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How Does Thermal Imaging Work to Identify Air Leaks in Your Home

Published on: September 15, 2019
Green paper house | AC Southeast®

Air leaks are one of the primary causes of discomfort and wasted energy in commercial and residential properties alike. Infrared cameras are also know as Infrared Detectors or IR Detectors. These are one of the very best ways to identify air leaks in properties all over the country. As a homeowner, you may be wondering what exactly is a thermal leak detector. Or what is thermal imaging is, and how can it identify an air leak? We’ve provided you with brief answers to both questions. This might help you decide if you’d like to hire an HVAC professional to perform a leak test in your home.

What is Thermal Imaging?

A thermal imaging camera is used by HVAC professionals to locate air leaks and other HVAC-related defects throughout your home. These cameras use infrared technology to identify and capture differences in infrared radiation, i.e.. differences in warm and cool air for example. Much like old infrared film, these cameras display warm areas in red tones and cooler areas in blue tones.

How Can a Thermal Detector Identify an Air Leak?

The most effective way to locate air leaks in your home is to have a thermal imaging test done in conjunction with a blower door test. When this test is performed, an HVAC professional will ensure that the remainder of your house is sealed. They then create a vacuum-effect through one of your external doors (with a fan and a few additional materials). This fan pulls the air out of your home and only allows outside air to enter your home through leaks. The HVAC professional will then use a thermal imaging camera to identify where the leaks are. Specifically looking at areas such as ductwork, ceilings, floor joists, air conditioners, etc.

Once you’ve had a thermal imaging and blower test, your trusted HVAC tech can help you make a plan to fix these air leaks. Some issues might require an additional visit from an HVAC pro, while others might require some DIY or enlisting the help of a handyman. Regardless, fixing any air leaks in your home will make it much more energy efficient and it will drastically increase your comfort level. Let us help you find a professional near you.