If your walls could talk what would they say? With a thermal camera inspection we’re able to peak inside walls and find defects with electrical wiring, insulation, air leaks, and unwanted moisture.
HOW DOES THERMAL IMAGING WORK?
Thermal cameras measures the invisible infrared radiation that’s given off by all objects in the form of heat. They are able to detect temperature differences and show hot and cold spots throughout your home. For more on how infrared imaging works, watch this video by the Department of Energy.
Often, a thermal camera inspection will detect missing insulation in the walls and attic. With missing or deficient insulation your furnace and air conditioner will have to work harder to keep up with demand. As a result, your HVAC equipment will have a shorter life expectancy. In addition an infrared inspection can detect roof leaks and electrical wiring defects that increase your risk of a fire.
Thermal scans are also commonly used in conjunction with a blower door test. The blower door helps to identify air leakage (drafts) through defects in the building shell. These air leaks appear as dark streaks in the infrared image.
In addition to using Thermal Imaging during a Home Energy Assessment, you should have a scan done before purchasing a home; even new homes can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings.
PREPARING FOR A THERMAL INSPECTION
To prepare for an interior thermal scan, the homeowner should take steps to ensure an accurate result. This may include moving furniture away from exterior walls and removing drapes. The most accurate thermographic images usually occur when there is a large temperature difference (at least 20°F [14°C]) between inside and outside air temperatures.