Infraspection Releases Updated Standards

Infraspection Institute has announced the release of updated versions of its popular series of Standards for infrared thermography. All eleven Standards have been revised to keep abreast of technological and industry changes.

The past several months have seen significant changes within the infrared inspection industry especially in the area of thermal imaging equipment. The advent of low cost thermal imaging equipment has made the technology available to nearly everyone; however, not all imaging systems are capable of producing accurate results due to a lack of crucial controls and/or low resolution.

In order to protect consumers and thermographers alike, the 2016 edition of the Infraspection application standards set minimum requirements for thermal imaging equipment used for professional inspections. The standards also provide clear and concise procedures for the proper use of thermal imaging equipment and outline best practices for conducting and documenting infrared inspections. They are a must-have for anyone who specifies, performs, or oversees infrared inspections.

Recognizing the need for standardized procedures, Infraspection Institute began publishing guidelines for thermography in 1993. Since their initial publication, Infraspection Institute guidelines have been adopted by hundreds of companies worldwide and incorporated into documents published by recognized standards organizations such as the ASTM International (ASTM) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Beginning in 2007, Infraspection Institute guidelines were updated and renamed as standards to reflect their industry-wide acceptance and the best practices they embody.

Copies of all Infraspection Standards]( are available in PDF format and may be purchased individually or as a complete set by calling Infraspection Institute at609-239-4788 or visiting the Infraspection Online Store.


In your SOP for building envelopes, it appears that the SOP requires an IR camera with resolution of 120x120 and a mK rating of thermal sensitivity of 100 mK, or less.

Question: Please comment on the difference some very cheap IR cameras and those that may cost a couple thousand more… even though both may be listed as 160x120 resolution? (I am avoiding listing name brands).

Thanks for your time.


As a point of clarification, the 2016 edition of the Standard for Infrared Inspection of Building Envelopes requires a thermal imager to have a thermal sensitivity (NETD) of 100 mK or less. The standard recommends that the imager’s detector have a minimum of 120 x 120 pixels. Because the optical resolution of a thermal imager cannot be determined solely by pixel count, the standard also requires that the thermographer will, among other things, use thermal imaging and/or measurement equipment with capabilities sufficient to meet the inspection requirements.

In addition to the above, one of the most important requirements of the 2016 edition is that the selected infrared thermal imaging system must have controls that permit the operator to manually adjust level and gain of displayed thermal imagery in real time. Level and gain controls must be able to be adjusted independently by the operator to specific temperature values. Imagers that feature only automatic gain control, commonly referred to as ‘Auto Image’, are not sufficient.

The past year has seen the introduction of several low priced thermal imaging systems as well as the inclusion of thermal imaging capabilities in electrical multimeters, moisture meters,and cell phones. Many of these devices, as well as several purpose-built thermal imagers do not offer onboard controls for Level and Gain. The absence of such controls prohibits the operator from controlling thermal sensitivity in real time thereby causing thermal anomalies to go undetected.

In our experience, most novices in thermography do not seek out proper thermographic training. In fact, several posts on this messageboard are proof of this. Their lack of knowledge, combined with the shortcomings of the aforementioned equipment put both thermographers and consumers at risk. Further compounding the problem is slick advertising that convinces uneducated buyers that all thermal imaging systems are equal and require no formal training.

With the above in mind, Infraspection Institute elected to tighten requirements for thermal imaging equipment in the 2016 edition of all of our application standards. This is not a punitive measure nor is it intended to favor a particular brand of thermal imaging equipment. Our intent is to protect both consumers and thermographers by establishing minimum performance requirements for thermal imaging equipment that is used for professional inspections. It is our firm belief that all boats rise equally on the tide and protecting our industry is in everyone’s best interest.

As a benefit to InterNACHI members, the 2016 edition of the Standard for Infrared Inspection of Building Envelopes (normally priced at $40) is available for FREE at the following URL:

I hope this helps.

Thank you Jim I was very happy with the addition. Freedom Express Inspections ordered the complete updated set last week.

Thank you Jim, for the updated standards and for describing the importance of proper equipment, training and methods for thermography work. Also, for graciously sharing the building envelope standard with the membership. I will be ordering an updated set shortly.

BTW: Not all boats rise on an incoming tide. Only those that float do. The bottom dwellers just wind up further underwater.

Thank you.

Thanks for the info Jim.

But, Jim, It seems Flir One Gen 2 can meet this specs(?)It has resolution as 160X120 and Sensitivity: ability to detect temperature differences as small as 0.18° F (0.1° C)

What make FLIR ONE GEN 2 not suitable for home inspection based on this standard?

Thank you for your valuable opinion. I am not very experienced in IR technology but very interested in this.

Does it have real time operator adjustable level and gain controls?

Note: If you go to a Mfg web site like Flir, and look at “Products”.

Every device is listed in it’s category.
The Flir One is listed under “Personal Thermal Imager”. Others are also listed by application design.

Home Inspection is a “Business”. Thermal Imaging is a “Science”. Proper use is an “Art”.

A bicycle gets you from point A to point B, but it is not allowed on the Interstate System.

Thank you for the upgrade Jim!
I keep a copy of your standards on my computer desktop, along with things like the Home Inspection Standards. As you can see by questions posted here that few read or heed the Standards. I highly recommend everyone download Jim’s Building Envelopes standard and purchase (yes purchase) any an all standards that you advertise as services offered.

NACHI: offering a “Personal” device intended for homeowner use, to Professional Inspectors (alleged) only promotes sub-standard performance of your members and reflects on your otherwise professional association.

When you promote and sell cheap, you get cheap.
“Invest” in your business. It’s tax deductible and depreciatable.

Oh,yes, it seems not.
I just switch on My Fluke TiR and there is a section of level and span.

So, FLIR C2 and FLIR ONE cannot adjust the focus, so that it MAY not have accurate temperature measurement if the hot spot is “diluted”.
Is that a reason for those two devices cannot fit the home inspection job?

Thanks Jim

Dear Mr. Leung:

As Mr. Evans referenced, the 2016 edition of the standard requires that the selected infrared thermal imaging system must have controls that permit the operator to manually adjust level and gain of displayed thermal imagery in real time. Level and gain controls must be able to be adjusted independently by the operator to specific temperature values. Imagers that feature only automatic gain control, commonly referred to as ‘Auto Image’, are not sufficient. With this in mind, there are currently several thermal imaging devices that do not meet the aforementioned requirements.

I would caution you against using pixel count as the sole determinant of the optical resolution of a thermal imager. Resolution is based upon several interdependent factors including, but not limited to: pixel count, size of pixels, imager optics, and signal-to-noise ratio.

In order to clarify, the Standard for Infrared Inspection of Building Envelopes is intended for any building regardless of building usage. It is not limited to homes or residential buildings.

I am not sure what you mean by ‘diluted’; however, if an image is out of focus, temperature measurement accuracy can be compromised. Such error will occur for both real-time temperature measurements and for measurements made using stored imagery.

If you have not already taken formal training in thermal imaging I would invite you to consider Infraspection Institute’s course IR Inspections for InterNACHI Home & Building Inspectors. Normally priced at $1195, this course is available exclusively to InterNACHI members for just $295 and qualifies for 16 hours of continuing education.

I hope this helps.


The three most important things in taking a thermal scan is; Focus, Range, and Distance capabilities of the camera. W/O all three, the scan is worthless.

It’s not just the focus that matters, but the ability to visually discern subtle temperature variations.

For example if you are looking a ceiling and there is a can light within your frame, “auto image” or “auto span” will dynamically set the temperature span to encompass the highest and lowest temperatures within the frame, thus your span may range from say 60°F at the low end to 250°F at the upper end. This wide span would blind you to seeing more subtle differences in temperature, which may indicate potentially serious issues. This is especially problematic with very wide angle lenses which most of the lower end imagers utilize, because you have more objects and wider temperature ranges within the frame than with a narrower field of view. Under the same scenario where the operator can control level and gain, the operator can set the span to encompass only the 60°F-70°F apparent temperature range. The hot light bulb would be completely washed out/over exposed (you don’t care about it anyway), however the operator will be able to discern much more subtle temperature variations on the surfaces that they are trying to assess.

This is just one example of why it’s important to be able to control these setting in real-time, when performing thermographic analysis.

Thank you Jim. What I said “diluted” refers to out of focus.
I would check for my company about training, and would contact you by E-mail later, thanks!

Thank you! I did compare and found FLIR C2 FOV is much wider than Fluke TiR.


I have some questions about the IR conference and courses, who would be the best person to speak with?

Please disregard I spoke with Patty this afternoon for almost 30 mins and she was incredibly helpful…guess we are headed to Orlando in Jan

I talked to Patty also. She is extremely helpful. I will be there this year.