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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Red Adair
Nationwide Consumer Protection
 for Commercial, Industrial, Facilities, Construction, Residential, Agriculture, Aerial 
Infrared Thermography (IRT) Evaluation-Inspection-Consultation 

Aerial Infrared Surveys and more...Call BARRY to schedule your IRT Appointment

 1)Electric short 2)Highrise 3)Absent insulation 4)Damaged flue 5)Drain clog 6)Hurricane 7)Oven door seal damaged (Brand new)...These are just a few examples of what IRT technology can see, that humans can't...We see infraed...


Infrared used as leak detector.pdf 

ADAIR INSPECTION Infrared Services.pdf

White Paper: Testing Building Envelope Systems Using Thermal Imaging

Written by: John Snell and Rob Spring, P.E.
Download this white paper to read the entire article.

What the experts say..
Every year in the United States, faulty electrical/lighting equipment causes more than 45,000 structural fires. On average, these fires kill at least 240 people, injure 1,200, and inflict more than $1 billion in direct property damage. Infrared testing has become the most widely recommended method for detecting these critical electrical faults before they cause catastrophic fires.


National Fire Protection Association: NFPA 70B - Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, 2002 Edition

"Routine infrared inspections of energized electrical systems should be performed annually..."

"Infrared inspections of electrical systems are beneficial to reduce the number of costly and catastrophic equipment failures and unscheduled plant shutdowns."

"Infrared inspections have uncovered a multitude of potentially dangerous situations. Proper diagnosis and remedial action of these situations have also helped to prevent numerous major losses."

"Infrared detection can be accurate, reliable, and expedient to use in a variety of electrical installations. More important, it can be relatively inexpensive to use considering the savings often realized by preventing equipment damage and business interruptions."

"Many organizations are finding it preferable to obtain these surveys from qualified outside contractors. Because of their more extensive experience, their findings and recommendations are likely to be more accurate, practical, and economical than those of a part-time in-house team."

Differences in surface temperatures reveal many remarkable qualities about a building.
Thermographic technology has vastly improved over recent years, allowing the Infrared Thermal Inspection Specialist the opportunity to lower the costs of their independent visual surveys. In fact thermography has become one of the most cost effective means of identifying and resolving many adverse conditions.
Infrared inspections and surveys are increasingly requested for commercial, and industrial applications. These inspections utilize the same technology found in military, aerospace, and medical applications. Infrared thermal inspections have helped commercial investors, net lease occupants, commercial real estate investors, commercial property management firms, residential properties, industrial preventive maintenance, building management firms, maintenance teams, general contractors, renovators, commercial inspectors, real estate specialists, builders, and rennovation specialists. Thermal Infrared Inspections are vitally important to detect otherwise unknown or virtually invisible issues and concerns. At some point in time, building owners will become affected by high energy costs, heavy rains, leaks, and periodic flooding. Infrared Inspection Technology can assist with these environmental and building concerns and greatly reduce damage and repair costs associated with them. Below are a few examples of the amazing insight and view an Infrared Thermal Inspection can provide by a qualified National Association of Commercial Building Inspector!


Thermographic Inspections

Energy auditors may use thermography—or infrared scanning—to detect thermal defects and air leakage in building envelopes.

How They Work

Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared video and still cameras. These tools see light that is in the heat spectrum. Images on the video or film record the temperature variations of the building's skin, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The resulting images help the auditor determine whether insulation is needed. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed correctly.

A thermographic inspection is either an interior or exterior survey. The energy auditor decides which method would give the best results under certain weather conditions. Interior scans are more common, because warm air escaping from a building does not always move through the walls in a straight line. Heat loss detected in one area of the outside wall might originate at some other location on the inside of the wall. Also, it is harder to detect temperature differences on the outside surface of the building during windy weather. Because of this difficulty, interior surveys are generally more accurate because they benefit from reduced air movement.

Thermographic scans are also commonly used with a blower door test running. The blower door helps exaggerate air leaking through defects in the building shell. Such air leaks appear as black streaks in the infrared camera's viewfinder.

Thermography uses specially designed infrared video or still cameras to make images (called thermograms) that show surface heat variations. This technology has a number of applications. Thermograms of electrical systems can detect abnormally hot electrical connections or components. Thermograms of mechanical systems can detect the heat created by excessive friction. Energy auditors use thermography as a tool to help detect heat losses and air leakage in building envelopes.

Infrared scanning allows energy auditors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building's construction. The resulting thermograms help auditors determine whether a building needs insulation and where in the building it should go. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermographic scans of roofs can often detect roof leaks.

In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings.

The energy auditor may use one of several types of infrared sensing devices in an on-site inspection. A spot radiometer (also called a point radiometer) is the simplest. It measures radiation one spot at a time, with a simple meter reading showing the temperature of a given spot. The auditor pans the area with the device and notes the differences in temperature. A thermal line scanner shows radiant temperature viewed along a line. The thermogram shows the line scan superimposed over a picture of the panned area. This process shows temperature variations along the line. The most accurate thermographic inspection device is a thermal imaging camera, which produces a 2-dimensional thermal picture of an area showing heat leakage. Spot radiometers and thermal line scanners do not provide the necessary detail for a complete home energy audit. Infrared film used in a conventional camera is not sensitive enough to detect heat loss.

Preparing for a Thermographic Inspection

To prepare for an interior thermal scan, the homeowner should take steps to ensure an accurate result. This may include moving furniture away from exterior walls and removing drapes. The most accurate thermographic images usually occur when there is a large temperature difference (at least 18°F) between inside and outside air temperatures. In northern states, thermographic scans are generally done in the winter. In southern states, however, scans are usually conducted during warm weather with the air conditioner on.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

  • The NFPA specifically recommends the use of infrared thermography to inspect electrical power distribution equipment at least annually.
  • Gives guidance on examining electrical and mechanical equipment.
  • It recommends that critical equipment should be inspected every six months, or more often as deemed appropriate for safety and productivity.
  • Specifically refers to methods of charting time over condition, setting base line trends so that problems can be rectified before breakdown occurs.

Infrared (IR) inspection is a fast and noninvasive means of monitoring and diagnosing the condition of buildings. An IR camera can instantly identify problem areas that can be immediately documented into a thermal inspection report which clients and concerned parties will easily comprehend. IR gives the home inspector a great new tool that helps to elevate him as a professional using state-of-the-art equipment.

How Infrared Thermography Works
Thermography enables us to see and measure heat. All materials on earth emit heat energy, in the infrared portion of the spectrum. Unfortunately, the unaided human eye cannot see in the infrared. Infrared images allow the camera user to see temperature anomalies that identify potential problems in buildings and their component electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and waterproofing systems.

Today’s lightweight and rugged infrared cameras can not only see in real-time, but can also record infrared images and measure the temperatures of target objects quite accurately. Points of possible concern show up clearly as hot or cold in relation to their surroundings. Recorded thermal information can be easily inserted into reports, and widely distributed, greatly facilitating communications among trades, attorneys, and other professionals and serving as invaluable, rational, evidentiary data in cases involving controversy. 

Ways to use Thermography
Infrared cameras are being used in a variety of ways to detect problem areas in residential and commercial buildings:

  • Moisture intrusion and potential mold in walls and ceilings. IR thermal imaging is much faster, noninvasive, and provides evidentiary-quality, intuitively understandable data having a much higher degree of accuracy and reliability than other moisture detection technologies used to trace the source and scope of water damage, and thus potential mold in buildings. Once the IR camera identifies areas with thermal differences, a moisture meter can be used to confirm that they represent moisture.

  • Missing or damaged insulation. An IR camera can quickly and non-destructively detect areas of missing, moisture-laden or otherwise damaged insulation in walls, crawlspaces and attics or around doors, windows, electrical outlets and other access plates. All of these problems can increase a building’s energy costs by allowing cold air to enter the building and heated air to escape in the winter, and the reverse in the warmer, summer months. IR can also identify poorly or un-insulated pipes, another source of costly heat loss.

  • Faulty electrical mechanical and HVAC systems and components. Infrared cameras are very effective at detecting overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and loose electrical connections, which generate heat, and can pose serious fire hazards. IR can detect thin spots in furnace heat exchangers and flues, mechanical problems such as worn, under-lubricated pumps, motors, and bearings in fans, compressors, and furnaces, electrical faults, refrigerant leaks and blockages in HVAC components, another source of costly energy waste.

  • Leaking roofs. Roof leaks can cause costly damage to a building’s contents and discomfort to its inhabitants. An infrared inspection can quickly identify missing or moisture-soaked insulation under a flat roof membrane where the insulation needs replacement, permitting the surgical repair of failed areas rather than the much more costly replacement of the entire roof.

  • Construction defects. The increased use of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) and stone, stucco, brick veneers and siding as facades on residential as well as commercial buildings invites the possibility of water intrusion if they are not properly installed. IR can detect or verify moisture infiltration in these weatherproofing ‘barrier’ systems, usually the result of insufficient detailing such as inadequate or improperly applied flashing or sealants. In addition, IR can monitor and track moisture migration paths within the wall cavity.

  • Post-fire inspections. After fires, IR can quickly locate remnant hot spots, assuring the fire is completely extinguished and provide invaluable data for insurance companies’ Cause and Origin investigations. The clear IR images of normally invisible diagnostic evidence can assist in the planning and execution of the restoration effort and in the settlement process.

  • Termites. Although considered cold-blooded creatures, termites are hosts to bacteria, which help break down and digest cellulose, the main ingredient of the wood they digest. The digestion process generates heat, and when large numbers of termites in nests congregate, a substantial amount of heat is concentrated in one area. As this heat moves through the walls or floor of a building, an IR camera can detect it on the surface.

In addition, infrared can be used to perform energy audits and surveys, indoor air quality investigations and plumbing and radiant floor heating inspections.


What is Infrared (IR) Testing?


IR testing refers to an inspection process utilizing thermography or IR cameras as a means to perform situational non-invasive, non-destructive testing or NDT. IR imaging goes far beyond what is seen by any inspectors’ naked eye and works off of temperature signatures in the invisible IR spectrum of light. IR testing applications can be performed in a variety of situations to detect problems before they become much larger and costly issues. Some examples of infrared testing applications:


Building Diagnostics and Preventative Maintenance – Commercial and Residential IR testing can be used in a myriad of applications as a form of inspection by evaluating a variety of building components. By conducting a thorough evaluation of these component's temperature signatures during normal operating conditions, one can perform real time or periodic IR inspections to detect thermal differences from the norm in order to avoid costly repairs. This kind of preventative or predictive maintenance is critical to maintaining all types of structures.


Helicopter & Infrared Thermography Combined

for Cost Efficient Aerial Roof Inspection

Roofing - IR testing is used to detect water damage and leaks beneath the surface of the roofing system allowing the opportunity repair the specific section before it continues to spread. Localized spot or partial repair vs. entire roof system tear off and replacement saves our clients tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars per event. This makes any IR testing pay for itself in overall reduced end user costs.

Electrical - IR testing may be used as a means to detect potential wiring, circuit overload, or areas of unusually high electrical resistance, allowing electricians to repair or replace the components before failure, eliminating fire potential, costly downtime, or further damage to the electrical systems or downstream appliances.

Using Infrared Imaging to Discover Energy Losses

With ever-rising energy costs and ongoing environmental concerns, these days nearly everyone is focused on conserving energy. Heated air escaping during the winter months and cooled air leaking out during the summer months are sure signs utility bills will soar.

Finding the source of energy loss--whether it's poor insulation in the walls and ceilings or shoddy construction around the windows and doors--can be a costly, time-consuming and intrusive endeavor. Finding the source of water leaks in roofs can be even tougher.

Thanks to the growing practice of infrared camera inspection, however, homeowners now have the ability to track the causes of energy loss without resorting to tearing open walls or pulling up roofing tiles.

Infrared imaging is a diagnostic technology allowing users to instantly visualize and measure the thermal energy emitted from an object. Measuring thermal energy helps identify areas where energy is being wasted.

Because the human eye cannot detect thermal energy, infrared cameras are typically used to instantly display an area's thermal performance. While traditional cameras detect, record and display visible light, infrared cameras detect and record heat--or more precisely, the difference in temperature between surfaces--and display that information as a visible image.

Using an infrared camera is like having thermal vision. Infrared cameras can reveal damaged insulation in ceilings and behind walls, uncover bad wiring and overloaded circuits, and pinpoint the source of roof leaks. They go beyond measuring surface issues, without requiring the demolition of walls or direct inspection of insulation.

The benefits to homeowners can be tremendous. If a residence is losing a significant amount of heat during the winter months, an infrared camera can detect whether the insulation in the walls is moisture laden or otherwise damaged.

The technology enables home inspectors to do things they were not able to do before without being terribly invasive. Now instead of just suspecting what the problem is, they are in a position to resolve a problem on site.


Inspectors use infrared cameras to look for damaged or inferior insulation behind walls, electrical and wiring problems, water leaks in roofs and even termite infestation causing wood damage.

Infrared camera inspectors are often contacted by homeowners after they experience a leak in their roof, and repeated visits from roofers fail to fix the problem. By using thermal scans to find the source of a leak, inspectors can save customers several thousand dollars in potential ceiling and structural damage.

Beyond finding sources of energy leaks and roofing problems, an infrared camera can be instrumental during the construction phase of a building to obtain documentation of whether contractors are delivering the quality of service expected.

Using infrared cameras, inspectors can verify whether the contractors have used insulated piping in a new construction building's walls. They can confirm if the contractor has sealed the windows properly and looked for leaks in roof membranes. Identifying these problems during the construction phase can potentially save home owners considerable time, effort and money.

The infrared camera is like a smoking gun. It provides evidence the contractors are building everything as specified and designed.


Smoking guns come at a price, however. An infrared camera typically cost as low as $5,000, and high-end models can cost more than $30,000.

Camera costs aside, conducting proper thermal audits involves more than learning how to operate the camera. Reading and interpreting a thermal image takes training, much like reading a medical X-ray requires a trained radiologist. Without that training, an individual cannot properly analyze and evaluate an infrared image.

Since the technology is advanced and there are so many elements to take into consideration when performing these inspections, it's best to have them done by a trained professional. A trained thermographer is able to put it all in perspective

The cost of a thermal audit varies, depending on the size of the building and the vendor. Prices generally cover the thermal audit and a detailed report analyzing the results of the thermal images.

Inspectors estimate that a thermal inspection can pay for itself in two to five years, depending on the extent of the repairs suggested as a result of the audit. For instance, if an audit indicates a new furnace is needed, the payback in increased energy efficiency could take five years. If only minor ceiling repairs are necessary, the payback could be as short as two years.

Savings also come into play because infrared imaging can pinpoint the exact problem, and then a thermal auditor can typically offer an explanation and immediate solutions. Having a variety of general contractors repeatedly come out and offer trial-and-error solutions can be costly and frustrating.

The nature of thermography applications is people can actually see what's going on, and inspectors can source the cause and effect of a problem. It gives them a plan of action with their contractors and maintenance people, and it eliminates the guess work.


To maximize the benefits from infrared technology, homeowners should have thermal audits done every few years. Regular thermal scans can help catch problems early.

An infrared camera resolves issues without a lingering doubt. It solidifies the inspection, whereas without it there still might be some lingering issues. In the long run, more and more homeowners will be taking advantage of this technology.

Marine Infrared Thermal Scans

What is Marine Infrared Thermal Scanning?

Have you ever had a problem with your vessel while at sea? Do you know the condition of your boat’s electrical and mechanical systems? Does your vessel have any structural defects or damage? An infrared marine inspection can ease your mind and answer these questions for you. Infrared thermography of a vessel can detect serious faults such as damaged fiberglass gel coat, loose electrical connectors, faulty electrical systems, and failing engine components.

Who is it best for?

Marine Thermal Scans benefit:

  • recreational markets including small craft and yachts
  • commercial markets which include tourist and passenger vessels, workboats, charter fishing boats, and shipping vessels
  • marinas
  • shipping terminals
  • manufacturing

How does marine infrared thermal scanning work? What do I get?

ACE Thermal Imaging will provide a quick and accurate survey of your vessel’s structural and mechanical condition. You will receive an infrared Thermal Scan of:

  • hull and superstructure
  • electrical system
  • mechanical system
  • shore power source

Here's how infrared benefits you in marine applications:

  • allows the seller to document their vessels condition with infrared images
  • gives the buyer a pre-purchase inspection and infrared images for documentation which are not attainable with conventional marine inspection methods
  • provides insurance documentation
  • appraisal and damage assessments
  • correcting problems with power generation
  • locating water and moisture intrusion problems
  • assessment of the hulls condition for defects or faults
  • validates repairs for warranties and confirms repairs properly completed
  • assures electrical and mechanical systems are operating efficiently


A Thermal Scan can offer you enhanced marine safety and the ability to prevent costly catastrophic offshore failures by detecting developing faults with critical systems. As part of an early detection system, ACE Thermal Imaging performs the scans with pinpoint accuracy and analyzes thermal images to rapidly identify component and system faults that cannot be seen with the naked eye. An inexpensive review using advanced infrared technology can provide a large return for your very expensive investment.


The knowledge you will gain from an infrared marine inspection is a view of your vessel as you have probably never experienced. Infrared provides a thermal image of your vessel and allows for a quick and accurate survey of its condition - structurally and mechanically. Infrared technology in marine applications gives you another level of information to assure safety on the water. It allows for efficient predictive maintenance procedures. Be safe. Insure your loved ones and passengers’ safety with an infrared marine inspection. The costs are low and a vessel under 100 feet typically takes a few hours to complete. Larger vessels, marinas and terminal facilities usually require more time for a complete infrared inspection. Your infrared marine survey will include a comprehensive full color report with all necessary recommendations noted.

Infrared glossary 

Absolute Zero
The temperature of -273.16° C, -459.69° F, or 0° K; thought to be the temperature at which molecular motion vanishes and a body would have no heat energy.

The maximum deviation in a set of measurements between the temperature indicated by a radiation thermometer and the known temperature of a reference source, including the uncertainty of the reference temperature source. The accuracy can be expressed in a variety of ways including temperature, percentage of temperature reading, or percentage of full scale temperature of an instrument.

Ambient Derating
Derating or decrease in accuracy of an instrument due to changes in its ambient temp from that at which it was calibrated. See also Temperature Coefficient.

Ambient Operating Range
Range in the ambient temperature over which the instrument is designed to operate.

Ambient Temperature
The temperature of the instrument. Can also refer to the temperature that gives rise to the background. See Background Radiation.

Ambient Temperature Compensation (TAMB)
See Reflected Energy Compensation.

American Society for Testing and Materials.

ASTM E 1256
ASTM E1256 - 88, Standard Test Methods for Radiation Thermometers (Single Waveband Type). A standard by which Raytek products are tested and calibrated for accuracy, repeatability, resolution, target size, response time, warm-up time, and long-term drift.

Atmospheric Windows
The spectral bands in which the atmosphere least affects the transmission of radiant energy. The spectral bands are 0.4 to 1.8, 2 to 2.5, 3 to 5, and 8 to 14 micrometers.

Background Radiation
Radiation that enters an instrument from sources other than the intended target. Background radiation can enter due to reflections from the target or scattering within the instrument.

An ideal thermal radiator that absorbs all of the radiation incident thereon, and the radiant emission from which is quantified by Planckís Radiation Law.

Calibration Procedure
A procedure that is performed to determine and set the parameters affecting an instrument's performance in order to ensure its designed function within prescribed limits.

Calibration Source

Carnot Cycle
An ideal heat engine that converts thermal energy to mechanical work with the greatest efficiency that can be achieved.

Celsius or C
The temperature scale in which the temperature in Celsius (TC) is related to the temperature in Kelvin (TK) by the formula; TC = TK -273.15. The freezing point of water at standard atmospheric pressure is very nearly 0?C, and the corresponding boiling point is very nearly 100?C. Formerly known as centigrade temperature scale.

Color Temperature
The temperature of a black body from which the radiant energy has the same spectral distribution as that from a surface.

Colored Body or Non Gray Body
A source of thermal emission for which the emissivity depends on wavelength and is not constant.

Comparison Pyrometry
Method of radiation thermometry wherein the temperature of a calibrated source is changed until the radiation received from the source is the same as that from the target to determine the temperature of the target.

A form of communications wherein a pair of wires is used to transmit the signal as a current. Levels of 4 to 20 mA are often used to indicate the minimum and maximum signal level, respectively. Sometimes, for digital applications, various magnitudes of mA current are used to indicate a logical 1 and 0. The current loop is often characterized by a maximum impedance of the device that is connected to the loop.

Optical resolution expressed as a ratio of the distance to the resolution spot divided by the diameter of the spot.

Temperature band (?) about the set point, wherein an alarm output or relay can not change state, thus providing hysteresis.

Transducer which produces a voltage or current proportional to the electromagnetic energy incident upon it. See also Thermopile, MCT, Thermoelectric Cooled, Pyroelectric, and Lead Selenide and Si detectors.

Dielectric Withstand (Breakdown Voltage)
The maximum voltage an insulator of electricity can endure without voltage electrical conduction through the material.

Digital Data Bus
Two or more electrical conductors connecting several transmitters and receivers of digital data.

Digital Image Processing
Converting an image to digital form and changing the image to enhance it or prepare it for analysis by computer or human vision. In the case of an infrared image or thermogram, this could include temperature scaling, spot temperature measurements, thermal profiles, image addition, subtraction, averaging, filtering, and storage.

Digital Output Interval
The time interval between transmission of packets of digital data (DOI) containing temperature and system status information.

DIN Deutsches Institut
The German standard for many instrumentation products.f?mung.

The change in instrument indication over a period of time not caused by external influences on the device.

Electro-Magnetic Interference/Radio Frequency Interference, which affects the performance of electronic equipment.

At a given wavelength the ratio of infrared energy radiated by an object at a given temperature to that emitted by a blackbody at the same temperature The emissivity of a blackbody is unity at all wavelengths.

Environmental Rating
A rating given (usually by agencies and regulatory bodies) to indicate the severity of the environment in which the unit will function reliably.

External Reset (Trigger)
Initialization of an instrument to its state at power up including signal
conditioning features (Peak Hold, Valley Hold, Sample Hold, Average, (1-way RS232, etc.) via the external reset input.

Fahrenheit or F
Temperature measurement scale where, at standard atmospheric pressure, the freezing point of water is 32?F and the vaporization point of water is 212?F. To convert from Celsius, use F = (C x 1.8) + 32.

Fail-safe Operation
A measurement distance sufficiently large (typically greater than 10 times the focal distance) whereby the spot size of an instrument is growing in direct proportion to the distance from the instrument, and the field of view is constant.

Far Field
A measurement distance sufficiently large (typically greater than 10 times the focal distance) whereby the spot size of an instrument is growing in direct proportion to the distance from the instrument, and the field of view is constant.

Field of View (FOV)
The area or solid angle viewed through an optical or infrared instrument. Typically expressed by giving the spot diameter of an instrument and the distance to that spot. Also expressed as the angular size of the spot at the focal point. See Optical or Infrared Resolution.

Focal Point or Distance
The point or distance from the instrument at which the object is focused onto the detector within the instrument. The focal point is the place or distance at which the optical or infrared resolution is greatest.

Full Scale Accuracy
The temperature measurement accuracy expressed as a percentage of the maximum possible reading of an instrument.

Gray Body
A source of radiant emissions for which the emissivity is less than 1 but constant and, therefore, independent of wavelength.

IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
A European organization that coordinates and sets related standards among the European Community.

A standard developed by Hewlett-Packard Corporation and adopted by the IEEE for digital interface between programmable instrumentation. It uses a 16-bit bus to interconnect up to 15 instruments. The standard comprises hardware and protocol options. It is also called the Hewlett-Packard Interface Bus (HPIB) or General Purpose Interface Bus (HPIB) or General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB). The present standard is ANSI/IEEE-4881-1987.

IFOV (Instantaneous Field of View)
Instantaneous Field of View is the angular resolution of an imaging Field of View) instrument that is determined by the size of the detector and the lens. For a point instrument the IFOV and FOV are the same.

Image Processing
Converting an image to a digital form and further enhancing the image to prepare it for computer or visual analysis. In the case of an infrared image or thermogram, this could include temperature scaling, spot temperature measurements, and thermal profiles, as well as image addition, subtraction, averaging, filtering, and storage.

Indium Antimonide (InSb)
A material used to construct photon detectors that are sensitive in the spectral region from 2.0 to 5.5 ?m and used in infrared scanners and imagers. These detectors require cryogenic cooling.

Infrared or Optical Filter
See Spectral Filter or Neutral Density Filter.

Infrared Radiation
(IR) Radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum which extends from 0.75 to 1000 ?m.

Infrared Thermometer
An instrument that determines the temperature of an object by means of detecting and quantifying the infrared radiation emitted therefrom. Types include total power, wide band, narrow band, and multiple wavelengths.

Insulation Resistance
The property of a material to resist the flow of electrical current and expressed in Megohms (M?) as the ratio of an applied electrical potential divided by the flow of electrical current resulting therefrom.

The ability for a head sensor to be interchanged with another of the same type without the need to recalibrate the system (also referred to as Universal Electronics). Some monitors support the interchangeability of different types of heads.

Intrinsically Safe
A standard for preventing explosions in hazardous areas by limiting the electrical energy available to levels that are insufficient to cause ignition of explosive atmospheres during normal operation of an instrument.

IP Designation
Grades of intrinsic safety protection pertaining to enclosures per the British Standard 4752. The type of protection is defined by two digits, the first relating to accessibility and the second to environmental protection. The two numbers are preceded by the letters IP.

Isolated Inputs, Outputs
Inputs, outputs and power supply lines that are electrically insulated or Power Supplies from each other, whereby arbitrary grounding of these lines cannot affect the performance of the instrument such as generate ground-loops or short out internal resistors.

A continuous line (not necessarily straight or smooth) on a surface (or chart) comprising points of equal or constant temperature.

JIS Japanese Industrial Standard
A technical governing body that sets standards for determining or establishing the accuracy of IR thermometers.

Kelvin or K
A temperature scale that is directly related to the heat energy within a body. Formally, a temperature scale in which the ratio of the temperatures of two reservoirs is equal to the ratio of the amount of heat absorbed from one of them by a heat engine operating in a Carnot Cycle to the amount of heat rejected by engine to the other reservoir. The temperature of the triple point of water (in this scale) is defined as 273.16? K. To convert from Celsius, K=C+273.16.

Lead Selenide (PbSe)
A material used to make photon detectors that are sensitive in the 3 to 5 ?m spectral band. These detectors require thermoelectric cooling and are used in IR thermometers, scanners, and imagers.

Maximum Current
Describes the size of a load that can be driven by an instrument with a Loop Impedance mA output. For example a 500 ohm maximum loop impedance means that the instrument can supply 10 volts at 20 mA into this load.

MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride) or HgCdTe
A ternary alloy material used to build photon detectors that are sensitive in the 3-5?m and 8-14?m regions of the spectrum and require TE cooling in the 3-5 ?m region and cryogenic cooling in the 8-14?m region.

Minimum spot size
The diameter of the smallest object for which an instrument can meet its performance specifications.

National Electrical Manufacturer?s Association. Among its activities, sets US standards for housing enclosures, similar to IEC IP.


NETD (or NE?T)
Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference or the change in temperature of a blackbody target that fills the radiometer FOV which results in a change in the radiometer signal equal to the rms noise of the instrument.

Neutral Density Filter
An optical or infrared filter for which the transmission is constant and not a function or wavelength.

NIST Traceability
Calibration in accordance with and against standards traceable to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA). Traceability to NIST is a means of ensuring that reference standards remain valid and their calibration remains current.

Optical or Infrared Resolution
The ratio of the distance to the target divided by the diameter of the circular (or spot) for which the energy received by the thermometer is a specified percent age of the total energy that would be collected by an instrument viewing a calibration source at the same temperature. The distance to the target is generally the focal distance of the instrument. The percentage energy is generally 90?95%.

Optical Pyrometer
A system that, by comparing a source whose temperature is to be measured to a standardized source of illumination (usually compared to the human eye), determines the temperature of the former source.

Output Impedance
Describes the impedance of the thermometer that is experienced by any device connected thereto. To achieve accurate readings, the input impedance of a device connected to the thermometer must be much greater than the output impedance of the thermometer.

Peak Hold
Output of the maximum temperature measurement indicated by an instrument during the time duration for which this display mode has been active.

Photondetector or Quantum Detector
A type of detector in which the photons or quanta of energy interact directly with the detector to generate a signal.

Pyroelectric Detector
Thermal detector that has a signal generated by means of the pyroelectric effect wherein changes in temperature of the detector generates an electrical signal.

A broad class of temperature measuring devices, originally designed to measure high temperature, but some are now used in any temperature range. Includes radiation pyrometers, thermocouples, resistance pyrometers, and thermistors.

Radiance Temperature
The temperature of a black body which has a radiance equal to the radiance of the object at a particular wavelength or wavelength band.

Radiant Energy
The electromagnetic energy emitted by an object due to its temperature.

Radiation Thermometer
A device used to measure the temperature of an object by quantification of the electromagnetic radiation emitted therefrom. Also, a radiometer calibrated to indicate a blackbody?s temperature.

Rankine or R
The absolute temperature scale related to Fahrenheit in the equivalent manner Kelvin is to Celsius. R = 1.8 x K, or also R = F + 459.67.

Reference Junction or Cold Junction
Refers to the thermocouple junction that must be known in order to infer the temperature of the other or thermocouple measurement junction.

The ratio of the radiant energy reflected from a surface to that incident on the surface.

Reflected Energy Compensation
A variable used to achieve greater accuracy by compensating for background IR energy that is reflected off the target into the instrument. If the temperature of the background is known, the instrument reading can be corrected.

Relative Humidity
The dimensionless ratio of the actual vapor pressure of the air to the saturation vapor pressure (abbreviated RH). Percent relative humidity is expressed as the product of RH and 100. For example an RH of 0.30 is a percent relative humidity of 30%.

The degree to which a single instrument gives the same reading on the same object over successive measures under the same ambient and target conditions. The ASTM standard E 1256 defines it as the sample standard deviation of twelve measurements of temperature at the center of the span of the instrument. Generally expressed as a temp difference, percent of full scale value, or both.

See Temperature Resolution, Optical Resolution, or Spatial Resolution.

Response Time
The time for an instrument?s output to change to 95% of its final value when subjected to an instantaneous change in target temperature corresponding to the maximum temperature the instrument can measure (per ASTM E 1256). The average time required for software computation within the processor is also included in this specification for Raytek products.

Recommended Standard (RS) 232 is a standard developed by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) that governs the serial communications interface between data processing and data communications equipment and is widely used to connect microcomputers to peripheral devices. [Ref. 1] The present revision is EIA-RS-232-D, which defines the interface between Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) and Data Communications Equipment (DCE) employing serial binary data interchange. The standard does not define the protocol or format of the binary stream. The standard comprises three parts: electrical characteristics, interface mechanical characteristics, and functional description of the inter change circuits. The equivalent international standard is Comite Consultatif International Telegraphique et Telephonique (CCITT) V.24.

A recommended standard developed by EIA that defines a balanced interface and is an expansion of RS-423 that increases the data rate to 10 Mbps.

A recommended standard developed by EIA that defines an unbalanced interface and is an expansion of RS-232 and provides improvements included increased connecting cable lengths, increased data rates, and use of multiple receivers on line.

A recommended standard developed by EIA that is an improvement over RS-422 in that it allows an increase in the number of receivers and transmitters permitted on the line.

RTD Resistance Temperature Device
A contact measurement device whose resistance varies with temperature.

Sample Hold
A temperature taken from a target and displayed or held for a set period of time or until the next external reset occurs.

Radiant energy reaching the detector of an instrument from the background other than that which is reflected from the target.

Set Point
Process or measurement variable setting which when crossed by the measured value will trigger an event and/or cause a relay to change state.

Shock Test
An impact test where an object or test unit is subjected to an impulsive force which is capable of exciting mechanical resonances of vibration.

Signal Processing
Manipulation of temperature data for purposes of enhancing the data. Examples of signal processing functions include Peak Hold, Valley Hold, and Averaging.

Silicon (Si) Detector
A photon detector used in measurement of high temperatures.

Size-of-Source Effect
The effect by which the energy collected by, and temperature reading of, an instrument continues to increase as the size of a target increases beyond the field-of-view of the instrument. It is caused by two occurrences: the remaining energy above the percentage used to define location and scattering of radiation as it enters the instrument such that energy from outside the FOV of the instrument enters it. The existence of this effect means that the accuracy of the instrument may be affected by targets that are too large as well as two small. This effect is also called Target Size Effect. [ASTM STP 895]

The ratio of the emissivities for the two spectral bands of a 2-color radiometer. The emissivity of the shorter wavelength band is divided by the emissivity of the longer wavelength band. Slope can be greater than, equal to, or less than unity. Slope accounts for materials where emissivity varies with wavelength.

Spectral Filter
An optical or infrared element used to spectrally limit the transmission of radiant energy reaching an instrument?s detector.

Spectral Response
The wavelength region in which the IR Thermometer is sensitive.

The diameter of the area on the target where the temperature determination is made. The spot is defined by the circular aperture at the target which allows typically 90% of the IR energy from the target to be collected by the instrument. See also Size-of-Source Effect.

Stare or Lag
A saturation effect whereby the signal from an instrument endures beyond the response time after the target has been removed from the field of view. Can be caused by exposing the sensor to a target of high temperature for an extended period. The effect is expressed as the increase in response time required for the sensor to return to within 5% of the correct reading.

Storage Temperature
The ambient temperature range an instrument can survive in a non-operating Range mode and perform within specifications when operated.

The object upon which the temperature is determined.

Target Size Effect
See Size-of-Source Effect.

Teflon® is a brand name and a registered trademark of DuPont.

A property of an object which determines the direction of heat flow when the object is placed in thermal contact with another object (i.e., heat flows from a region of higher temperature to one of lower temperature).

Temperature Coefficient
The change in accuracy of an instrument with changes in ambient temperature from that at which the instrument was calibrated. Usually expressed as the percent change in accuracy (or additional error in degrees) per change in ambient temperature. For a rapid change in ambient conditions, refer to Thermal Shock.

Temperature Resolution
The minimum simulated or actual change in target temperature that gives a usable change in output and/or indication.

Temporal Drift
See Temperature Coefficient.

Thermal Detector
Detector in which the photons of incident radiation are converted to heat and then into a signal from the detector. Thermal detectors include pyroelectric, bolometer, and thermopile types.

Thermal Drift
See Temperature Coefficient.

Thermal Radiator
An object that emits electromagnetic energy due to its temperature.

Thermal Shock
An error due to a rapid change in the ambient temperature of an instrument. Expressed as a maximum error and the time required for performance to return to prescribed specifications.

A semiconductor material whose resistivity changes with temperature.

A set of two junctions of two dissimilar metals used to measure temperature by means of the Peltier effect, whereby heat is liberated or absorbed by the flow of electrical current through a junction of two dissimilar metals such that an electrical potential develops between two such junctions in proportion to the difference in temperature of the junctions. A variety of types exist including:

J (Fe / constantan) K (chromel / alumel)
T (Cu / constantan) E (chromel / constantan)
R (Pt / Pt - 30% Rh) S (Pt / Pt -10% Rh)
B (Pt - 6% Rh / Pt - 30% Rh) G (W / W - 26% Re)
C (W - 5% Re / W - 26% Re) D (W - 3% Re / W - 25% Re)

Thermoelectric (TE) Cooling
Cooling based on the Peltier effect. An electrical current is sent through two junctions of two dissimilar metals. One junction will grow hot while the other will grow cold. Heat from the hot junction is dissipated to the environment, and the cold from the other junction is used to cool.

A thermal photograph generated by scanning an object or scene.

A number of similar thermocouples connected in series, arranged so that alternate junctions are at the reference temperature and at the measured temperature, to increase the output for a given temperature difference between reference and measuring junctions.

Time Constant
The time it takes for a sensing element to respond to 63.2% of a step change at the target.

Transfer Standard
A precision radiometric measurement instrument with NIST traceable calibration in the USA (with other recognized standards available for international customers), used to calibrate radiation reference sources.

The ratio of IR radiant energy incident on an object to that exiting the object.

Triple Point
The condition of temperature and pressure under which the gaseous, liquid, and solid phases of a substance can exist in equilibrium. For water at atmospheric pressure, this is typically referred to as its freezing point.

Two-Color Thermometry
A technique that measures the energy in two different wavelength bands (colors) in order to determine temperature. The 2 color technique has been shown to be effective for correcting errors due to partial blockage of the target caused by dust particles.

Valley Hold
Output of the minimum temperature measurement indicated by an instrument during the time duration for which this display mode has been active.

Confirmation of a design with regard to performance within all prescribed specifications.

Vibration Test
A test where oscillatory or repetitive motion is induced in an object (as per MIL-STD-810 or IEC 68-2-6), which is specified as an acceleration in g?s and power spectral density (PSD), after which the unit is tested for proper operation.

Warm-Up Time

Wall Street Journal

Energy-Tuning Your Home

Audits can detect leaks, suggest fixes
January 19, 2008; Page W1

Five days ago, I got audited.

A man arrived on my doorstep, notebook in hand, and for three hours inspected every room of my house. He asked about my electric bills and scrutinized my home office. But it wasn't tax-filing flaws he sought -- it was fissures in my insulation, doors and window frames. My visitor was a professional energy auditor. His mission: to find my home's inefficiencies and lower my heating and electric bills.

[House slideshow]
Latex caulk is cheap and goes on quick to plug small openings where the ceiling, window frames and baseboards meet walls.

While energy audits have been conducted for decades, often through utilities, many were free, eyeball-only inspections that noted basic woes (the need for more attic insulation) but didn't go much further. In today's world of costly heating and cooling bills, along with carbon-footprint consciousness, there is a fast-growing industry of analysts wielding high-tech tools such as infrared cameras. They produce comprehensive reports on a home's energy efficiency, along with suggested fixes and contractors.

Unfortunately, that information doesn't come cheaply -- typically, $300 to $700, though aid often is available for low-income homeowners and some utilities provide audits free. Plus, almost anyone can call himself an "energy auditor," making it tough to know who is legit. Some suggest products and services to fix energy flaws -- but don't always disclose that they have ties to the products' makers or sellers. That has sparked a push by two nonprofit groups to develop a single certification standard, to be announced this year, defining what these intensive audits should include as well as training and ethics criteria for the auditors.

"That's the challenge we are facing," says Claudia Brovic, a director with the Residential Energy Services Network (Resnet), one of the two nonprofits. Her group, along with the Building Performance Institute, help certify companies and individuals who offer energy audits, working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. "People need to know what they are getting."

[About the house promo]
Take a room-by-room look at how Ms. Bounds fixed the energy hogs in her home.

Interest in home audits is rising in tandem with energy prices. Traffic has climbed 53% in the last year on the Energy Department's audit-information Web page, which gives links to reputable auditors. Resnet now has 3,000 certified raters, and Ms. Brovick says interest is "growing fast." One utility, Connecticut Light & Power Co., says that some 4,400 customers received audits last year, double the number in 2006. And many states and utilities make available financial incentives for energy upgrades. For instance, under the PA Home Energy project launched in August, residents of western and central Pennsylvania can get $200 to $1,000 for improvements that lower energy bills.

Auditing could become a year-round gig thanks to a movement to mandate audits during home sales. Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed what could become the first state requirement that home sellers provide prospective buyers with an audit scoring the home's efficiency; several other states are mulling similar moves.

Realtor groups oppose the plans, saying they will slow home sales in a weak market. "There's a lot of momentum to have some type of rating done at the time of sale, and it's a very touchy issue," says David Lee of the Energy Star program, an initiative between the EPA and Energy Department.

For now, most consumers simply want to know whether it is worthwhile hiring an auditor. While you can find some of the most obvious air leaks yourself, the more advanced exams look at everything from appliance efficiency to potential health hazards like carbon monoxide. They also compute annual savings from suggested fixes. The site estimates that sealing air leaks and adding insulation, for instance, can reduce energy costs 10%.

For my part, I vaguely knew where problems lie in my 30-year-old, two-story house in rural New York: in a breezy entranceway and a long swath of glass doors. My annual cost of heating and electricity had leapt nearly $900 last year to about $3,500. But I wasn't sure of the cause or proper remedy. So I called in the pros.

My auditor, Chris Puleo, works for BPI-accredited Green Star Insulation in Danbury, Conn. Green Star sells cellulose insulation, which Mr. Puleo discloses on his business card. He calculated my home's interior volume in cubic feet, wrote down model numbers of my appliances and examined my heating system -- an oil boiler that pumps hot water through pipes along the floor.

The good news: Since I don't have an attic, recessed ceiling lights or an unfinished basement, and I don't have forced-air heat, which requires ducts, I lack several of the typically leakiest items. But my boiler is old, my industrial freezer guzzles kilowatts and costs about $200 a year to run (a surprise to me), and the hand-me-down washer/dryer set from my parents is horribly inefficient.

[Energy audit illustration]

Afterward, Mr. Puleo attached a fan contraption called a blower door to my front entrance; that pulled air out of the house, letting the higher outside air pressure flow through cracks. He marched around the interior with a smoke stick, which created white smoke that flickered around offending electrical outlets and windowsills. "This is mostly smoke and mirrors," he conceded. "I can walk in here and tell you most of what needs fixing, but it makes a good show for consumers."

But the real "aha" came when Mr. Puleo's boss, Joe Novella, arrived with an infrared camera that produced thermographic images of warm and cold areas; it's a tool Energy Star recommends along with the blower door. Dark spots indicated where cold was creeping in: It turns out the metal frames of my sliding glass doors are terrible insulators -- a culprit I'd never considered. Both men had flagged this earlier, but seeing it in Technicolor drove the point home.

That night, Mr. Puleo emailed me a 27-page report recommending fixes, many of them costly -- replacing the boiler, buying new appliances and doors. All told, the upgrades totaled a whopping $45,289, which the report cheerfully noted would result in an annual greenhouse-gas reduction equivalent to not driving a car for 11.1 months.

Still, he pointed out cheaper ideas, like wedging a bat of mineral wool against my fireplace damper to quell drafts. And he gave me a short list of priority upgrades totaling $2,647 that would yield an estimated $578 in annual savings, such as sealing air leaks, tuning up my furnace, installing a programmable thermostat and replacing my clothes washer. The audit itself cost $299.

I'm glad for the new info about my house, and I'm already doing some of the simple solutions myself. Meantime, I'm hoping this is the only audit I will face this year.

Write to Gwendolyn Bounds at

Level l IR Thermography Certification

Level I certification is the first of three levels of IR certification. Level I IR thermographers are typically newer to IR thermographic diagnostics. This does not imply that they are entry-level inspectors or condition monitoring technicians, indeed many Level I professionals have years of experience in construction technology, building practices, and overseeing or maintaining complex systems. Level I thermographers generally follow a written test procedure to evaluate specific types of equipment in their facility. They can operate their infrared cameras and software and identify and measure thermal anomalies based on thermal patterns, comparisons with similar equipment, and their own experience.


I strongly encourage you to accompany me so that you may ask questions and gain a better understanding of the systems.

If you have any questions, or are interested in any other services, please contact me so we may discuss your specific needs.


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