Regular home inspections as well as home inspectors hardly use thermal imaging, also referred to as infrared thermography, as it’s often costly but affords unlimited information to assist the house inspector examine your home.
An infrared camera produces invisible infrared images or heat radiation images, giving the home inspector exact temperatures when needed. As thermal energy (light) has an excessively long wavelength, it’s not visible to your eye. By using thermal imaging, visual images add an extra layer to other senses of humans (sight, smell, touch and hearing) and may be further verified with other tools, including a moisture meter.
While there’s a lot more information you can get about the science and methodology behind thermal imaging, it’s best to know some of the numerous benefits of using thermal imaging for home inspections. The following are 4 of the benefits.
More savings due to reduced energy use
According to various studies recently, people waste about 58 percent of energy that’s produced in the country. While some of this is down to bad habits, like not switching off lights or the TV when nobody’s in the room, there is also significant wastage due to the energy-inefficiencies of homes themselves. Thanks to thermal imaging cameras, you’ll be able to detect areas where energy leaks through, such as seams and gaps around windows or doors as well as areas where there is no insulation. Thermal imaging highlights those parts in your home you would otherwise be unable to see.
Thermal imaging can reveal hidden problems
As it is able to gather much more information than our naked eyes, you’ll identify current problems and parts of your house where there’s a potential for developing more serious problems. Infrared thermography can detect issues such as water problems, fallen or missing insulation, HVAC deficiencies, radiant heat issues, and clogged plumbing systems.
Protection against defective structural components
Overheated wiring, light fixtures and electrical boxes may become a dangerous problem if left undetected. With thermal imaging, your home inspector can check if your electrical system is functioning normally, making sure your home is safe to live in.
Insurance against growing issues
Minor plumbing leaks may result in quite big problems. Thermal imaging may detect even the slightest changes in temperature, due to dripping/running water, to help one prevent structural damage or problems as well as mold growth.
In conclusion, thermal imaging is important if you’re considering getting a new home and is also essential for your current home as thermal imaging cameras can detect serious issues your naked eye can’t see. These include air duct, leaks, plumbing leaks, moisture intrusion, insufficient or non-existent insulation, heating/cooling losses, unwanted animals, poor construction, as well as excessive heat from your appliance or electrical system.
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