I’m just starting my home inspection business and I’m considering buying an infrared camera for inspections. Can someone recommend some cameras and training courses and also tell me if you have had success in offering infrared inspections and what would the additional pricing be for this service.
I use a Fluke TIR and love it. But there are many others out there. John Mckenna’s Class is great for beginners http://www.infrared-certified.com/
I have had great sucess on using the camera and charge extra for the scan.
You might want to add where your from to your profile.
Good luck and there is alot of infomation on this site(INACHI)
There are many different places to receive IR education.
Do a search on this board for it and for cameras. There is considerable
info already posted. That said…
FLIR, FLUKE are two of the more common camera manufacturers. Each have their own pluses and minuses. Do your own comparison by looking at the
published specifications. Your $budget will dictate which models to look at.
FLIR through Infrared Training Center, SNELL and some others do an excellent job in education.
Last year I was thinking the same question about Thermal Camera.
I would suggest contacting John McKenna and take his class. It will Help you with all the info and training to get you started and he is always around to anser question you may have after class. At his web sight links I purchase a FLUKE TR1 been a great camera. Last week I slipped in the ice and the camera took a hard fall on to the drive way from about 6 feet not a cratch to the camera I was not so lucky. He has links to the best prices and when you concider buying, think FLUKE they will take a beating and keep ticking. Thermal has up my inspection 25% and growing.
Now I am getting calls from insurance, builders and home owners with high power bills. Great for fill in’s between inspection. I am adding a second person just to handle Thermal and he will first attend John thermal classes when he comes back over to the Tennessee area.
Hope this helps.
Thanks guys for the kind comments about our IR class. Hundreds have taken our IR class
and purchased the lowest priced IR cameras in the USA. We have IR webinars and free
energy audit classes every month.
The other thing you will want to research before buying a camera is what applications the camera fills. Many people buy a camera based on their current business, which is proper thinking, but IR fills so many other demands. Often times the 100c (or close) & 70mk or higher cameras do not always fill these needs. HI’s often find these other applications as you become more of an infrared inspector rather than just a HI. These other applications are the real money makers. In our infrared inspection business I find flat roofs to be the holy grail of infrared. We bid these jobs at $1500 min or .10 a sq ft, and have little problem getting them at that rate.
The good news for you is there are a couple of different options these days for cameras that can fill all options/applications without spending car purchase type of money. Not even 6 months ago, to get a camera that had a high temp range, and superb thermal sensitivity in the same unit was in the 20k ballpark. Those cameras now a days have 320x240 resolution, 50mk sensitivity and 600c temp range for under 10k.
A great free resource that is out there for you is the Infraspection Institute SuccessIRs. There are several threads on here about Infraspection, and all the members that have taken their courses give them rave reviews. This one is a recent thread:
The first two classes of the SuccessIRs are free (101 and 102).
Infraspection is non camera bias, so they are a great place to start.
Others have mentioned McKennas course for HI’s, and I would recommend that as well for your current business and how IR can be used in HI’s.
Once you get in to the business feel free to give me a buzz and I will give you a couple of pretty good marketing ideas that others have used to get their IR business off on the right foot. I have no problem sharing them, I just do not like throwing them out there in a public forum for competitors or non members to use.
Purchase the highest resolution camera you can possibly afford, you will not regret spending a little more now. Quality training is critical, you have to understand the images, which can be difficult to anaylize.
I would like to thank all the people at interNACHI for their input and advice when asked for regarding thermal imaging cameras. I spent probably 100 hours on research, had the Regional Sales guys from Fluke and Flir visit me to show and demo their products. I ended up with a Flir B60 demo which I purchased this week from one of their independant reps. The camera still has 18month of warranty left and I bought it for the price of a B50. I would have loved to have been able to buy the new Fluke TiR32 but it was out of my price range. I know that you have great financing programs but I don’t like buying tools on credit. Once again, THANKS TO ALL.
After weeks of data mining and reading every site related to IR, pro and con, I have decided that IR is the future. I completed John McKennas’ IR training course, EXCELLENT, and was about to purchase my camera a Flir Bcam SD when I was thrown a curve ball. Ultimately I plan to expand into commercial IR which I believe to be a very lucrative area. While shopping, one rep mentioned the Flir Icam SD. He said the main advantage was a higher scan range, up to 650 degrees as opposed to the Bcams’ 212 degree limit. He suggested this as being important especially with electrical and mechanical inspections. The price is the same with the down side being less sensitivity on the Icam.
I do not see the sensitivity as being a major qualative issue but would greatly appreciate any and all feedback . Thanks for you help.
The rep is very accurate in the fact that most people under buy their first camera and end up costing themselves more money in the long run by saving money up front.
Just like you would be limited in certain IR applications by only having a 212 (100c) degree temp range, you would also be limited in other areas (flat roofs for example) by going with a higher (worse) thermal sensitivity.
If you are trying to stay in the $4,000 ballpark it is going to be tough to get them in the same camera. Now a days if you jump in to the $9,000 ballpark you will find a couple of different cameras that will get you both high temp range, the best thermal sensitivity on the market currently and 320x240 resolution.
IMO the best paying IR applications are flat roofs, industrial/commercial, and electrical…in that order. The first requires extremely good thermal sensitivity. Industrial/commercial requires high temp range. Electrical, up to 480V, is actually done quite well by the 100c cameras.
Both resolution and sensitivity are EXTREMELY important especially in residential applications in my opinion… quite the opposite of what most vendors and a few “trainers” tell you. You’ll find yourself very limited otherwise especially if you have many seasonal days throughout the year hovering in the 60’s and 70’s temps.
Just my experienced opinion… others mileage may vary.