FLIR Cameras Help 
Assure Green Results
 
Advertorial • by Tom O’Toole, FLIR Systems, Inc.
 
Green building initiatives strive for greater energy efficiency by using new types of insulation and through the innovative uses of existing materials. Still, these efforts don’t always get the results that were envisioned. Installation errors can spoil the best construction designs and material properties. 
 
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that one-third of all energy inefficiency in a building is caused by air infiltration, duct leakage, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, etc. Thermal imaging with infrared (IR) cameras can reveal areas causing energy loss, whether they are the result of design weakness or installation errors.
 
It’s often hard for a building designer, contractor, or owner to believe that a new structure will end up costing thousands of dollars more than necessary due to excessive energy consumption. While occupants may provide comments like, “This room is either too hot or too cold,” they don’t help find or quantify the problem. Thermal imaging lets everyone see exactly where the problems are located, and provides temperature measurements that correlate with the amount of energy loss.
 
Thermal energy results in IR radiation that is measured by an IR camera and displayed as a visual image with an associated temperature scale (see figure). The digital photo of a room with faulty insulation shows nothing, but a thermal image shows exactly where the problems are and their severity. The temperature scale to the right of the thermal image shows areas behind the walls and around the window that are some 10 degrees cooler that the rest of the room. That represents a lot of energy loss.
Considering that heating and cooling accounts for about 45% of a building’s utility bill, identifying inefficient and leaky areas caused by design and construction problems can help reduce energy consumption significantly. Besides insulation problems, energy loss can be caused by leaking air ducts, poor air balancing, ineffective weather stripping, kitchen and bath exhaust leakage, and a host of other problems.
 
A FLIR IR camera is an economical instrument that clearly reveals these problems. Its lightweight, compact design makes it easy to carry all around a building, inside and out, to view and record images and temperatures that will reveal problem areas. These can be shown to a client to support the need for corrective work that should be done to achieve the objectives of a green design.
 
Also offered are infrared training courses on weatherization intended to give a student the depth of knowledge necessary to perform IR surveys of homes and identify weatherization issues. The class covers IR camera operation; fundamentals of IR science and heat transfer principles; use with other testing such as blower doors; techniques, tips and tricks for weatherization; IR surveys; and application examples. 
 
Flir offers 2 day intro courses (approved by RESNET for 16 CEUs and BPI for 8 CEUs) and 4 day certification courses (approved by RESNET for 32 CEUs and BPI for 16 CEUs).
Stop by booth 5337 at the GreenBuild Conference & Expo, November 10-12, 2009 in Phoenix to speak to one of our representatives. 
 
For more information, please visit www.flir.com/thermography, or call 1-800- 464-6372.  
If you are interested in infrared training, visit www.infraredtraining.com, or call 1-866-872-4647.

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