Enhancing Your Infrared Scan

Most Importantly....A Temperature differential (Delta-T) must exist

temperature differential

Certain conditions must exist in order to detect anomalies within any building. First and foremost, the interior temperature must be a minimum of 15 - 20 degrees F. warmer (or cooler) than the exterior temperature. The winter months are more common for thermally scanning a building because the interior temperature will always have a Delta T (temperature differential) of 15 degrees or more when heating a building. Scanning a building in the summer months makes it more difficult because the building must contain air conditioning in order to bring the interior temperature 15-20 F. lower than the warmer exterior temperature. When interior and exterior temperatures are equal to each other, then infrared scanning becomes useless.


• As stated above, it's crucial to obtain an adequate temperature differential (Delta T) between the interior and exterior temperatures, in order to obtain a perfect environment for thermal imaging. I'd like you to make sure that every window and door in your home is completely closed several hours before the infrared scan takes place.

door closing slider closing


• If the temperature differential is not adequate, this may require you to turn "UP" the heat (in the winter months) or to lower the A/C temperature in the summer months. If you do not have A/C (in the summer months), I suggest you hire me for an early morning thermal scan. It's much cooler in the morning than it is during a hot summer day. If you are unable to obtain the adequate temperature differential inside your building, I suggest you re-schedule the infrared scan accordingly.



Interior Scanning vs. Exterior Scanning

I will be thermally scanning all of your most outer wall and ceiling surfaces from the inside of your building only. It is more difficult for an infrared camera to detect temperature differences and anomalies on the outside surfaces of a building due to the windy environment. Conditioned air that may be escaping from your building will not always move through the exterior walls in nice straight patterns due to the air movement outside. Because of this difficulty, all interior infrared surveys are generally much more accurate because they benefit from reduced air movement.



Preparing For Your Infrared Scan

When you do book an infrared inspection with me, I ask that you please have the home prepared in order to alleviate any issues during my thermal scan. In order to achieve the maximum benefit of your infrared inspection, I ask that you please follow these important tips:


• Plan optimal times of day for your infrared inspection — dawn and dusk. Example...If I’m inspecting a flat roof (in the summer months), the added heat from the strong sun beaming onto any flat roof surface will reduce the effectiveness of my thermal scan. I absolutely do not mind early evening or early morning inspections, so planning accordingly (in this particular situation) will give you much better infrared results.

infrared flat roof


• Clear all of the outermost exterior walls of any large pictures, wall hangings, and furniture and appliances that are up against these outer walls. Also, remove or raise any drapes if possible. Do not be concerned with any interior walls (of your home) as these walls are of no concern for thermal efficiency.

wall is clear

closet is clear

Opening your closet doors and conditioning your closet space will assist me in identifying any exterior wall defects within the closets. I am unable to move personal belongings due to liability reasons, so please make sure that the majority of your closet walls are clearly visible to the IR camera. Any blocked areas could conceal hidden issues.


• IMPORTANT: Please (Do yourself a favor) do not wait until I arrive at your house before you decide to move your furniture and bedding away from the walls. I'd like you to get every portion of your walls conditioned for at least one hour, in order locate any concealed defects. Having furniture up against the wall will not allow the entire wall to be conditioned and the infrared readings will be affected. Unconditioned portions of the walls (where your furniture was placed) will always appear to be defective. Conditioned air will not pass through furniture.



furniture on wall




picture on wall

The above images are what my infrared camera will detect when pictures and furniture are removed during my infrared scan. If you are interested in having specific walls thermally scanned during my walk-through, please have wall hangings and furniture moved away from these areas one hour prior to my arrival.


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Here's what my clients say about me... (Press F5 on your keyboard for additional testimonials)


I have had MassSave energy audits at my house in the past, but for some reason, there were still a few droughts that couldn't be identified. I am a real estate broker and have come to know the excellence and professionalism that Dave Valley brings to home inspections. When I learned that Dave also does thermal imaging audits, I thought that it would be a really good idea to hire him to do an infrared thermal imaging inspection. The findings from the thermal imaging inspection and the report that Dave created allowed me to see exactly what areas did not have insulation and this has enabled me to start tackling the remaining droughts in the house.

The major location where there was no insulation was on the flat roof above my roughly 400 square foot kitchen. All heat would just disappear through the flat roof above the kitchen. It was quite revealing and I never would have had this level of insight through thermal eyes without hiring Dave to do a thermal inspection with his infrared camera. Granted, it was difficult to follow up on Dave's recommendation "just rip out the kitchen ceiling and spray foam the entire roof and ridge line." I thought "ok, sure .. ugh!". I tackled this project though and thoroughly spray foamed the entire kitchen roof. The difference is incredibly measurable.

Now, to tackle several of the other locations identified in Dave's thermal imaging report. I highly recommend to hire Dave Valley to do a thermal imaging inspection and report for your home "prior" to doing an MassSave energy audit. The imaging report will help you immensely in pointing out your insulation needs and keeping the heat inside in winter and the cool inside in summer.

Warm regards,


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© 2018 Massachusetts Infrared (Thermal) Imaging, last updated  Jan 26, 2013        Inspection Website by Grassfrog Technologies LLC