Thermal image of a house exterior, showing where air leaks

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October 21, 2017

Infrared image of the exterior of a house

One of the key components of an effective home energy audit is infrared thermography. Infrared thermography (or infrared imaging, infrared diagnostics, a rose by any other name...) consists of a thorough visual inspection of a home, including the basement, attic, and all the nooks and crannies, with an infrared camera or another infrared assessment device. It essentially takes the guess-work out of pinpointing the drafts and the leaky spots within a home — registering, as it will, the exact temperature of various spots within the home, and, depending on the device used, providing you, the homeowner, with a precise visual representation of the imperfections in your home's thermal envelope. So if, after the energy audit, you forget where exactly it was you were supposed to caulk, you've got a big stack of pictures to show you exactly what spots need air sealing or insulation work.

If a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, an infrared picture could very well be worth a thousand bucks, because it reveals the spots where your house is wasting energy (and money), and gives you clear directions for fixing them. Some of the imperfections in your home's thermal envelope will be obvious: around windows and doors, for example. But chances are, there will be some big surprises, too; and that's part of what makes infrared imaging so valuable - you might discover that the constant draft in your living room could be taken care of with a simple bead of caulk along the baseboard, or that your perennial ice dam could be forever prevented by insulating a hot water pipe in the attic.

One last thing to bear in mind when scheduling an infrared audit is that for best results, there needs to be a temperature differential (delta T) between indoors and outdoors. Recommendations as to precise numbers differ, but you should talk to your auditor about an ideal differential for your region, climate and house.

What Our Customers Are Saying

  • I would like to express how grateful to each and everyone of you for helping make my house warmer for the winter months, its because of you I was able to have insulation and seal areas of my home that wouldn't get done. Thank you!
    Wendy, Wareham, MA
  • Initially hiring Efficient Buildings for some insulation work, we were so impressed by their efficiency, expertise and depth of knowledge that we went on to hire him for a large addition.

  • Your technicians made a scheduled appointment at our house this past Tuesday to complete a work order. We wish to commend you for hiring such competent individuals. They were knowledgeable, personable, task-oriented and totally honest and reliable.

    Melvyn, Plymouth, MA
  • I hired Efficient Buildings to do some insulation work at my house, as I had heard that attic insulation was one of the best ways to cut heating costs, and Efficient Buildings came highly recommended from a friend.

    James Chase, Bridgewater, MA
  • I wanted to tell you how great a job the installers did putting in my attic insulation. My AC has been out for a few days and the insulation has kept the temperature down. Usually a second story would be boiling, but the men did such a great job that I was able to stay here. 
    Diane, Osterville, MA
  • I wanted to drop you a line and tell you how pleased we were with the crew and the fine job they did at my home today.

    George Foley, Bridgewater, MA
  • Hello, this is Marty from Marlborough. I just wanted to thank all the crew for a job well done. Also I was so impressed by the very kind well mannered behavior of the men. It's nice to know there are still nice people out there.

    Marty Silvia, Marlborough, MA
  • After conducting a thorough and (extremely) informative energy audit, Efficient Buildings assessed that the most cost-effective improvements I could make would be some simple air sealing and improved attic insulation -- they didn't try to sell any expensive windows or talk me into having work... Read More

    Ryan Weymouth, Bridgewater, MA
Thermal image of a house exterior, showing where air leaks
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One of the key components of an effective home energy audit is infrared thermography. Infrared thermography (or infrared imaging, infrared diagnostics, a rose by any other name...) consists of a... Read more
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