If you find your home getting too warm in summer, too cold in winter, or suffering from mould or condensation problems, there is likely a problem with your insulation. But short of tearing through your walls, how are you going to know for sure?
Thermal imaging is a technology that allows you to see pools of hot or cold air in your walls, which will allow insulation experts to see problems in your insulation without causing any damage to your home.
Why is Proper Insulation Important?
Insulation works by stopping hot and cold air from passing through your walls, keeping your spaces temperate all year round. Without proper insulation, you will pay more in heating and cooling costs because you are losing or gaining temperature via your walls.
Not only does poor insulation lead to you paying more in energy bills, but it can also lead to unhealthy and unsafe conditions in your home. Mould growth is commonly seen in homes without proper airflow control and can be not only unsightly but also dangerous. Mould can cause breathing problems, fatigue, and headaches, as well as exacerbating allergies and asthma.
There are a few telltale signs that you might need to take a closer look at your insulation. If you wake up to highly condensed windows in colder weather, this could be one of the first signals. Similarly, if you feel as though your home is damp in the winter, and that laundry and other wet items struggle to dry in your home, that’s likely caused by insulation problems.
If the problem continues to worsen, you will begin to notice more and more telling signs of insulation problems. Damp patches on the wall, peeling wallpaper, and mould growth all tell you that it’s time to get your insulation checked out by a professional.
What Is Thermal Imaging
Thermal imaging is a process that allows you to analyse the heat signatures of your home digitally and see what effect the insulation is having. Thermal imaging is done using a thermal camera, which shows you the hot and cold spots within your walls. These are likely to be the areas where you’re missing insulation.
How Does Thermal Imaging Work?
Thermal imaging cameras use infrared technology, measuring heat and showing this in a visual picture of colours differentiating the temperatures measured. This allows for a way to see the heat transfer going on inside walls, roofs, and floors.
Since its invention, thermal imaging has become one of the most popular and valuable tools in any insulation professional’s toolkit. Previously, the only way to find out the information that a thermal camera provides was by ripping up walls and ceilings.
Thermal cameras measure radiated heat and convert this energy into a visual picture of the area behind the walls or under the floor. In recent years Thermal Imaging technology has become one of the most valuable diagnostic tools for all types of leak detection.
Spotting Insulation Leaks With Thermal Imaging
A thermal imaging camera will be able to easily detect areas of heat loss or gain, but it can be a bit tricky to know what you are looking at if you don’t have previous experience. You are looking for patches of light or dark colour that contrasts with the rest of the screen.
There is also a range of additional features that you can use to learn more about what’s going on inside your walls. This is where the eyes of a professional can come in very handy. An expert will know exactly what they are looking at and will be able to assess the best way to fix it.
Common Insulation Leakage Areas
There are a few areas of the home where there are more likely to be spots of missing or inadequate insulation. Anywhere where a wall and roof meet would be worth checking with the thermal camera. Attached garages could be another place where heat is being lost because it’s often overlooked when installing insulation.
It’s important to note also that insulation can settle and change over time, so even if your home’s insulation was done thoroughly, it could have gaps now. Also, if modifications to the home have been made after the insulation was installed, its effectiveness may have been undermined.
A common example of this is downlights, which intentionally allow temperature flow between the room and the roof cavity. While the light fitting is plugging the hole visually, thermally, it is less temperature resistant than the unbroken plaster surface of the ceiling.
Windows are one of the most powerful lines of defence against heat loss in your home. It can be tricky to know how much heat is being lost through your windows if you weren’t present during your home build and are not sure how many glaze coatings are on them.
Thermal cameras can identify how much heat is being lost through your windows, not only through the glass itself but also through the insulation surrounding the window. Proper window insulation can prevent up to 30% of your home’s heat loss.
Insulation thermal imaging is a powerful tool to help you ensure that your home is well insulated, allowing it to remain temperate year-round. You can use a thermal camera yourself, or you can get the help of a professional to ensure you understand what the camera is telling you and what you need to do with that information.
If you don’t have access to a thermal imaging camera but would like to arrange an appointment for a specialist to analyse your home, get in contact with ECO Home Insulation today to arrange an appointment.