How Thermal Testing Measures Your Home's Energy Efficiency

If your home seems to stay chilly in the winter or too hot in the summer, then you might be thinking of ways to make it more energy efficient. Before you invest money in new insulation or windows, it might be best to start with an energy audit. This lets you pinpoint the areas in your home where heat is escaping, so you know where your money on upgrades will be most effective. An auditor uses various methods during the energy audit, and one of them could be the use of a thermal camera. Here's how thermal imaging helps detect areas of your home that are not energy efficient.

How Thermal Imaging Is Used In An Energy Audit

The inspector may use a thermal camera inside or outside of your home. Still, pictures may be taken, or the test might be made with video. A thermal camera detects temperature differences. Warm temperatures show up bright yellow to orange on the camera. Cold temperatures are deep blue to purple. By using color as a guide, the inspector can determine the temperature range along each wall of your home. Thermal imaging works best during cold weather or hot weather when there is a noticeable temperature difference between outside and inside your home. If the test is done in the winter and the camera shows areas of cool temperatures inside around the windows, this is a sign the windows are not energy efficient. If areas of a wall show patches of blue color, this could be a sign there is not enough insulation in that part of the house.

How To Prepare For A Thermal Imaging Test

You'll want to remove anything that artificially insulates an interior wall. For instance, you may need to take down your curtains, so they don't block heat transfer and make it seem like your windows are more efficient than they really are. In addition, pull heavy furniture away from the walls, so a couch or bed doesn't act as insulation that affects a wall reading. Also, the auditor may request that you set your thermostat at a particular level several hours before the test to make sure there is a sufficient temperature difference between the inside and outside air during the test period.

When a thermal imaging test is complete, you'll have video or photographic evidence of how the temperature is distributed throughout your home. You'll have visual proof that a particular room is colder than it should be and that lets you know the areas where you may need to add insulation or caulk windows. While a thermal test provides a lot of information, it is only part of a home energy audit. The results from the test are considered along with other tests and a visual inspection before the auditor gives you the final results and makes recommendations for improving your home's energy efficiency.

Contact a company like Convenient Home Services, Inc. for more information and assistance. 

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