Using Thermal Imaging to Save the Planet (and Some Green) PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 11 September 2009 11:46

If you’re a fan at all of the Sci-Fi show Ghost Hunters, then you are familiar with the concept of the Thermal Imaging Camera. They use surface temperatures to produce images (called thermograms) using color to indicate the fluctuations in degrees.

The whiter the object the warmer it is, the blacker the object, the cooler it is (Please note that this is entirely dependent on the palette chosen by thermographer). These devices, however, have a much more practical use in today’s society, in which people are so concerned with their own carbon footprint. The energy audit. Many families and businesses that care about becoming greener in their day-to-day workings, struggle with ways to increase their efficiency in regards to their energy usage. Insuring that you are getting the best usage out of your energy output is not only better for the environment, but it will save you money in the long run.

Thermal Image of a group of PeopleOne of the top methods that is being used to find energy leaks today is known as the energy audit, in which a Thermal Imaging Camera is used to take images of a home or business (inside and outside). Ideally these inspections are done during the winter with the heat on, or summer with the air conditioning. The resulting thermogrames are able to show where the leaks in a given building are. Not only does this technology aid in assisting you to find leaks, you can also use it to find any number of abnormal systems that may be causing you to loose money and increase your carbon footprint. Imaging an electrical system may help you to find connections or workings that are burning abnormally hot, which would indicate a malfunction and may even help you prevent a fire. Imaging a mechanical system may help you find areas where excess friction is resulting in heat, which may keep you from costly long-term repairs later on.

You can hire professional services to come in and do this job, but you can just as easily (and probably cheaper in the long run) do it yourself by purchasing your own Thermal Imaging Camera. This is beneficial to you for a lifetime as an energy audit should be done before the purchase of any new house as well, to make sure that you know where the problem areas are going to be. Even new houses will have issues with energy conservation. Old houses will also often develop new energy leaks as they age, and it will save you inordinate amounts of money (as well as planetary guilt) if you stay on top of these issues as they emerge.

Once you are aware of the energy leaks in your home or office, often time they can be reduced or repaired through simply installing the right kind of insulation, which any expert will be able to help you with. This technology will help with the instillation as well, because your installer will be able to see inconsistencies in the insulation or leaking in the ducts before he or she covers it over with drywall. You will also be able to do a thermal imaging inspection afterward to confirm that the issue has been resolved to your standards. With most people in the world today stomping around with the carbon footprint that, say, clown shoes might leave, it’s more important than ever for people to start taking the time to evaluate their energy usage and consider how they might help. Energy conservation isn’t just for the greater good, but also for the good of you wallet in these tough, economic times. If a Thermal Imaging Camera will let you save so much in the long run, then it’s well worth the investment today.

by Mary Shirley

Infrared Cameras