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Infrared Thermography reveals hidden heat losses

The US Dept. of Energy, Energy Savers website recommends: "In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes."  (Source link below.)

  Infrared image of leaky heat duct in attic. Image by Roger Hankey, ASHI Certified Inspector in Eden Praiarie, MN

The image shown above is one of several townhouses, built in 2002,  where the initial complaint was severe icing on the eaves.  The icing is consistent with roof snow melt caused by heat loss found from the leaky air ducts.  Properly sealed ducts would reduce energy costs and reduce the potential for ice forming on the eaves.  There are several retrofit methods available for sealing the ducts.

          Infrared image of vault wall with loose insulation. Image by Roger Hankey, ASHI Certified Inspector in Eden Prairie, MN  

This 1973 built house had loose insulation, found initially by the IR scan, and confirmed by a visual inspection of the attic. (shown below).  A simple correction of the insulation will increase comfort, increase energy efficiency by cutting heating costs, and reduce the potential for ice on the eaves.

        Loose insulation in vault wall. Photo by Roger Hankey, ASHI Certified Inspector in Eden Prairie, MN

IR Thermography can also help identify damp or wet areas hidden in walls, floors, roofs, and ceilings. (See our Moisture Investigation & Experience pages)  Hankey & Brown Inspections has Level II certified thermographers and creates images using Fluke's IR Fusion® technology. (picture in a picture) For more about IR Thermography, see the US Dept. of Energy's Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.   

Limited General Infrared Thermal Scan

Hankey & Brown Inspections offers advantages over inspectors who do not use infrared thermal cameras. Infrared thermal scans may help you save hundreds of dollars by identifying moisture, insulation, building envelope, mechanical, and electrical conditions that have the potential to increase operating costs and/or damage the building.

Hankey & Brown Inspections offers a Limited General Infrared Thermal Scan that can be included with an ASHI® standard home inspection. Areas where infrared technology can be beneficial include:

  • Detection hidden dampness or leaks
  • Identifying missing, loose, or compressed insulation
  • Locating significant air leaks into or out of the building
  • Identifying leaky or poorly insulated heating/cooling ducts
  • Detecting overheated electrical components

What’s included in a Limited General Infrared Thermal Scan?

Hankey & Brown Inspections will perform a non-invasive infrared thermal scan to measure the surface temperature and the temperature differences or variations of the visible, safely accessible, and readily accessible portions of the following:

  • Exterior and interior walls
  • Interior ceilings and floors
  • Doors and windows
  • Heating and Cooling distrubutions systems
  • Electrical panels
  • Representative number of electric outlets and switches

Atypical thermal anomalies will be documented in the Limited General Infrared Thermal Scan report and will be accompanied by dual infrared - visual photographs where applicable.

IR Thermography is also a valuable diagnostic tool for maintenance of commercial and industrial facilities and equipment, such as motors, motor controls, electrial distribution panels, and processing equipment.  IR images can help identify thermal irregularities in products manufactured with heat processes (molding / casting).  IR Thermography is also a valuable tool in invesigating leaks in commercial (low-slope) roofing. Call for more information on IR Thermography of such processes, facilities, and equipment.