That’s not a new Snapchat filter. That’s Thermal Imaging with a professional FLIR Infrared camera.  There are many different uses for an infrared camera like this.  It allows the user to capture differences in temperature, the dark purple is cold and the bright yellow is hot.  When choosing a Home Inspector make sure to choose one that uses this technology. Many areas of the home are inaccessible to the eye and without thermal imaging a lot of issues can go un checked.

This tool can help to identify air intrusion and extrusion, moisture intrusion, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, insulation gaps, overloaded electric circuits, HVAC leaks, and much more.  A quick scan with the thermal camera is a great addition to any Home Inspection.

Some people seem to think that a thermal camera can “see” through the wall or through clothing.  This is NOT true.  The camera captures radiation from whatever it is looking at. For example, thats me in the picture at the top.  It was a cold day and I took my jacket off and all the heat radiated off my body and was captured by the camera, but you can’t see through my shirt.

Above you can see a missing section of insulation in the wall and heat is escaping.  This day was very cold and the heat loss really popped off the camera screen.

From the inside of another house.  To get the best thermal images I turn the heat way up to get a better Delta T (Difference in Temperature).  Windows lose a lot of heat, but those cold spots creeping up the wall from the ground are moisture.  This is called “Rising Damp”.  Moisture rises up the siding and causes damage and possibly mold.

Lastly is a heat lamp in an attic directly above a bathroom.  There is so much heat it looks like it is on fire!  There is zero insulation around the lamp which is leaking very warm air into the cold attic.  Warm air + Cold Air = Moisture.  Not good for an attic without proper ventilation.

These are just a few of the things I have seen using Thermal Imaging.  I use the thermal camera on every home inspection because it allows me to see things that I could never have seen with my naked eyes.

Energy Efficiency is a breeze with a thermal camera.  You can hunt for heat loss and gaps in heat supply piping.  A quick scan of a home on  very cold or very warm day can narrow down areas where small improvements can make a big difference on the heating and electric bill.

If you have questions about thermal imaging just contact us and we will be glad to help.

Read more

In 2005 dryer vents were responsible for about 14,000 house fires.  This is a shame because many could have been prevented with the proper connections, set up and regular cleaning.  Over time the lint from the dryer will build up inside the exhaust duct and can cause a fire.  One indication that the duct is becoming blocked is if your dryer heats up but the clothes inside are still damp when they are done.  This can indicate that the warm, moist air is being restricted and not leaving the dryer as it should.

vent fire

Most newer homes are set up with dryer safety in mind and easy access to clean, where some older homes the location and access is not ideal and it can be more difficult to clean.  You should clean the exhaust duct on a regular basis.  Disconnect the exhaust duct and stick a shop vacuum in there and reconnect after.

A few things that I look for when I am inspecting dryer vents:

Is the duct connected and go all the way outside?

Some ducts are not connected properly and some just come loose over time. Some ducts vent into a crawlspace or attic.  This will put that moist warm air into places where it can linger and lead to moisture issues and possibly mold.  You want the warm moist air to go OUTSIDE.  There can be backflow protection, but not a screen.  A screen will just catch all the lint and block up faster.


How long and how straight is the duct?

The duct should be as straight and as short as possible.  No longer than 25 feet.  Each 90 degree bend in the pipe reduces the total allowable distance by 5 feet.

What is the duct made of?

The duct should be METAL.  The duct should be smooth on the inside and not have any fasteners or screws going into it that could catch lint and cause a build up.

Lastly, do not connect 2 separate dryers to the same vent like this picture:


If your laundry load really requires 2 separate dryers, please take the time and install another vent to the outside and run 2 separate exhaust ducts.  One for each dryer unit.  Or go to the Laundry Mat. 

For more information on Home Inspections contact us at:

Read more