Dept of Energy Recommends Use of Infrared Home Inspections

Home Inspector with HomeSafe Inspection

Publication from the DOE says thermographic scans by trained technicians are usually accurate enough to hold up in court.

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a publication advising home buyers to get an infrared (thermographic) inspection before making a final purchasing decision.  The recommendation appears in the online version of DOE publication, "A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy" (EERE).  The publication outlines the benefits of infrared scanning of a house to detect problems with energy efficiency.  IT goes on to state, "In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes."  "You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house," the publication adds.  "A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings." 

To read the publication, visit  Enter the keyword "thermography" in the Search/Help box on the upper right-hand side of the screen. 

HomeSafe Inspection pioneered the use of infrared technology in home inspections and pest control inspections.  HomeSafe's high-powered, customized IR technology, combined with acoustic (listening) sensors, empower inspectors to, in effect, "see" and "hear" through a house's walls, floors and ceilings, uncovering hidden problems that may go undetected in an ordinary visual inspection.  HomeSafe has also made the technology affordable through its franchise and lease/licensing program for home inspectors and pest control operators. 

For more information on HomeSafe Inspection's advanced technology visit our blog at or call 714-981-2404.

Comments (1)

James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The DOE  suggests these inspections in relation to energy loss in the thermal envelope, not as a general home inspection tool. Since you are trained, (Level ? Thermographer) you would understand that yielding the best results from infrared is knowing when the time and conditions are right to use the camera. This is not usually going to be during the home inspection, all though it can be if arrangements are made with infrared scanning in mind.

I just put up a blog on the use of infrared thermal imaging and its limitations. Seems a great many companies are selling it as the be all, end all home inspection device. Quite simply it just isn't so.

I perform energy audits in addition to home inspections. The majority of the work I do with infrared is with heating and cooling loss. Very little with or during a home inspection. I have found that the information from the camera is inconclusive most of the time in these situations. I will do infared inspections separately from a home inspection. I find this is a much better way to utilize the abilities of the infrared camera and get good results and information.

Jun 19, 2007 07:15 AM