A thermal imaging heat loss survey is a highly effective non-intrusive method of identifying areas where heat escapes or enters buildings. This allows remedial action to be taken in order to improve energy efficiency, resulting in reduced utility costs and a more comfortable indoor environment.
The process involves a specialist thermal camera which detects infrared radiation (heat) and converts this to an image on the screen, showing warm objects against cooler backgrounds. The ability to see this invisible ‘heat’ is invaluable when investigating the cause of problems such as air leakage or condensation. This technique can also highlight issues that are hidden from sight such as draughts or moisture penetration.
Thermal Imaging Heat Loss Surveys: Your Blueprint for a More Efficient Home
To be successful, a thermal imaging survey must take place under the right conditions. It is important to avoid strong windy conditions as this will chill surfaces and reduce the contrast between hot and cold surfaces. Rain should also be avoided as this will confuse the infrared emissions the IR camera is measuring.
An internal thermal survey must be carried out at a time when the building is at its coolest, and preferably without any heating being in use. This will ensure that the insulated elements of the building are under no stress and that any thermal bridges are easily identified. It is advisable to carry out a survey before sunrise, so that any solar heating from the previous day can dissipate and be accurately measured.
It is also advisable to clear away any obstructions such as vegetation and dust from the surveyed area, to ensure that the thermal images are clearly visible. An inspection should only be undertaken on a clear, dry surface – as any moisture or debris will appear as a cold patch on the IR image and may obscure the source of the problem.