When we are unwell, we rely on our thermometer to obtain accurate body temperature to ensure that we and our loved ones are healthy or to know if we have a fever. However, just like any instrument or device, even the most reliable thermometer requires proper and gentle care to maintain its accuracy. Here are some tips to maintain and calibrate your thermometer to prolong its life and also help it stay in tip-top shape.
Proper Storage and Cleaning:
- Protect the Probe: If you have a contact thermometer, then be mindful about the probe. The most important thing to remember is to avoid dropping or bending the probe since it can affect its accuracy. Store the thermometer in such a way that the probe is protected. So, ideally, you should store the thermometer in its original case.
- Keep it Cool, Dry, and Dark: As a matter of fact, the internal components of a thermometer are delicate. Moisture and heat tend to affect these internal components. Ensure you store your thermometer in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Clean it Right: Generally, most thermometers can be gently washed using warm soapy water and can be disinfected with rubbing alcohol. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Ensure you avoid using any harsh chemicals to clean your thermometer. Further, never submerge digital thermometers unless they are waterproof.
Battery Replacement and Checking:
- It’s Ready When You Need it: Frankly speaking, dead batteries tend to compromise on accuracy. So, ensure you replace batteries regularly by following the manufacturer’s instruction set or recommendations. Some digital thermometers will also alert you when the battery is low.
- Test the Power: Before you take a crucial reading, always test the thermometer. Generally, most digital models nowadays have a self-test function, so you don’t need to test it manually. On the other hand, to check traditional thermometers, simply shake them to ensure the mercury moves freely.
When to Calibrate or Replace:
- Regular Checkups: Even high-quality thermometers can drift in accuracy over time. Get your thermometer calibrated professionally every 1-2 years, especially if you rely on it for critical tasks like medical monitoring.
- Signs of Trouble: If you suspect your thermometer is inaccurate, don’t wait. Calibrate it or replace it immediately. Consistent discrepancies in readings, slow response times, or malfunctioning buttons are all red flags.
- Past its Prime: Some thermometers have a limited lifespan. Check the manufacturer’s warranty and consider replacing your thermometer after the recommended period, even if it seems to be working fine.
- Invest Wisely: Opt for a good quality thermometer from a well-reputed brand since that is going to give you accurate results. But, before you make your purchase, consider your specific needs so that you have what you want in your thermometer.
- Read the Manual: Again, this is a very important point. Don’t experiment with your thermometer without understanding the features and functionalities. Familiarize yourself with your thermometer’s features, functionalities, and technologies and then learn the right way to use it.
- Multiple Measurement Methods: For added accuracy, consider using different measurement methods for different situations. Oral thermometers are great for adults, but forehead or ear thermometers may be more comfortable for children.
By following these simple tips to maintain and calibrate your thermometer, you are sure to obtain accurate readings for several years to come. Always remember that a well-maintained thermometer can deliver accurate results more than you can expect. Lastly, it is a vital tool for maintaining your health and well-being.