You may have already heard this, but we are here to remind you. There are a lot of things that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home. But have you really tried them all?
Sure, you tried some of them—like adding door and window insulation, closing off your fireplace, performing regular maintenance of your heating system—but there is one thing that has proven to be more effective than all the rest.
Hint: It saves you time and money because it gives you answers right away—no more second-guessing what the real issue in your facility is and consequently doing useless things in order to “fix” it.
If you guessed thermal imaging inspections, you are right. Thermal or infrared imaging is the most cutting-edge method for determining sources of heat loss and energy inefficiency in your building.
In fact, most businesses that are serious about cutting energy expenses in their facilities have been doing it for quite a while. It is high time you joined them.
Sources of Heat Loss
If you live and work in a place where winters are severe (which practically applies to all of Canada), you have definitely experienced the feeling of helplessness when trying to heat your room or office on a freezing-cold day. You shiver and start putting blankets or towels around the door and window frames to prevent the cold from coming in and the heat from escaping. When you realize this doesn’t work, you wrap yourself up in those blankets instead.
Sounds all too familiar? Here’s the thing. There are so many potential sources of heat loss in your building that you cannot be sure that the problem you are fixing is the most serious one or even the only one you have.
Here are some of the most common ways heat loss can occur:
- Doors, windows, fireplaces and other openings
Ever notice on a cold day how much colder the air next to a window feels? This is because many buildings, especially older ones, have poorly sealed doorways and windows, allowing warm indoor air to escape and cold outdoor air to seep into your space. You may also find holes or gaps around your electrical panels and boxes.
Another common pathway for heat loss is through open fireplaces. Just think about it—a relatively large hole that is designed to let smoke out of your home is also a great way to let cold air into your home.
All this greatly reduces indoor room temperatures, not to mention comfort and energy efficiency. However, in all these cases you can’t really know what the problem is without getting an infrared survey to pinpoint the exact spots that are letting air leak out of your building.
- Bad insulation
It’s hard to know if your insulation is doing its job because it’s located behind walls, completely out of sight. For the same reason, it’s also next to impossible to know if you are missing insulation in any key parts of your home.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for insulation to get damaged by mice, mold, leaks or other forms of moisture intrusion.
The best way to find out if you are dealing with any of these potential heat loss culprits is to get a thermal imaging inspection or a building envelope survey of your property.
- Malfunctioning heating system
There might be something wrong with your heating system—a thermostat, radiators, who knows… But a thermal imaging survey of your HVAC system will diagnose any and all malfunctioning components so that you can make the proper repairs promptly to avoid further costs.
These are just some of the most common sources of heat loss in residential and commercial buildings. Of course, there are many more but we’ll save all the details for a different article. The best way to determine your exact issue is to hire a professional thermographer to perform an infrared inspection of your facility.
Thermal imaging has military origins. You’ve probably seen movies where soldiers are using night vision goggles to located enemy soldiers during a night raid. These high-tech goggles are actually using thermal imaging technology.
However, nowadays thermography is most used by firefighters since it allows them to see a source of heat through smoke, darkness and other obstructions that the human eye just cannot see.
An infrared camera is therefore a sure way to get a full picture of indoor heat dispersion quickly, easily and with great accuracy.
To show how effective and popular it is, here are some people who use thermal imaging daily.
Firefighters have people’s lives in their hands every day, and as such, they need reliable and precise equipment. Infrared cameras provide this very security so that firefighters can focus on doing their job.
- Policemen, soldiers, security guards
Thermal imaging cameras can be used at night by policemen chasing after a suspect or by soldiers wanting to determine an enemy’s position.
- Home inspectors
If firefighters, policemen and soldiers use it, it must be good, right? Exactly. That is why this procedure is being increasingly used for indoor energy audits and home inspections, especially now that infrared technology has become so accessible, affordable and user-friendly.
How It Works
Using the principles of infrared technology, thermal imaging cameras detect different levels of energy (heat) and their sources. Be it a living being, a stove or a foundation crack, these cameras will unmistakably pick them up and create a heat map of the space in their view.
Not only are thermal imaging cameras able to see through obstacles such as smoke or walls, but they can also detect the smallest of temperature differences, typically unnoticed by a human. And it does all this without radiating any light in the space where it is used.
When you perform an infrared scan of a room, for example, you will see a thermogram on the camera screen. This is basically an image with a lot of colours. But each colour represents a different temperature—the warmer an object is, the brighter it is; the cooler an object is, the darker it appears on the thermogram.
Now you get the whole picture (pun intended). With this in mind, it is easy to see why thermal imaging is the most effective method for indoor energy audits.
Contact InfraScan today to book your thermal imaging survey.
Preventing Heat Loss
We already know that a thermal imaging camera is great at identifying heat sources. But its powers don’t stop there.
Apart from being able to tell where heat comes from, it can also detect where heat escapes. For example:
- Foundation, wall and chimney cracks
- Door and window holes
- Roof and pipe leaks
- Inadequate insulation
Thermal imaging will ultimately save you lots of money. Even though it requires hiring professional thermographers, this type of inspection will prevent energy inefficiencies.
Moreover, since it is completely non-contact and non-destructive, you don’t need to knock down walls or ceilings in order to check for problems that may or may not be there. Thermal imaging will tell you with certainty what your problem is and how you could fix it.
Finally, it will save you a lot of time since you can scan a large area at once. One office, for example, can be scanned in only a few seconds. This means that we can scan your entire building in a very short time.
In a nutshell, thermal imaging is by far the best way to get a heat image of your building. It is a fast, easy and safe way to solve all your heat loss problems.
Contact InfraScan now to schedule your thermal imaging survey.