There are two distinct categories of practical methods for measuring temperature of a building component: contact, and non-contact.
A contact measurement is taken with a sensor from the following instrumentation list:
Contact temperature measurements allow the researcher to measure the temperature of the body (solid, liquid, or gas) immediately adjacent to the instrument. Care is needed in many cases to prevent heat transfer from other nearby bodies from affecting the measurement.
A non-contact measurement relies on remote means to determine temperature. The primary buildings tool is an infrared (IR) camera. Non-contact measurements rely on radiant emissions from a body to infer its temperature. Infrared thermography is the most common used in building applications.
The table below summarizes some basic characteristics of the temperature measurement devices most commonly used in buildings research. Pricing for temperature sensors depends strongly on sensor packaging and cabling terminations. Thermocouple sensors that do not require protection (e.g. when used for air temperature measurement) can be fabricated by soldering or brazing the two wires together to form a junction.