Thermal Imaging

What is Thermal Imaging?

A thermal imager/infrared camera is a non-invasive, non-destructive tool that measures energy (heat) transfer. The camera takes images of possible problem areas. Using the images, thermography visualizes the thermal patterns using sophisticated software that allows a proper analysis to be completed. This process is also often referred to as an Energy Audit. Infrared thermography is the most economical and non-destructive process to discover issues related to your own residence.

A thermal imager/infrared camera provides clear images of normally invisible anomalies and provides you with the information you need to simplify your decision making process.

Moisture Scan Moisture Scanning
This digital image is what you see with the naked eye of a wall
This thermal image shows the extent of the moisture infiltration still existing in the wall.

Why Scan?

Thermal imaging scans (Energy Audits) can locate drafty areas, poorly insulated windows, doors, walls, ceilings, and electrical outlets that are allowing hot or cold air to escape and therefore costing you money. Also, by detecting anomalies or areas of concern that are often invisible to the naked eye, much unnecessary work is eliminated, thereby saving customers possibly thousands of dollars in repairs.

Air Infiltration Air Infiltrating Into Home
This digital image is what you see of the fireplace with the naked eye.
This thermal image clearly shows the amount of air infiltrating through a break in the seal between the brick work on the fireplace and the drywall..

What We Do ...

Calgary Thermal Vision provides an independent, unbiased analysis of your building envelope using thermal imaging technology. This non-invasive, non-destructive technology detects energy loss due to poorly insulated windows, doors, walls, ceilings and electrical outlets. The thermal camera is also extremely valuable in detecting moisture behind walls or under floors. This is very important since moisture is the main contributor to the development of mold. Although a thermal camera/infrared imager itself is not a mold detector, it does detect the circumstances that promote mold growth. Air infiltration is another key area where the thermal camera/infrared imager is invaluable. When your building envelope is compromised, it can lead to warm inside air escaping therefore causing your furnace to run longer in the winter months in order to maintain a comfortable room temperature. This is costing you money!!!!

Infloor Heating Infloor heating Scan
This digital image is what you see with the naked eye of a basement floor with infloor heating.
This thermal image clearly shows the infloor heat tubes as they warm up with the recirculating hot water.

How Insulation Works

Heat needs to be controlled to keep the occupants of the home comfortable. When a home is well-insulated, you will save on energy costs. Insulation provides resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance the insulation provides, the lower the heating and cooling costs. Heat flows naturally from a warmer space to a cooler space. In the cold winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated spaces, such as attics, garages, basements and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors, wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the exterior to the interior of a building. To keep the occupants of the building comfortable, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by the heating system, and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by the cooling system. A properly insulated home will decrease this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

Air Infiltration

Weatherizing your home is another step needed to reduce energy costs by lowering consumption. If you have a 1/4 inch gap at the bottom of a typical 36 inch exterior door, that is equal to a 3”x 3” square hole in your exterior wall. That’s just one door, however if you add together all the areas that air infiltrates through the building envelope of most homes it would be like leaving a good sized window open 6 inches or more. Since air leaks can waste as much as 40% of a homes energy intake, locating and properly sealing these areas will vastly improve the efficiency of the home. Air infiltration is also the major source of moisture movement within a typical building cavity. There are 3 ways (air currents, diffusion through materials and heat transfer) for moisture to move in and out of a house and air movement accounts for 98% of it. Thus, to control air movement and create a more comfortable environment just makes sense. The thermal camera is a tool that detects these situations.

Failing Door Air Leaking Through Door
This thermal image shows a wooden entry door from inside. It clearly shows the door is failing and should be replaced.
This thermal image shows the same wooden entry door from the outside. Notice that it looks like a light behind windows when in fact this is just heat escaping through a wooden door. (See sample report of this one issue)

We certainly hope this page has helped you learn more about thermal imaging and why you should get your home scanned by a certified thermographer.