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Heat Loss Analysis Using Infrared Thermography

Infrared image showing thermal bridges and air leakage

What is an Infrared Scan?

Infrared thermography is a way to translate the heat waves radiating from an object into a visual image.  The image is viewed through the eyepiece of a video scanner and can be recorded onto a videotape.  The hotter an object is, the whiter it appears; consequently, the colder an object is, the blacker or darker it appears.  Maximizing the difference between the inside air temperature and the outside air temperature provides the greatest contrast between the hot and cold areas on the video image.  For this reason, it is best to do an infrared scan on a cold day when the inside of the building is well-heated.

Infrared thermography is a non-destructive diagnostic tool. FOAM-TECH uses this technology to:

  • Identify areas of conductive heat loss and/or air infiltration and leakage.

  • Determine the likely causes of the building envelope problems.

  • Recommend the remedial action necessary to solve thermal and moisture problems.

Infrared scans can be recorded for project documentation if desired. Scanning can also be combined with blower-door testing to prove compliance with building envelope performance specifications and energy code requirements.

For more information read "Infrared Thermography as quality control for foamed-in-place insulation." This white paper was presented by Henri Fennell at the 1989 Thermosense XI conference.