There are many different types of ICC certified inspectors that can help you with different building problems, and thermography is one of the most useful. Thermography uses infrared thermography cameras to detect light on the heat spectrum using a color system, ranging from white for warm areas to black for cool ones. It’s used as to determine the heat flow of a house or building to check for insulation problems.
If you’ve called for infrared or IR thermography, it’s possible you’ve noticed heat loss in your house and want to check the quality of your insulation, or you might be worried that the electrical systems in your office are giving off too much heat, or you might need help checking for a roof leak.
Regardless of your reason for calling in thermography services, there are several ways you can prepare your home or business for a thermal inspection. For interior scans, you may need to move furniture away from exterior walls and take down drapes so the auditor’s thermography equipment can get the best read.
Make a list of all the problems you can detect yourself, like consistent drafts or condensation, and collect copies of your home’s annual energy bills. This will help your auditor know what to look for with their thermography equipment.
The most effective scans can be taken with thermography equipment when there’s a difference of at least 20°F between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, so many northern states perform scans in the winter or use blower door tests to exaggerate air leaks. In southern states, however, scans are often done in hot weather with the air conditioner on inside.
There are also certain times of the year when the homeowner may have to maintain a set indoor/outdoor temperature difference for up to four hours before their inspection, because of a phenomenon called “thermal loading.” The homeowner can hit this temperature by using their heat and air conditioning systems.
The most important part of this process is communication. Make sure your auditor has access to all the information they need and ask them questions to get information you need. Find out what you may need to prepare before they arrive and don’t be afraid to ask the auditor how you can cut down on energy use.
About 33,464 people are employed by the building inspection industry, which has about 21,338 businesses in the US. Finding an auditor you can talk to is the best way to get the most out of your thermography inspection.