Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contractors Tout FLIR Camera As Great Tool - Thermal Imaging Getting More Use In Homes

(Re-published from KETV Channel 7 of Omaha, Nebraska)

Law enforcement and the military have been using thermal imaging technology and night vision gear for decades. But now more homeowners are using it to determine the energy efficiency of their home.

A forward-looking infrared radiometer, also known as a FLIR camera, can pinpoint more than just cold and warm air moving through a home. “You can look for termites in the walls. See where they’re colonizing in the walls. You can see HVAC problems, cracked heat exchangers, condenser coils outside where they are clogged,” said David Doerhoff with the FLIR Corporation.

Extremely sensitive cameras pick up just a 10th of a degree in thermal differences. Doerhoff placed his hand on the wall and the device could see the body heat left behind.

More and more contractors are finding the technology to be useful. “We’re able to walk around with the homeowner and show exactly what it looks like within their walls,” said Todd Trevaille with USA Insulation. Trevaille said he’s used the camera on 80 different homes in the metro. He said it allows him to see the problem without doing anything destructive to the home. The Omaha Public Power District also used the cameras to evaluate substations and lines. But, the cameras aren’t cheap. The starting price for a FLIR camera is $3,000.

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