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David Valley's Blog

By David Valley | Home Inspector in Methuen, MA
  • It's Cold Out There...Infrared Imaging Will Save Your Heating Dollars

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Methuen, Remodel & Renovate in Methuen, Property Q&A in Methuen  |  January 15, 2011 4:48 AM  |  2,290 views  |  3 comments

    I know everyone works very hard for their money (in order to pay the bills), but what you don't realize is how much of your hard earned energy dollars are actually slipping right through the cracks of your home. Keeping your home at a comfort level (by conditioning it) can be very costly. I know everyone would like to reduce their energy bills in our freezing winter months and then again, in the summer cooling months? Well, a good place to start would be a professional infrared home-energy efficiency inspection. My infrared inspection will actually show you where you are wasting your hard earned energy dollars, and at the same time, I will demonstrate how you can properly seal those areas that are pulling your energy dollars to the outside of your house.

    There are many building envelope anomalies that can generate significant heat and air conditioning loss, which causes your energy dollars to be wasted in a not-so-tight home.

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    Sources of Air Leakage in a Typical Home

    air leaks

    air house leaks

    My infrared camera allows me to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency inspection within your home by locating and pin-pointing those areas where unconditioned air is infiltrating into your living areas. Most air infiltrations are located at wall penetrations (such as windows, doors, vents, etc), and at transition areas of fully insulated walls, ceilings and floors. My thermal scan will identify the smallest of insulation breaches and fissures within the concealed cavities of your walls and ceilings. I will literally show you where you are wasting your precious energy resources and your hard earned dollars. My IR camera enables me to point out exactly where your costly energy dollars are being lost. I will then assist you in determining how to properly insulate those breached areas with minimum damage to your surfaces, so you can get the most out of your heating and cooling systems for many years to come.

    infrared line

    No access to the top side of this ceiling, but infrared detects missing insulation

    insulation missing

    infrared line

    An infrared inspection detects a radiator conducting heat to the exterior.

    thermally detecting radiator

    infrared line

    During a Re-hab, infrared imaging detects missing insulation above ceiling

    insulation void

    An infrared home energy efficiency inspection can be used to verify problems caused by poor design, poor workmanship, or material failure. With the ridiculously high priced heating fuel today, my energy audit can pay for itself in as little as one year. This is the ideal inspection to conduct for numerous situations in a typical home…

    1) Use my infrared services while I’m performing your Standard home inspection. This valuable option is not included in my standard home inspection fee.

    2) You can hire me immediately after completion of your newly constructed home while the home or building is still under warranty with the building contractor. I can also scan your new home on construction stage inspections. (In many cases, those moisture stains on your basement walls are explained away by the builder as "during construction" moisture. It pays to confirm this before the builder’s warranty expires.)

    3) If you own an older home that is costing you too much in energy dollars due to excessive air drafts, I can pinpoint those problem areas where cold air is infiltrating your living space. Then, it’s best if you contact a building contractor to upgrade those specific areas that I will be clearly identifying throughout your home. All efficiency information and pictures will be transferred onto a professional thermal report for your convenience.

    4) An infrared energy inspection will easily locate any missing insulation behind your finished walls and ceilings. Then, you can contact an insulation contractor to upgrade the areas that I will be identifying throughout your home. These areas will also be clearly identified on a professional energy efficiency report. During this inspection, I can show you how you can insulate specific areas without removing walls or ceilings.

    5) I am able to detect potential mold problems behind walls and ceilings. All moisture issues must be mitigated immediately. As I stated previously, infrared imaging does not detect the actual Molds behind your walls and ceilings, but it will detect the issues associated with Mold build-up.

    6) Infrared Thermography provides you with a unique opportunity to assess the energy efficiency of your HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems, including the tightness of the duct work that is located behind your walls and ceilings. In order to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, this inspection will also test for leaks throughout the vent pipes.

    Windows look great visually, but infrared detects three thermal barrier leaks

    thermal window defect

    As you can see, having an infrared energy efficiency inspection makes it much easier to positively pinpoint problems throughout your home, instead of simply making an educated guess without the camera. An IR inspection also allows me to communicate my findings with greater understanding to you (the homeowner) instead of just “speaking another language.” As one client had put it very clearly, “This inspection lets my eyes make sense of what my ears are hearing.” Now that makes perfect sense, Right?

    The dark blue areas indicates that insulation is missing in this area

    infrared detects missing insulation

    Thermal imaging pictures combined with digital photographs can greatly enhance your understanding of just what the problem is and how to go about having it repaired with minimum damage to the home. My final energy efficiency report will enhance your ability to deal directly with the contractors that may be performing the repair work for you. All you have to do is show your contractor the infrared energy efficiency report and they will fully understand your issues. After your contractor completes their upgrade, and before you make any final payment, you can then contact me to perform a final scan to verify that all work was performed correctly.

    Looks great visually, until I detect insulation defects with thermal imaging

    infrared detects voids in insulation

     http://www.massinfrared.com

 
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