Infrared scan of attic hatch (C) D Friedman S Bliss PEP

Advice on Using Infra Red & Thermal Scanners for Tracing Heat Loss

  • THERMOGRAPHY IR Infra Red & THERMAL SCANNERS - CONTENTS: Thermal scanners or infra red IR scanners and thermography cameras ease finding points of heat loss or air infiltration in buildings. Air Leak Detection & Energy survey tools. Tools for "House Doctors" survey buildings to find and fix energy losing air & heat leaks
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about using thermography or infra red or IR scanners during building & environmental inspections
  • Solar Age Magazine Articles on Renewable Energy, Energy Savings, Construction Practices

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Where to buy infrared scanners & thermography equipment: This article discusses sources of thermal scanners, IR scanners, thermography cameras and other tools used for the detection of heat loss or air infiltration in buildings.

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Suppliers of IR InfraRed Scanners, Thermography, Thermal Scanning Equipment

The accompanying text are reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss. The question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

Information on Thermal Scanners


I would like some information on the AGA 782 thermal scanner shown on the opening page of "House Doctors with Better Medicine" (Solar Age 9/84 p. 27.) Are there many other companies that sell thermal scanners? -- Leon Grant, Dover NJ


  • Swedish-based AGA Infrared Systems AB was [in 1984] the world's oldest and largest manufacturer of infrared scanning equipment. In the 1980's the top-of-the-line Model 782 cost around $32,000 and had many features. The hand-held AGA model used by PEP and described in
    cost (in 1984) $12,500. In the 1980's Inframetrics also produced hand-held thermal scanners in the U.S.
  • Currently and for some time we (DF) have made extensive use of a non-imaging low-price, small hand-held IR scanner provided by Exergen - a device costing less than $1000.
  • FLIR Thermography - produces IR cameras and scanners
  • See THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY for complete details about buying & using thermal imaging, training, and equipment sources including recent innovations that add smartphone attached thermal imaging cameras as well as larger commercial thermal imaging equipment. There we include a complete list of sources of thermal imaging, IR and related equipment.

Advice on Using IR Infrared Scanning Equipment for Building Surveys

We have made regular use of small hand-held IR or thermal scanner equipment in building inspection surveys for nearly twenty years. The two most common uses we've made of the equipment include: [-DF]

  1. Heat Loss: Surveying buildings for variations in temperature, indicating areas of heat loss: air bypass leaks, missing insulation. In addition to spotting specific "cold spots", if there is a significant temperature difference between indoors and outside, thermography can quickly identify compare temperatures on interior partitions with exterior walls.
  2. Leaks: Surveying buildings for evidence of recent leaks, wet insulation in building cavities. Be careful: an old leak into a building cavity may have completely dried out, producing no IR detectable information, but problematic mold, rot, or insect damage could be present. Visual evidence of building leak history and a recording of building details likely to have led to leaks or water entry are important.
  3. Electrical overheating: a number of home inspectors have successfully used IR and thermography to identify overheating electrical components at electrical panels, electrical switches or receptacles, at wiring serving electric heating baseboards, and where aluminum branch circuit wiring is installed. Overheating electric motors, compressors, and even blower fan bearings can be observed using these methods as well, provided that you have a baseline of normal temperatures.

    See ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS for an example of aluminum wiring overheating shown in the two photographs below.
Photograph of  this overheating and improperly-made aluminum to copper pigtail splice. Photograph of  this overheating and improperly-made aluminum to copper pigtail splice.

Thermography Education and Training

Readers wishing training on use of thermography, IR or infra red equipment, for building surveys or other applications, should also contact the Institute of Infrared Thermography.

The question-and-answer article about sources and use of infrared thermal scanners and heat loss detection equipment, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is followed by an expanded/updated online version of this article.


Continue reading at THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.


Or see THERMAL TRACKING BRIDGING GHOSTING for an example of visual clues that identify building air leaks and heat loss with no instruments whatsoever.

The IR thermal imaging photo at page top is discussed at BASEMENT HEAT LOSS DETECTION.

Suggested citation for this web page

THERMOGRAPHY IR Infra Red & Thermal Scanners at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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