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All About Thermography

Certified Thermographer #28595

What is Thermography?

Thermography is the use of specialized infrared cameras to see differences in temperature. Because infrared radiation increases with temperature, the cameras are able to produce a thermogram (a heat signature-based image) showing relative areas of coolness and warmth in a room, on an object or even inside the walls of a building. Thus, the colors in a thermogram, from black for cold to white for hot, provide a clear image of heat distribution and dispersal.

Thermography as part of a Home Inspection

A complete thermographic evaluation conducted at the time of a home inspection will reveal areas of concern that a conventional inspection simply cannot evaluate. These include:

  • Moisture inside walls and in ceilings
  • Missing or inadequate insulation
  • Short circuits, bad wiring and other areas of high electrical resistance
  • Areas of substantial heat loss such as old or improperly installed windows and door seals
  • Leaks in pipes and A/C ductwork
  • Moisture behind EIFS synthetic stucco or vinyl siding
  • Detect nests of pests such as mice and termites

Correctives may include additional thermostats, heating vents, or other environmental control devises in key areas, new windows or moisture correction. Regardless, it’s best to know about problems before you try to buy or sell a property. For this reason, some home buyers now insist upon a clause requiring a thermographic scan as part of their home inspection.

Thermography as part of an Energy Audit

Homes unnecessarily lose energy due to a variety of reasons: poor air flow, low quality or missing insulation, improperly functioning HVAC and/or ventilation systems, cracks in window or door seals…the list goes on. Rather than continue to lose energy and money, many home and businesses owners are opting to have a professional energy audit with a thermographic scan of their structure. The relatively low cost of the audit is easily offset by the increased efficiency and lower utility bills after corrective measures are implemented based on the inspector’s findings.

Thermographic scans work best when there is at least a 20°F difference in outside versus inside air temperature. As such, the best time to have a thermographic energy audit in the northern states is during the winter with the home’s heat turned on; in the southern states the best time is in the summer with the home’s air conditioning turned on.

Use in Conjunction with a Blower Door Test

By using a blower door to accentuates the amount of air coming into your home, a thermograpic scan more clearly detects faulty areas in the building shell and reveals areas for improvement typically not noticeable. For this reason, many energy auditors use a blower door when conducting their evaluation.

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  • State of the Art Computerized Inspection Report with digital Photos – and Summary