What is IR Thermography?|
IR - Infrared - Literally below red, red being the lowest frequency in the visible light spectrum. Infrared is a frequency category that we can not normally see. Frequencies that are transmitted or reflected in this range are significantly affected by temperature variations.
Thermography - Just as photography is the act of creating images from light, thermography means creating images from temperatures. Specially designed cameras convert the infrared frequencies to color images that can be stored or printed.
IR Thermography is the process of recording images of subtle surface temperature variations by utilizing the infrared spectrum. Air conditioning, insulation, plumbing, electrical, even some structural conditions in the home can be identified by observing these frequencies. Many of these conditions can not be seen with the naked eye.
Obviously, an infrared camera is tremendously useful in the home inspection process. So why don't all home inspectors use one? These cameras are expensive. As with all technology the price is dropping as time goes on, so eventually more and more inspectors will have one. Additionally, the images these cameras produce can be quite confusing. It takes significant education and experience to distinguish between what's a "normal" condition and what's not.
As you can see, the images can be extremely dramatic. Without proper training, significant problems may be identified where no problem actually exists. At this time, there is no regulation regarding the use of these cameras. Anyone who wants to pony up the price of a used car can purchase one and promote themselves as a "Thermal Imager", whether they've had any real training or not.
We are Infrared Certified which means, in addition to our home inspection background and licensing, we have attended 32 hours of continuing education specifically oriented to the use and application of the infrared camera.