Found an interesting article regarding infrared, I was curious what others think of it. The article, Don’t Fall for the Infrared Camera Hype basically indicates that thermography can’t be properly performed unless done at night and that the proper equipment would cost at least $25K with training being an additional $5. It indicates that the infrared services that home inspection companies are offering are merely a gimmick started by Mike Holmes and picked up by others to feel like they needed to partake in order to stay relevant.
I have no ill feelings towards infrared, in fact I’m in the market for a camera and found the article while searching for infrared cameras online when I did a search for “Home Inspection Infrared Cameras.” I found the article interesting and thought I’d solicit opinions.
The author is suggests only “a full-time professional, licensed HERS energy rating contractor” who spends hours upon hours on site is going to give a real IR report, which is simply overkill for the average home buyer.
It’s like saying you shouldn’t see a general doctor when you don’t feel well, you should only see a brain surgeon.
And here in Southern California, most houses have been built with little, and occasionally, no insulation. You don’t need “a full-time professional, licensed HERS energy rater” to know your 1940’s post WWII home in the middle of the San Fernando Valley is poorly insulated.
I have a good camera, I have training on it, and I’ve found leaks that weren’t visible to the naked eye with it. And I get referrals because I can do this.
See our video on what can be found with an infrared camera during a building inspection. See link below in my signature. It does take training to get good results. Prices for cameras have come way down since the article was written. It is correct that many inspectors buy poor cameras and get no real training. I agree with this part of the article. Contact me for current camera prices. Those who are serious will search out the subject and at least get some training. I do not feel compelled to convince the unwilling to do IR. Indoor conditions can be changed with the HVAC system and proper training deals with this issue.
Please note that the article was written by someone with no training and does not use an infrared camera. He is defending his turf as a non IR business, as his competitors are using IR like a flood all around him.
The second question I am asked, after how much, is if I have a thermal imaging camera. When I was starting out I had to decide whether to tap dance around why I did not need one, or just say yup, I do. So I took the advice most often given in this forum, get training first and then make an informed choice of a camera. I never regretted it, I like using my camera, it taught me much about building science and brought me work I would not otherwise have gotten.