Facts About Infrared Imaging

What is Infrared Imaging or Thermography?

A building science which utilizes a device to measure surface temperature and create images from the data.

Three Common Questions:

<Q> Is the infrared camera emitting something?
<A> No, it is not emitting anything: It merely detects infrared emitted from an object in a passive manner. It should be noted, however, that it may be affected by the reflection from the vicinity.                        

<Q> Isn't the temperature measured by the wave length allowing you to see an object behind something or through it, can't you?
<A> No, temperature distribution is measured by the amount of infrared energy and the image is generated from the surfaces.

<Q> You can see an object behind something through it, can't you?
<A> No, Because infrared emitted from the surface of an object is detected, you cannot see through something. However, you may be able to estimate the rear side if there is a temperature distribution appearing on the surface due to the difference in heat conductivity. The degree of Delta-T is important to the measured surfaces and will allow greater contrast.



A handprint placed by touching an interior drywall surface for about 5 seconds-Shows how sensitive the infrared camera is.



Output and return temperatures of an air conditioner forced air system


A ceiling where the builder forgot to install the insulation. This was an area where there was no access. The insulation was a blown in type and the drywall had to be installed first-indicates no insulation was ever installed.


A ceiling below an upstairs toilet where an active leak was detected. Large puddle image of blue showing the moisture thermal mass-"Good Delta-T"