HOW DOES AN INFRARED THERMAL CAMERA WORK?

To understand Infrared technology as a tool, it is necessary to understand how it works. Thermal or infrared energy is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye. Thermal or infrared energy (IR) is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object's temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows people to see what their eyes normally cannot see.

INFRARED AND TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT

INFRARED AND TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT

Finding a problem with an infrared camera is sometimes not enough. In fact, an infrared camera image alone without accurate temperature measurements says very little about the condition of a possible anomaly. Many targets are operating properly at temperatures that are significantly above ambient. An infrared image without measurement can be misleading because it may visually suggest a problem that does not exist. Our inspectors receive significant training to interpret what the infrared image is telling them.

In our inspection reports, we include side by side comparison pictures to illustrate what the naked eye sees and what the infrared camera is seeing. You can see by attached pictures that the camera is reading temperature differences. These differences allow us to see possible issues before the naked eye can see them.

USES FOR AN INFRARED CAMERA DURING A RESIDENTIAL INSPECTION

USES FOR AN INFRARED CAMERA DURING A RESIDENTIAL INSPECTION

  • MOISTURE DETECTION - A thermal imaging camera can provide valuable information during moisture assessments. Temperature difference caused by evaporation, radiation, thermal bridging, infiltration/exfiltration, and other sources can point to a moisture problem before it has become visible to the naked eye.
  • ELECTRICAL HOT SPOTS - Infrared images can find hot spots caused by defects in connections and components caused by increased electrical resistance. This allows problems to be corrected before creating safety hazards.
  • INSULATION ISSUES - Infrared images help the inspector determine whether insulation is needed. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed correctly.
  • ASSISTING IN TERMITE INSPECTIONS - Termites give off quite a bit of heat and moisture. They may be tiny, and by themselves not much to look at - rarely are they alone. When hundreds or even thousands of termites are behind your wall, a noticeable difference in temperate can be recorded with infrared images.