Energy Audit using Flir Infrared Camera


Find Air Conditioning Failure, ... Before it Fails!


This normal looking Air Conditioning condenser is only 4 years old and still under the builders warranty. The system has been ineffective in cooling the home. Several HVAC tech's had checked the system and only attempted to "Over Charge" it with coolant. (Freon11)
We were asked to perform a Thermal Scan of the building envelope but during the Scan, we noticed issues with the Air conditioning system and with the condenser.

In the next Thermal image, you will see a distinct band of heat surrounding the middle of the condenser. This is a blockage in the coil and there is no circulation occurring. We reported this to our customer, who in turn reported this to the Builders. As a result, this system was replaced under the warranty and a new system was installed.

**The cooling fan was running so hot that it was nearly at melt down point!

Additions to Homes, ... Not Insulated!?


Here is the exterior wall of a home "Addition". It looked great visually but, as you can see in the Infrared Thermal Scan, the entire exterior wall was not insulated. The original wall to the right of the lamp was insulated. Home Buyers beware of homes with so called "Additions" or Remodels. All is not what it seems. Have the property Thermal Scanned prior to purchase

U.S. Department of Energy - Thermal Scans


U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Thermographic Inspections

Energy auditors may use thermography-or infrared scanning-to detect thermal defects and air leakage in building envelopes.

How They Work

Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared video and still cameras. These tools see light that is in the heat spectrum. Images on the video or film record the temperature variations of the building's skin, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The resulting images help the auditor determine whether insulation is needed. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed correctly.

A thermographic inspection is either an interior or exterior survey. The energy auditor decides which method would give the best results under certain weather conditions. Interior scans are more common, because warm air escaping from a building does not always move through the walls in a straight line. Heat loss detected in one area of the outside wall might originate at some other location on the inside of the wall. Also, it is harder to detect temperature differences on the outside surface of the building during windy weather. Because of this difficulty, interior surveys are generally more accurate because they benefit from reduced air movement.

Thermographic scans are also commonly used with a blower door test running. The blower door helps exaggerate air leaking through defects in the building shell. Such air leaks appear as black streaks in the infrared camera's viewfinder.

Thermography uses specially designed infrared video or still cameras to make images (called thermograms) that show surface heat variations. This technology has a number of applications. Thermograms of electrical systems can detect abnormally hot electrical connections or components. Thermograms of mechanical systems can detect the heat created by excessive friction. Energy auditors use thermography as a tool to help detect heat losses and air leakage in building envelopes.

Infrared scanning allows energy auditors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building's construction. The resulting thermograms help auditors determine whether a building needs insulation and where in the building it should go. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermographic scans of roofs can often detect roof leaks.

In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings.

The energy auditor may use one of several types of infrared sensing devices in an on-site inspection. A spot radiometer (also called a point radiometer) is the simplest. It measures radiation one spot at a time, with a simple meter reading showing the temperature of a given spot. The auditor pans the area with the device and notes the differences in temperature. A thermal line scanner shows radiant temperature viewed along a line. The thermogram shows the line scan superimposed over a picture of the panned area. This process shows temperature variations along the line. The most accurate thermographic inspection device is a thermal imaging camera, which produces a 2-dimensional thermal picture of an area showing heat leakage. Spot radiometers and thermal line scanners do not provide the necessary detail for a complete home energy audit. Infrared film used in a conventional camera is not sensitive enough to detect heat loss.

Preparing for a Thermographic Inspection

To prepare for an interior thermal scan, the homeowner should take steps to ensure an accurate result. This may include moving furniture away from exterior walls and removing drapes. The most accurate thermographic images usually occur when there is a large temperature difference (at least 20°F [14°C]) between inside and outside air temperatures. In northern states, thermographic scans are generally done in the winter. In southern states, however, scans are usually conducted during warm weather with the air conditioner on.

He See's The Light!


Green is All About the Money!

Will building green net you green?

More people are going green when renovating their homes, but they're basing their choices on "perceived value" rather than hard numbers. But the market is growing and is expected to continue to grow.

The 2007 McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report on Attitudes & Preferences for Remodeling and Buying Green Homes predicts that green preferences will boost the “true” green home market to $20 billion by 2010 from $2 billion in 2005.

The variety of reasons people buy green homes is huge. The top four reasons given by the participants in the McGraw-Hill study are operational cost savings (90 percent), environmental concerns (84 percent), occupant health (82 percent) and potential higher resale value (73 percent). Green renovation is also steadily growing in popularity. Nearly 40 percent of home remodeling is being done green, the study reports. The most-used green products for home remodeling projects are new or replacement windows (47 percent), HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) systems (44 percent) and new window equipment or hardware (32 percent).

So making green choices when remodeling has, at the very least, the potential to save the homeowner money in energy and other costs. And going green doesn't have to mean making large wholesale changes.

Call American Infrared Consultants for more Information (520) 325-3777

Noisy Hotel = No Insulation

A 4-Star hotel in the Dallas area was getting numerous complaints from its guests. The Hotel was only a few months old and the guests were complaining that sounds from the adjacent rooms were clearly audible.
In other words, ... It Was Too Noisy!
This was not a Motel 6, and the room rates of $200.0+ per night certainly justify a complaint about next door neighbors.
A Thermal Scan was performed and it was found that nearly 85% of "All" of the rooms had insulation failure. That is incredible! I mean 85%!
Needless to say, the original contractor was called back and a major retro fit was begun.

So, as a building owner or one who has just built a new commercial building or home, ... Do you have the Insulation that you paid for?

Verify it with a Thermal Scan from American Infrared Consultants. (520) 325-3777

Saying It's Green doesn't make it Green!

Energy Efficiency needs to be "Verified", not just talked about.

How do you know that your "Energy Award" home is really insulated properly? Do you trust the builder?, ... The Seller?, ... The Marketing Hype?
No, you need to trust your eyes and the skill of a Certified Infrared Thermographer.

As you can see from these infrared images, taken with a Flir Systems T-400 thermal imaging camera, there are numerous sections of missing or inadequate insulation. Is this what you paid for? Energy efficient homes are real and a properly insulated home should be the norm, not the exception. As the consumer, expect more. Expect to get what you pay for.
Have a Thermal Scan performed on your home and Verify that it is properly insulated.
If your home is less than 4 years old, call for a Thermal Scan. Missing insulation is a Latent defect, thus making the Builder responsible.
Why pay the extra energy costs because of a defective product.
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