How to Identify Heat Loss with Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging is an effective way to identify the sources of heat loss within your home or business. You can use a thermal imaging camera to:

  • See air leaks around windows and doors
  • Check the effectiveness of your weather stripping and draft stopping measures
  • Discover if insulation is missing, defective or even present
  • Check duct work for leaks

If you have just moved to a new rental property or are looking to purchase a new property, a thermal imaging camera is a very useful tool.

A new camera can be pretty expensive, so we have made the FLIR i7 Thermal Imaging Camera available for rent.

Using the Thermal Imaging Camera

The FlIR i7 camera is very simple to use, you can hold it in one hand and operate it as you would a regular digital camera.

The camera is very sensitive and will pick up even the smallest temperature difference. For best results when checking for heat loss, make sure there is a noticeable temperature difference between the inside and outside of the house. It would be best to heat indoors for a while before using the camera.

The photo below is taken from inside a heated house. The darker colours show lower temperatures and the lighter colours show the warmer temperatures. You can see the  lowest temperatures are below the door, so this would be a good spot to put a draft stopper.

The images below show the heat loss that can occur through glass. The image on the right shows a wooden door with glass windows. Also note the heat loss occurring between the two doors. The image on the right show the importance of having good curtains that cover the windows properly.

  

The below images show the ceiling in the living room. I was trying to determine if insulation was present throughout the ceiling. The darker coloured lines are showing the ceiling joists. If insulation were missing there would be darker coloured areas between the joists.

  

When checking a building for heat loss from the outside, remember to take into account the surface temperature of the wall of the building. The image below of a brick house was taken at night time. It was a cold night, but you can see that the bricks have stored heat during the day.

Other uses of thermal imaging cameras:

  • Detect electrical faults
  • Detect the presence of termites or white ants
  • Find moisture in the insulation, in roof and walls, both internal and outside
  • Detect mold and badly insulated areas
  • Locate leaks in flat roofs

Click here to Hire a FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera.

- Holly Lovell-Smith

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