T-Stat location

This interior wall was open to the attic and leaks in the air duct was pulling it down. The small box on the wall is the T-Stat. Think this will effect the set point?!

I felt heat comming off the wall. Took the IR scan, then found this in the attic (which was not really accessiable).

Since you are the one using the IR, what is your opinion as to the stack effect?

Ir pictures are getting tiresome and I would rather just see proof after the fact,

Smoke test?

Are you insinuating that this appears to be stack effect?

I thought I showed some proof with the second photograph. This issue was located after the thermal scan indicated an obvious downdraft from the attic.
There are a dozen more photographs in my report showing a leaky return plenum sucking air from the interior/attic walls, leaking air-conditioning coil also sucking air from the interior/attic walls, no trap in the condensate line (up flow air handler, sucking air from the interior/attic walls, no barometric bypass damper installed in this two zoned system resulting in damaged actuators and leaking air duct in the attic. The house had a pressure differential of .5 inches water column at the front door (a crude test procedure). Maybe that’s just circumstantial evidence.

I found the post to be both informative and thought provoking. The IR photo illustrates perfectly how much good information is NOT available to us in a conventional inspection. I am however a little concerned where the trend is taking us as HI. It is inevitable as technology advances, the demands for more detailed inspections will follow. I hope you (and others) have adjusted your prices accordingly. Someone should have to pay extra for this information. These new services are starting to get over into the Technically exhaustive style report and as someone also trained in HVAC I can appreciate what the ramifications are with this additional information. I more often than not find systems installed in homes that are woefully inadequate or just poorly installed. This often leads to premature failure of the system and/or a system that does not adequately provide comfort for the homeowners meanwhile paying high energy consumpsion costs. I for one appreciate your posts and ask that you continue to help the members not only in the HVAC area but in all technical disciplines. Thanks!

Actually, the scenario went as follows;
I walked up to the outside of the house and saw one HVAC heat pump.
When I got around to getting up to the second-floor, the first thing that came to mind was that there was two floors with only one HVAC system.
When I walked past the interior wall enclosing the HVAC system I felt radiant heat emitting from the wall. My first thought was that HVAC capacity was ineffective because of only one HVAC system.
As I walked around the wall I noticed a second thermostat. Gee whiz I said, there’s a zoning system here. It shouldn’t be this hot here!
I pulled out my IR and found the interior wall to be approaching 100° and abnormal heat was observed from top to bottom.
There was an undersized attic access Hatch which I forced my way through to find out what was going on up there (could have just said to was too small to enter).
I found the attached photograph.
I found all the other things I mentioned also.
I put my IR away.
Later my client showed up and I asked him if he had any particular concerns about the property that he would like me to address. He took me outside and showed me mold on the exterior siding of the house.
I had taken other IR scans and found air being drawn through the top the wall system when the interior side of the molded staining. I negotiated for a change an inspection pricing to include further investigation with IR technology.
I would like to point out that I would have found these discrepancies without the IR camera (I use the heck out of IR Thermo’s). I would have just used different equipment. However, as you can see there is a much better graphic representation of the conditions which exists and the extent of these conditions rather than trying to describe it through a written report.
If this equipment is used in the same manner as you conduct your inspections currently, I see little concern for this trend of appearing to get over into the technically exhaustive style report.
If the client had not asked, I would not have gone the IR approach.
I am not just using this equipment to find more stuff, I am trying to protect my a$$ from being sued from something I missed (regardless of weather latent things are outside of HI SOP, you’ll still spend thousands).

Agree with your methodology. I follow pretty much a similar pattern. I do not break out specialty equipment unless something causes me to do so and I do many things for my satisfaction and for me, not for the report. I will often see or find things that makes me suspicious. Most often it is for my peace of mind to scratch below the surface. I am glad to hear you are charging for this additional services, some do not.

David I also agree with your method of approach.

Just indicates a seasoned inspector following is instincts.

The primary concern: The inner wall was not fire blocked. The air duct and zoning system was deficient. The HVAC system leaks air and water. All of these things should be found in a “visual Inspection”.

The secondary concern: The T-Stat could not properly control the indoor environment. There was heat loss/gain, increasing the cost of operating the house.

The extent of the condition and associated conditions were determined with IR and would/could not have been evaluated and reported (subsequently addressing the clients concern for the exterior mold condition).

This does exceed the scope of HI and could not be adequately reported through a check box type report.
Can we consider advanced reporting systems to be over the top ?
Should we not provide services because the scope of inspection will be exceeded?

I can understand HI’s not charging because the feel they are not up to speed with the camera use and have yet to acquire the needed training.

However, this is not about taking a snapshot and calling it “moisture”. There is a considerable increase in time to evaluate, report and further evaluate.
If you can’t simply market your additional time required to perform the added service, do not invest in the equipment.

We decide to purchase equipment based on “return of investment” potential. But actually it should be based upon the additional work you will be offering which you should be able to charge for.

How much more of your time can you charge for? Offering a service requires equipment (Your truck, flashlight, phone, computer, training). It’s the cost of business. So, if your going to pull out that IR Cam, you should be charging just like any other service you perform.