow the right procedure. If you don’t calibrate your thermometer correctly, it could be off by as much as 20°C (36°F). This can lead to inaccurate readings when you use your thermometer in different settings or with different types of food and liquids.

It’s best to consult your manual for instructions on how to do this—but here are some general guidelines:

  • Use an alcohol wipe or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol if your device doesn’t come with its own calibration fluid. This will help prevent cross-contamination with the environment and ensure that the correct temperature is reached during calibration.
  • Heat up the calibration fluid until it reaches 70°F/21°C using a heat source like a hot plate or water bath before taking any measurements. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the bulb while you’re trying to measure things out later on down the line!
  • Make sure there’s enough room between yourself and whatever else is around so nothing gets accidentally knocked over when testing these temperatures!

How Often Should I Calibrate My Thermometer?

The frequency at which you calibrate your thermometer depends on several factors, including the type of thermometer and the environment. Temperature change is one of these factors that can affect calibration. Generally speaking, a manual or non-digital thermometer should be calibrated after every 3-4 months of use. The frequency will also depend on the type of thermometer and its accuracy requirements for use in different situations (i.e., medical versus industrial).


If you’re still not sure about how important is calibration of thermometer, let us put it this way: think of calibrating as a check-up for your equipment. It’s like going to the doctor and getting a complete physical every few years. You don’t want to wait until something goes wrong before taking action—because it could be too late by then.

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