The purpose of thermal inspection is to discover heat leakages and determine the thermal resistance of exterior walls, windows and doors.
Measuring the thermal resistance of exterior walls. The most widespread use of thermal imagery camera is determining the thermal resistance of exterior surfaces of heated buildings. It is the only visual measuring technique that will give the necessary information for the whole area of exterior surfaces. Thermal images visualize the heat losses.
Thermal inspection as a part of an energy audit. Adding thermal imagery to the energy audit will give the audit next to measured heating system parameters also real exterior surface parameters. Thermal imagery is not a compulsory part of an energy audit, but it is the only methodology to measure the thermal resistance of the whole exterior surface and will make an energy audit more precise and credible.
Is it necessary to add extra layer of insulation to the exterior surfaces of a building? When the heating system and hot water preparation have been renovated and the only question remains about exterior surfaces, then thermal inspection will give an answer whether it is necessary to add insulation or replace windows.
Heat leakages are in between the panels, but the leakages in the right side of the building are greater then the ones on the left side.
Heat leakages in between the panels and a bigger leakage in the basement, caused by uninsulated heating pipe located behind the panel, next to the entrance door. Also, a good comparison of a new and an old window on the right side.
An example of uneven thermal resistance of a brick wall.
Leakage on the roof. Sometimes the top corners of last floor apartments are becoming wet and covered with mold. The reason might be a leaking roof or a heat leakage due to a poor thermal resistance. Low temperatures in the upper corner combined with relatively high humidity in the apartment causes condensation in the cold corner. Thermal imagery will help to determine which one is the cause and in a case of water leakage to determine the location of the leakage.
Upper corner of the apartment has a very low temperature and is covered with mold.
Thermal imagery in single family houses. The goal of thermal imagery in single house apartments is to determine the thermal resistance of exterior surfaces and to check the build quality. Low wall temperature which is a result of poor thermal resistance, with low temperature thermal radiation causes a feeling of cold even with normal air temperature. Thermal inspection will determine the heat leakages and offers possible solutions for elimination of them.
The required temperature difference for thermal inspection is 15oC, which means that if the room temperature is +20oC, the outside temperature has to be below +5oC. The lower the outdoor temperature the better, but more important then very low temperature is a cloudy sky. When the sun is on, it warms the walls and the images no longer deliver the necessary information. Also, very low temperatures (-20oC and colder) are not very suitable.