During an Energy Survey or Energy Audit, IR scans of the home are performed in an effort to identify issues that may not be detectable with a standard visual inspection.
Insulation Status in Walls and Vaulted Ceilings – the walls and vaulted ceilings of the home will be scanned and reviewed, to help determine the status of the insulation present, whether gaps and voids exist, and whether missing areas are present.
Moisture Issues – during the scanning of the home, potential moisture issues or hidden leaks may be detectable that would otherwise not be seen with a visual review. If areas of moisture are detected, a moisture meter can be used to verify the concern, prompting a recommendation for further evaluation.
Electrical Concerns – the electric panel can be scanned for over-heating and over-current conditions that may exist and not otherwise be visually detectable.
Hidden Roof Leaks – the roof sheathing in the attic can be scanned, looking for wet areas or potential leak areas that also may not otherwise be visually detectable.
Air Running Across ceiling in KitchenInfra-red technology is not without limitations, and is not perfect. The images presented need to be interpreted, and often further investigation is needed to verify the findings. The technology does not see through walls, but merely displays the surface temperature of the area being scanned. However, wet areas are usually colder, insulation gaps are colder or warmer, and electric concerns tend to be warmer.
As a tool available to a home inspector, infra-red technology provides another unique way to inspect a home. When combined with the experience of home systems and building science, and the knowledge of how to interpret the images being displayed, IR scanning can aid the home inspector in finding potentially hidden concerns.