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Buyer's Guide for Choosing a Temperature Monitoring Device

By Andrew Erickson

March 25, 2023

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Temperature monitoring is a critical part of managing many different businesses and agencies. From server rooms and data centers to refrigerators, freezers, telecom rooms, and miscellaneous storage areas, the temperatures must be maintained within an acceptable range in order to protect valuable goods and equipment. That's why temperature monitoring systems and the individual sensors they contain are so important.

When selecting a temperature monitoring device for your environment, there are several factors to consider, including the type of sensors used, accuracy and resolution requirements, sensor placement, and more. This buyer's guide will help you make informed decisions while shopping for a temperature monitoring device.

Choose a device that reflects the value of your uptime

The right temperature monitoring device can mean the difference between a smooth-running operation and one that's constantly running into problems due to inadequate temperature regulation.

Consider just how important your operation is to the people you serve. If you're a hobbyist or another personal user, do whatever you want.

If you work for a telco, a power utility, a public-safety radio agency, or another important entity, there's no reasonable amount you can spend on increased reliability that isn't justifiable. A single outage or even a single site visit costs more than most quality temperature monitoring devices.

Sensor selection and correct placement is your crucial first step

Data loggers with temperature sensors are the most common choice for temperature monitoring systems. However, there are a variety of sensor types available depending on your environment's needs and parameters. It is important to select the right type of sensors and place them in an optimal location so they can provide accurate readings.

In my work at DPS, I common instruct people to first have a baseline ambient temperature sensor covering the root itself. On many of our NetGuardian RTUs, we build that sensor into the RTU itself. It's an inexpensive addition, and it can be all the temperature monitoring required at a small facility with basic needs.

When my clients have a more sensitive environment, I next recommend adding additional temperature sensors. Our Temp+AirFlow sensors are popular for HVAC monitoring. They tell you just how much cold your HVAC compressor is outputting - and at what airflow rate (confirming the filter is not clogged).

It's also common to put basic temperature sensors (sometimes with optional humidity sensing added in) near very important equipment. If you have a sensitive server or something similar, this can be a great place to put a second temperature sensor.

Choose between wired or wireless sensors

Temperature monitoring devices (remote sensors that must attach to a base unit) can be wired or wireless. Wired systems require a physical connection to the temperature sensors, while wireless systems use radio-frequency signals to communicate with the sensors.

At DPS, we work primarily with telecom, utility, and government operations. These 7x24x365 operations demand reliability and longevity. As a result, wired temperature sensors are where we spend most of our engineering time. Bus-powered sensors that do not require any separate power supply (or a voltage converter) save our clients a lot of time during installation.

Selecting the right data logging and alert system

Data loggers are a reliable, cost-effective way to monitor temperatures for any environment. These devices allow you to use temperature sensors that measure the ambient temperature in a specified area and generate real-time, accurate data with minimal battery power.

They are also easily accessible via network or (especially for consumer-grade systems) via cloud app, so whether you're in the office or away , you can keep an eye on any temperature alarm notifications that may occur.

Data loggers can store collected data for later analysis or send real-time alerts via email or text message if temperatures exceed or fall below certain thresholds. Select a device that offers customizable alert settings and easy data access so you can quickly respond to any issues.

In my work at DPS, I generally use one of our RTUs (Remote Telemetry Units) to perform data logging when monitoring temperatures or other values. Our NetGuardian devices fit the above definition of a data logger very precisely.

As we work exclusively as a B2B supplier for business and industrial use, we focus primarily on security, reliability, and compatibility. Our prices are competitive within this context, but consumers nearly always find that we're "overkill" for anyone but the most dedicated hobbyist.

Make sure your system is scalable

As your business grows, it's important to select a temperature monitoring device that can grow with you. Look for devices with multiple ports and/or daisy-chaining, so you can connect additional sensors as needed.

Make sure your device is compatible with other applications

Many temperature monitoring devices can be integrated with other systems such as building automation and control systems or environmental management software. This allows for further customization of the system, making it easier to manage and maintain.

Look in particular for general compatibility with open protocols like SNMP. You don't want to be trapped within one manufacturer's ecosystem forever. If they have the best gear, you can choose them voluntarily. Choices that end with you trapped, however, are never a good idea from your buyer perspective.

Weigh cost versus value when selecting a temperature monitoring device

It is important to select a temperature monitoring device that fits within your budget. However, it's also important to consider the value of quality readings and reliable alerts. Spending more on a higher-end system can ensure accuracy and help protect valuable assets in the long run.

You can make a great choice for your organization that will reliably monitor temperatures

By following this guide, you can make an informed decision when selecting a temperature monitoring device for your environment. Whether you're in a server room, data center, refrigerator or freezer, telecom room or any other area that requires regulated temperatures, having the right system in place can provide invaluable peace of mind.

For more information about temperature monitoring devices, your next step is to speak with an industry expert.

DPS is waiting for your call or email to talk about temperature monitoring devices

Our sales strategy at DPS is to give you free information. Yes, sometimes that means you end up buying elsewhere and our effort goes unrewarded on this project.

Overall, I've found that it's best to give you a positive experience. Especially considering our ability to make semi-custom equipment, it's likely that you'll encounter a situation in the next several years where you could use a DPS solution.

So, if you're worried about wasting our time with a call, don't be worried. You can save a tremendous amount of time by working with an expert right at the start of your project.

To speak with me or a DPS engineer about your project, just call 1-800-693-0351 or email sales@dpstele.com

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Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 16 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...