What is Infrared Thermology?
Infrared Thermology, or Thermography, is the equipment or method which detects infrared energy emitted from an object, converts it to temperature, and displays an image of temperature distribution.
Thermography is used throughout the industry as a key diagnostic tool for finding problems. Infrared inspections are a nondestructive, noncontact and a cost-effective way to detect and document defects.
HOW THERMOGRAPHIC INSPECTIONS WORK
Thermography measures surface temperatures by using a specialized infrared camera. Images on the video or film record the temperature variations of the building's envelope, 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.
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 and to check the effectiveness of the building's insulation and detection of roof leaks.
A thermographic inspection can be 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. Weather can be a contributing factor in this so interior surveys are generally more accurate.
Many people opt to have a scan done before purchasing a house as even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes.
Thermography is also used in medical science to detect and diagnose problems in both humans and animals.