See what can’t be seen!
This winter’s record rainfall, cooler temperatures and increasing energy prices make many home owners question whether their homes are healthy and energy efficient. Air infiltration and heat loss can make your home uncomfortable and expensive instead of a safe and comfortable refuge from the world.
One of the most used diagnostic tools to determine why your home is drafty or costly to heat is to have a professional do a visual inspection of the components of the building to assess their condition. However they can only see so much.
The next step in diagnostics is to have the structure surveyed with infrared technology.
So what is an infrared heat loss survey?
Infrared thermography is a non-contact, non-destructive test method that uses a thermal imager to detect and record thermal patterns or radiant temperatures across a surface. These tools see light that is in the heat spectrum not visible to the eye. Since this equipment is a detector not a transmitter it is completely harmless to the environment.
This camera allows a Thermographer to accurately and efficiently locate problem areas in roof’s, ceilings, concrete, walls, electrical, plumbing and structural systems.
To prepare for a thermal scan it is best to remove as many obstacles as possible from in front of the imager such as pictures, furniture or drapes.
Even though it appears that you are seeing through walls you are not, the imager can’t detect thermal patterns through masses such as furniture or glass. The most accurate and clear images will occur when there is at least a twenty degrees difference from the inside of the building to the outside. Less temperature difference will result in less usable data. So the time of day and the time of the year determines how the Thermographer will scan the building. In most cases the heat loss evaluation will take place from inside the building so you limit many undesirable factors such as wind and rain which can disturb the heat flow patterns.
The data from the survey can be delivered in many ways but the most common are exception reports which is a document showing only those components or areas where issues were located. Some thermograms will be recorded in multiple color pallets to best display the component in question. In some cases a complete live video will be produced showing everything the Thermographer scanned. The type of the reporting method is usually determined by the end user.
Thermal scans are used by many types of people needing this data such as home owners, land lords, engineers, architects, maintenance technicians, quality assurance and the legal professions.
When diagnosing your next building consider this technology for the conditions that can’t be seen.