What’s an Infared Thermography Inspection?

What’s an Infared Thermography Inspection?

This post is the third in our series featuring information about home energy assessments, and what’s involved in the process.

As part of a home energy audit, a professional energy auditor may conduct an Infrared Thermography inspection. This test helps the auditor easily find areas where the temperature-controlled air in your home is sneaking its way outside, decreasing the energy efficiency of your home.

So, how does infrared thermography work?

  • Infrared Thermography measures thermal energy, or heat, emitted from an object. Everything with a temperature above absolute zero (- 459 F), emits heat.  As the object’s temperature rises, the amount of infrared energy emitted also rises. 
  • The equipment can capture precise images of the wavelengths unseen by the human eye. This helps the home energy auditor detect areas with small cracks or holes, or low insulation levels. 

An auditor can choose between several different types of infrared sensing devices, including:

  • A spot radiometer, or point radiometer. This is the simplest type of infrared device. The radiometer shows the temperature of a given spot at that moment in time. 
  • A thermal line scanner gives a little more detail than a point radiometer. Instead of just showing the temperature of just one point, the line scanner shows radiant temperature variations along a line.
  • A thermal imaging camera. This tool is the most accurate, and produces a two-demensional thermal picture of an area showing heat leakage.  This method is likely to be used in your home audit.

Before your Infrared Thermography survey, talk to your energy auditor about the steps you should take to prep your home for the test. The auditor may have you move furniture away from exterior walls and remove drapes from your windows. You should also find out if you will need to make any adjustments to your thermostat.

Check out our listing of incentives or rebates before you begin your professional home energy audit.