The Infrared Camera
Snughome home inspectors use FLIR Systems' Thermal imaging equipment, one of the most advanced infrared inspections systems available.
Precision Temperature Measurement
The Thermal imaging camera delivers unmatched temperature measurement accuracy. It has a thermal sensitivity of 0.08°C, giving clear images to aid in diagnosis of problems. Such a low thermal sensitivity records the very smallest of temperature changes and also gives very detailed high-resolution images to include in your energy audit report.
Thermal AND Visual Images
As well as taking High-resolution thermal images, the Thermal imaging camera records normal visual images of the same area with its built-in digital camera. This helps to interpret the thermal image and pinpoint the exact location of any problem. Both images are included in our Home Inspectors' reports to assist those who will repair the defects.
Thermal Imaging, also known as Thermography or Infrared Imaging, is the detection and changing of thermal energy from the infrared spectrum of light to the visible spectrum of light. All matter or anything on earth that contains mass gives out Thermal energy. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending on what school of thought you subscribe to, this energy is completely invisible to the human eye.
It is always very important for us to remember that Thermal Imaging Camera gives an image to us that is measuring the Thermal energy from the surface of the object being Thermally Imaged. Many business people get into the Thermal Imaging with ideas that they can operate with one trained Thermographer in the field gathering data and then sending the information back to the office for some one else to create the reports, this however is completely impractical.
There are so many variables and so much information affecting Thermal Images taken outside of any electronic data saved e.g. what the prevailing weather conditions were, whether or not there was a couch in front of the wall five minutes previous to the Thermal Image being taken. There is so much information gathered by a good trained Thermographer subconsciously without them even knowing it that it would probably take them as long to write this information down as it did to actually carry out the Thermal Imaging inspection.
So to give a really comprehensive and honest report it is absolutely imperative that the trained Thermographer that gathered the information in the field is the same person that composes the Thermal Imaging report.
By far the most important, vital and indeed expensive component of any Thermal Imaging camera is, as you might imagine, the optical equipment within the camera's protective casing. They are surprisingly like what you would expect to find inside a normal visual camera. Like a normal visual camera the objective of a Thermal Imaging camera is to concentrate and focus as much information (Thermal Energy) onto what is known as a detector. The various lenses etc. act as a kind of magnifying glass onto this detector which in turn allows it to decipher lower amounts of radiation. One of the reasons that Thermal Imaging cameras are so expensive and will continue to be in my opinion well into the future is because the lenses that are used to meet the very high quality that is required are made from synthetically manipulated substances, these include things like zinc selenide, germanium and sapphire to name but a few.