Many people are unsure exactly what a thermographic survey is for and how it can be useful. Our energy experts explain all…

The UK’s housing stock is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe. Currently, housing (including space heating, hot water, lighting, cooking and appliances) accounts for 20% of all energy use in the UK. Of that, space and water heating accounts for around 80% of total domestic energy consumption. Much of this energy we use escapes, providing little benefit and costing us money. This is why thermographic surveys are vitally important.

What is a thermographic survey?

Thermal Imaging, Thermal Video and Infrared Thermography are all examples of infrared imaging. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum to produce images of that radiation called thermograms. The level of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature. Therefore, thermography allows one to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against coolers backgrounds.

Thermographic surveys have become increasingly sought after within the building construction industry for both new builds and existing properties. Thermal Imaging Surveys provide an instant non-disruptive image of a building fabric which identifies uncontrolled air leakage pathways, cold bridging and insulation defects.

Thermographers use a thermographic camera to detect thermal signatures and assess the integrity of the building fabric, including continuity of insulation, avoidance of thermal bridging and air leakage paths. These results are then summarised in a report which can be used to improve the efficiency of heating and in some cases, air conditioning units.

Why have a thermographic survey?

We offer residential and commercial thermal imaging surveys, for new build and existing properties. Our surveys aim to help improve the thermal comfort and energy efficiency of the property. By implementing the finding of our surveys, you will not only save money on future energy bills, but also significantly reduce the buildings carbon footprint. Unlike many of our competitors, we perform internal and external assessments to provide a comprehensive understanding of where heat is being lost.

Other reasons include:

1)      Satisfy BREEAM requirements

BREEAM assessments have credits available for testing and inspecting the buildings fabric by conducting a thermal imaging survey to BS EN 13187.

2)      Continuity of insulation

A thermal imaging survey will show that the insulation has been installed correctly throughout the building, it will highlight any missing or badly installed insulation that may lead to heat loss.

3)      Insulation Quality

Thermal imaging will show that the specified levels of insulation have been installed and at the correct thickness.

4)      Identify Air Leakage

Thermal imaging combined with air tightness testing is the best way to find air leaks in a building’s envelope.

5)      Black Mould / Condensation Issues

Often thermal bridging issues cause the cold spots in the building fabric where condensation and consequently black mould occurs. Thermal imaging can identify the causes of black mould. We use thermal indexing calculations to assess condensation risk.

What is the process?

1)      Give us a call on 0117 25 10101

When you call, we can discuss in detail the problems which you are encountering with heat loss/draughts and any objectives, concerns, or priorities you may have. We may also ask for details such as: the age of the property, the types of windows and doors, if it has any extensions, or conversions. 

2)      Book a time that works best for you

Thermal imaging is a process that is most reliable, and therefore best undertaken, in cold weather, most commonly between November to April. It is typically performed in the early morning or late afternoon/evening. This is because surfaces need to be free of direct solar radiation (sun light) for at least 4 hours.

3)      Conduct the survey

Once a time has been arranged, one of our technicians will carry out a survey. They will take photos of the interior and the exterior of the building. Although exterior shots are useful to gain a general understanding of the building’s fabric, most testing will be performed inside. This process takes between 1 – 2 hours. 

4)      Receive report

We aim to get the survey back to you within 5 to 10 working days. The report includes a detailed examination of the problems found by our technical, along with the thermal images taken as evidence.

Prior to conducting our survey, please read our ‘Thermographic Survey Requirements’.

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