RICE – TXLESOP: MODULE 4 – Thermal Imaging

Thermal Imaging Overview


Thermal imaging is a technology that allows for the detection of temperature variations in a particular area. This technology is often used in home inspections to identify potential issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. Thermal imaging equipment is listed in the SOPs in rule §535.227(a)(i)(1) under specialized equipment.

The colors in the thermal image of the attic below show the variations of surface temperatures between 73.6 degrees and 88.4 degrees.

The SOP is clear when stating that the inspector is “not required to use specialized equipment,” This does not mean the inspector can’t use specialized equipment. The only requirement for the use of thermal imaging equipment is that the inspector must possess the competency required to do so, as stated under TREC rule §535.227(a)(4).

One of the major benefits of thermal imaging during a home inspection is the ability to detect issues with insulation. Poor insulation can lead to energy inefficiency, which can result in higher energy bills for homeowners. Thermal imaging can detect areas where insulation is missing or not properly installed, allowing for the homeowner to address the issue and improve energy efficiency.

Thermal imaging can also be used to detect issues with electrical systems. Overheating electrical components can be a sign of potential problems, such as faulty wiring or overloading of circuits. A thermal imaging camera can detect these issues by detecting the abnormal heat generated by the electrical components.

Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool when used to detect issues with HVAC systems. A thermal imaging camera can detect areas where there may be a leak in ductwork, which can result in decreased efficiency and increased energy costs.

Thermal imaging can also be a great tool to detect issues related to water. A plumbing leak or a roof leak can be difficult to detect visually, but a thermal imaging camera can detect temperature variations that may help to identify an issue related to water.

Overall, thermal imaging is a valuable tool for home inspectors as it allows them to detect issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. No, it is not x-ray vision, but this technology can help inspectors provide homeowners with a more thorough inspection by identifying and addressing potential problems early on. This can save the homeowner time, money, and headaches in the long run.