Thermal Imaging Helps Locate Enclosure Air Leakage

Feb 01, 2014

Effective enclosure commissioning often includes a whole-building leakage test and air-leakage investigation, The leakage test determines whether the specified tightness has been achieved, while the investigation finds remaining air leakage that should be addressed. One of the most effective investigation methods is to combine thermal imaging (an infrared, or IR, scan) with a visual investigation of leakage sites. The IR scan can investigate large sections of an enclosure surface in a relatively short amount of time to identify likely leakage location. However, an IR scan must be backed up with visual, acoustic, or smoke puffer methods to determine the leakage path and severity, as well as sealing options. This article details methodologies and tips for performing the scan and test.

Dave Bohac, PE, Center for Energy and Envrionment
Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Building Enclosure Technology and Envrionment Council (BETEC), NIBs

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