The image of success
WVC instructor’s thermal imaging work featured in online magazine
Wenatchee Valley College instructor Greg Jourdan’s success using thermal imaging to identify air leaks in a log home is featured in “Fluke News Plus,” an online publication of the Fluke Corporation.
The home discussed in the article is at Lake Wenatchee. The home’s owner contacted Chelan County PUD for help because the home was cold and drafty. Jourdan, an HVAC expert and Chelan PUD consultant, used thermal imaging equipment and blower-door technology manufactured by Fluke to spot air leaks. The PUD’s goal — and Jourdan’s – was to identify problems that could help the homeowner improve comfort and lower electric bills.
The home ultimately was re-chinked and caulked to reduce heat loss.
Energy auditors use thermography, also called infrared scanning, to detect thermal defects. 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 or other measures are needed.
Blower doors test air leakage in building envelopes. Blower doors use a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. These tests determine the air infiltration rate of a building.
“Infrared inspections were seen in the past as affordable solely for large commercial organizations, but now thermal imagers are more available and lower in price,” Jourdan says in the article. “Homeowners want to use the technology to find sources of energy losses: air leaks, insufficient insulation, and moisture problems. Over time, correction of these problems will save the homeowner a significant amount of money.”
But homeowners can take action to improve energy efficiency without using special equipment. Jourdan’s recommendations are simple:
- Seal air leaks throughout the home to stop drafts
- Add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
- Choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing windows
Chelan PUD offers weatherization rebates to customers who add insulation and upgrade windows.
Read Jourdan’s article here.