Infrared Thermography is a space age military application that has been successfully applied to energy analysis work. Hand-held cameras similar to digital cameras and camcorders can detect and record small variations in temperatures.

When properly used by skilled professionals, IR Thermography can detect missing insulation, air leaks, wet insulation, electrical hazards, pending equipment failures (heat build-up), and a wide variety of other non-energy related functions that involve temperature variations.





The operation of IR Thermography equipment depends on the application. If used to check building envelopes for insulation integrity, the best time is on a cold, calm night, long after the influences of the sunshine have faded. To check for hot spots during the cooling season, work inside the facility. Equipment hot-spots or water damage can be checked pretty much any time.


Thermography equipment is extremely sensitive to small differences in temperature. The equipment must be used correctly and ethically to produce reliable results.


Sample Findings of IR Thermography in Industrial Energy Audits






Steam boiler with no insulation on the front.





Autoclave with no insulation on front and several steam pipe fittings





Steam boiler economizer is not functioning





Blow Down Heat Recovery Exchanger not working


Roof Deck


Underside of a steel roof deck. Taken during winter, dark areas are wet, colder areas showing areas of wet heat loss





Hot spots in shell of RCO Unit

More Information

Open a PDF article about how to conduct an IR Scan on an industrial flat roof IR Roof Inspection



FLIR IR Thermography unitFLIR Systems
America’s Main Office, USA
16 Esquire Rd
North Billerica, MA 01862
Telephone: 1-800-GO-INFRA (464-6372) or 1-978-901-8000

Go to their web site at




6920 Seaway Blvd.
Everett, WA USA 98203
Telephone: 1-800-760-4523

Go to their web site at




IR Camera packageSierra Pacific Corp.
284 Sea Rim Ave
Las Vegas, NV   89148
Telephone: 702-369-3966

Go to their web site at











Source: Text Bob Fegan 1/2009; IR roof image from Sierra Pacific web site 9/2003; rev 9/2005; revised 2/2008 – IR and Digital photos by Bob Fegan;


© 2008 Energy Solutions Center400 N. Capitol Street NWWashington, DC 20001                                                                      All rights reserved. Legal                                                                  Contact our webmaster

Share This