4 years ago (or so) I purchased a Flir BCAM SD. One of (if not the) best investments a home inspector could ever make. Energy is a train coming down the tracks, and we’re all going to get run over whether we like it or not.
Energy is coming - in fact - in many ways - it’s already here. If you’re not carrying an infrared camera, I’d kill you in marketing (if I were an inspector in your area). In SE Pennsylvania, my inspection company dominated the market share (for several reasons). One being that I used infrared - and no one else within miles did. (the others included on-site reports and summaries, pictures, video of the inspection, diverse services, my good looks :), professionalism, 100-day warranty, etc.)
My problem back then was there wasn’t any affordable, accessible training. Now there is. There’s no excuse for not being trained by a professional/expert. I hosted a 2-day, hands-on “Building Science and Thermography” training course at NACHI.TV a couple months ago. I attended the class, and am still working on attaining my IR-Certified certificate. I chose to invest my time and money into a training course that was affordable and accessible. But most importantly, I wanted to be trained by the best, and learn the knowledge and attain the skills necessary to immediately apply infrared thermography in an inspection. I wanted to learn it all in one package. Not in levels. And I wanted to use a logo that speaks for itself. Home inspectors are not trainined in sales, and I wanted access to use a certification logo that spoke volumes for me.
Way back then I didn’t have professional training. I was not qualified to inspect using an infrared camera, but that did not stop me. I simply turned on my Flir camera, walked around and kinda guessed at things that seemed obvious to me. It was fantastic, because an IR camera has all the Wow marketing that you could ever imagine. Quietly I’d pull out my camera and start walking around. Agents and clients would whisper behind me for a while, looking over my shoulder, trying to see what I saw through my camera. And then, the sales of my services just came natural. The camera did all the sales, it did all the talking. For me back then, the camera was the marketing tool of choice to increase revenue.
To cover my butt, I did not report on anything that was apparently good/functional. I only put infrared pictures in my report when I felt capable of communicating something that was obviously wrong or was a defect. Like moisture (which was confirmed with a moisture meter; or missing/or lack of insulation in areas, typically at the attic scuttle or ceiling hatch.)
Now, today, after being trained by the best in the industry (and doing a lot of research and training myself), I realize and understand how foolish it is to use a camera without proper, professional training. Oh, how many things I probably overlooked or saw but did not understand. Without proper, professional training and education, it’s really just guessing.
(And in my opinion, I would never hire someone for an energy audit or thermography inspection who wasn’t also a certified home inspector (InterNACHI inspector). The best thermographer is a certified home inspector. My advice: Do not sub-out thermography work to a non-member of InterNACHI. It is equivalent to hiring a mold inspector who is not also an InterNACHI certified home inspector. Mycologists or certified hygenists should not do certified mold inspections. The best professional to hire for a certified mold inspection is a professionally trained, InterNACHI certified home inspector.)
That’s one of the core capabilities of InterNACHI and NACHI.TV. We strive to bring the best training and education to home inspectors who choose to invest in their personal and professional excellence.
If you want more help from me about this topic, I could go on (rambling on this thread). But I’ll stop now. Just email me, and I’ll do my best to give you information that could help. I’m a home inspector and certified instructor who uses infrared technology. I’ve been trained by the best. And I know a lot about marketing, and incorporating this new technology into your home inspection business, or using it as a stand-alone service.
(Aside: Don’t get trained by any one other than a certified home inspector and certified course instructor (InterNACHI preferrably). It is a waste to do otherwise. Iron sharpenth iron. It’s simply most effective use of my time to be taught by other inspectors. I like to know that my instructor has been in my shoes - so to speak.)
You either invest in an infrared camera and the right training - or - a bunch of tooth brushes. Why? Because without investing in infrared - you may be eating the dust from your competition. (That’s a good one.)
My most recent training video with an infrared camera. This is what I would typically do at a residential home. Aside: There was hardly any preparation for this video. We simply pressed “record” and went for it. Nick, my brother, held the camera. And if you know Nick, you better get it in one take or forget it. Tell me what you think of it - should I do another?