As I am typing this question I am thinking to myself how many times this question may have been asked. What is the least expensive thermal imaging camera an inspector can buy for Home Inspections and Energy Audits, providing a quality service?

Thanks, Dan

A used camera…

Let me re-phrase the question for Orvil…

What is the MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE thermal imaging camera (brand and model #) an inspector should buy for Home Inspections and Energy Audits, while still providing a quality service?

You can buy a used “better” camera for the price of a new 120 x 120.

If you want to meet the minimum standards of the industry with a 120 x 120, you will be providing the minimum service available.

There is no answer to this, it is just an argument waiting to happen.

It’s about where you work, what you work on etc. All cameras are not the same because they are not designed to do the same job.

If there is a camera twice as good as what you have, then you are likely missing 25% of what you could with the better camera. Just know your limitations and your fine shopping by price.

Building Inspection requires more camera than any other IR application. 90% of what you scan is an indirect measurement.

$1795 - $2175 (for our students only)

John - For that price is that the Fluke TI32

Thanks for the replies. I like Mr. Jonas rephrasing “*MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE” . Thats some of the feedback I need. Feel free to drop a few one liners on names and models that meet the “MINIMUM”. John, I hope to be taking your march class and speak with you about cameras then. *

Thanks everyone again


Well that didn’t take long!

Right there is you premier source of mediocrity!

That will get you right down the road of “minimum standards” so you can “expect” PREMIUM Inspection Fees for the least investment on your part.

Some say it is a great place to “Start”, some don’t think so (those that call me for help are generally the latter).

How much time, education and equipment investment have you made in your HI company?

Do you think $1,795 is going to turn everything around for you?

Mr. Boyer, this is not directed at you. I can see your new. This is my perception directed to those that have been here as long as I have and are ready to promote mediocrity while trying raise inspection fees.

Those of you that are not into Thermal Imaging yet, you have missed the “new wave” boat!
Clients are no longer ignorant of the Thermal Imaging process. The WOW is now “wow”.
When they call, they “expect” something. Even here in the TN back(wards)country!
More clients that call indicate that have been on the hunt for a “qualified” thermographer (I always ask if they know anything about TI so I am not being redundant). They are no longer calling and saying, “I don’t know what you do, but I have this problem…”.

Even (moron) Mike Holms has a B400 upgrade… Why?

Update: As I was posting this I just got a call from a client who needs building analysis for water intrusion for a law suit involving a condo complex he owns. He was going through the list of TI guys (couldn’t find what he was looking for). Have the job on Wednesday. Price was no consideration. He knew exactly what he was looking for. The previous guys that “own cameras” did not get the job. Why? Case in point.

You all must start somewhere, just don’t waste your time and become disenchanted with TI because your not making your camera payment.


What make and model was your first TI camera?


Listen to DaveAnderson, he knows his stuuf VERY well. You can never have too much training or too much camera. Also, do not get in over your head, 120X120 is great for HI but do not start inspecting motors or doing Equine, you will end up in court real fast!

I don’t question David’s abilities.

And you make my point very well. If someone is breaking into TI, and needs to be price contious considering the cost of proper training, why purchase a Ferrari (couldn’t if I wanted to), when a Lincoln or even a Mercury will do to get started? I could always upgrade at a later date, if I wanted to expand from HI’s.

What do you recommend “to get started”?

To answer the question posed and stay out of the debate - buy at least a TiR1 or the equivalent FLIR. This level actually works fine for HI, building envelope stuff. Anything less is only good for advertising that you use IR. Thermal sensitivity and resolution are your main concerns when comparing. You can research the specs of the TiR1 and compare other brands.

No one enters the racing industry with a Lincoln or even a Mercury …

Buy they learned to drive in one. I get your point.

The issue is that your trying to enter the NASCAR circuit with a Volkswagen!
There is a high probability that you will get hurt in the process as well as mess up a good race!

No one enters the racing industry with a Lincoln or even a Mercury …

Buy they learned to drive in one. I get your point.

The issue is that your trying to enter the NASCAR circuit with a Volkswagen!
There is a high probability that you will get hurt in the process as well as mess up a good race!

How much should you spend on a thermal imager? Register for a free webinar and decide for yourself.

Orvil -

Different areas report different results with IR. In my area (Kansas City), I don’t knoe OR have heard of anyone really doing well or making $$$$$ with the IR cameras. Like Kevin from Texas said,YES a 10 lb sledge hammer will kill a mouse BUT do you really need that OR is it OVERKILL.

MOST guys that get an IR and proper Level I training in my area got about $7,500 - $8,500 invested buying something like a TiR1 or Flir B-60. AND in the real estate market we’re in, they’ll probably never justify the $$$$$$

Your area may be different / Good Luck …

Well thanks to all for the comments. Thanks a little more to the ones who stayed focus on the original question giving me more detailed information about camera selection. It seems there is quite a debate and some bitterness on how TI service should be provided and what it should cost. TI is not hot in my area yet, seams like we are always a step behind everywhere else, but it is coming. I already have contractors asking me about thermal imaging and can I perform “energy audit type work for them” or help identify moisture problems. I dont think they are educated on a full energy audit and what it has to offer, so I am going to have to educate them. I can already tell they kind of want a stripped down version of energy auditing. Quick question before closing to thermographers. If a contractor asked you to help them locate hydronic heat “Pex Tubing runs” in a concrete floor 60x80. What would you charge for this project.

Have a great day

Those of us that got started in TI are “the educators” of the IR application.

I have said this a hundred times; you can’t sell something to someone who can’t see (understand) the benifit from their investment.

Also, just because you have a camera, will not make your phone ring.

By the time this catches on in your area, you’ll be left in the dust.

Read into any “qualified” training org and you will see that they talk about a 5 yr start-up. If you buy into a franchise, you can’t expect to get a return on your investment for 5-7 years. This is just the way it is. Why should IR be any different.

If I didn’t have this second job, I’d be sitting around like a bunch of you not making anything and just hanging out here yelling at anyone you can (out of frustration).

Don’t be influenced by the nay-sayers out there Orvil. Also don’t get wrapped up in the Hype of “cheapest training and cameras around”!

Thanks David. I am wrapping my head around everyones input.

Thanks, Dan

Nice food for thought