Thermal Imaging is another tool for the inspector to use during the course of the inspection. Weather conditions permitting, the inspection can spot insulation voids, moisture issues and pest or animal presence. Year round, the Thermal Imager is used to verify heat ducts, baseboards and radiant heat is working. During the summer months, the air conditioning ducts can be checked. The Thermal Imager measures the variance in temperature and help the inspector spot anomalies in the structure. The Thermal Imager does not guarantee every issue can be found, but it narrows down the possibility of an issue being missed.
The Thermal Imager can be used to detect circuit breakers that may be overheated and potentially cause a fire. The Thermal Imager can also detect overheated branch circuits (wires) or service entrance conductors that may be in failure.
The Thermal Imager can detect the temperature of hot water to make sure it is hot enough or not to hot. Average safe temperature from a domestic hot water source should not exceed 120 degrees.
The Thermal Imager can detect areas in the ceiling that may lack insulation or be an area where animals or pest infestation are present. Typically, irregular patterns are noted, which leads to further investigation to determine the cause of the image.
In this image, the Thermal Imager detected severe moisture damage in the ceiling, most likely due to “Ice Dams” at the roof during a recent severe winter spell. Note the distinct irregular patterns that indicate a moisture issue vs. missing insulation.
Depending on temperature outside, sunlight conditions against a structure and temperature inside a structure; Thermal Imaging can detect heat loss areas that may not have sufficient insulation. Note image with space between two studs that is missing insulation.
This Thermal Image shows a ceiling that has Radiant Heat panels installed. One of the panels is not working. Note the dark spot in the middle of the image. This is the panel that is not working.
This image is from the attic of the structure and the bright orange spot is an area where there is severe heat loss. This is also over a bathroom where the bathroom fan is vented up through the attic and to the outside. Insulation is not adequate in this area and severe heat loss is occurring.