Thermal Imaging can save on your heating bills

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Everything around us, including ourselves, constantly emits thermal energy to the environment in the form of invisible infrared radiant energy. As an object heats up, it radiates more and more energy from its surface. We are often able to feel this infrared radiation, but cannot see it with our eyes. The lens in an advanced building infrared camera has the capability to sense a difference in temperature of less than 0.06 DegC.

Today’s lightweight and rugged infrared cameras can not only see in real-time, but can also record infrared images and measure the temperatures of target objects quite accurately-to within 1/10 of a Fahrenheit  degree or better.

How it Works

Thermal Imaging allows the user to see anomalies in the building fabric that in turn identify problems in buildings and their component electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and waterproofing systems. The thermal image can be recorded onto videotape or stored on an on-board digital device such as a hard disk or memory card for later analysis using appropriate computer software. Infrared thermography provides an effective method to show areas of air leakage, pathways in a building envelope, particularly when used in conjunction with building pressurisation / depressurisation tests (Air pressure testing).

Building infrared survey applications can be divided into categories such as heat loss, moisture intrusion, insulation quality assurance, structural and pest surveys.

Design flaws, entrained moisture in roofs and walls and water leaks can cause thousands of euro worth of damage. In wet Irish climate, poorly installed insulation and vapor barriers can lead to condensation problems and the degradation of the building itself. This can cause rot, mold and mildew and all of these problems lead to the building being devalued. Because our winters are relatively mild condensation and its side effects–mold and mildew, become a real threat to the building owners and managers. Mold is a microscopic fungus known to destroy building materials and cause health problems for many individuals. Infrared thermography cannot be used to detect mold itself, because mold does not exhibit an exothermic reaction strong enough to be seen by an infrared camera walking around a building. But building infrared thermographers can help find moisture and without moisture, mold grow is limited. Roof moisture detection can be accomplished on almost any type of system either by looking up at the roof or down onto the roof. In roofs with attics, the thermographer looks for the evaporative cooling effect of water. In flat or low-sloped roofs, IR imagery can pinpoint areas that contain moisture.

Disputes is another area where we use Thermal Imaging. The costs of construction, repairs and renovation are increasing dramatically as owners bring construction lawsuits against the contractors. “Getting what you paid for” is not a new concept, but perspective building owners are increasingly concerned the costs and about the quality and efficiency of their investments. Infrared thermography can be used as a building quality assurance tool during construction, so that repairs can be made without destroying the building or delaying the building process.

We can use the date collected during thermography for advisory reports, energy audits and in cases involving controversy.


Did you know?

Infrared imagery is often a grayscale picture whose scales (or shades of grey) represent the differences in temperature and emissivity (opposite of reflectivity) of objects in the image.

As a general rule, No object is detected in visible light wavelengths (400-700nm) rather, it detects infrared wavelengths (3000-5000nm < 8000-14000nm).

Lights and other relatively hot objects are evident, but as a result of their heat -not light emissions. When an image is taken with an infrared camera, it is often recorded onto videotape and/or digitally saved to an on-board storage device. The images are downloaded, opened in specialized software and modified in a number of ways to enhance their value to the end user, like colourising the images or adjusting the span and temperature to highlight a particular object in the image.

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