Using Thermal Imaging for Mechanical and Home Repairs
A thermal camera provides you a way to see heat as visible light. While the original use of the technology was for military purposes, thermal imaging can also help with a number of common repairs many people make during their lives. If you want to know how thermal cameras can help you complete your maintenance tasks, here are a few examples.
One of the best applications of thermal imaging is to identify overheating issues in certain components. Whether you are working on a vehicle, building, or piece of equipment, being able to see where the heat is coming from can be incredibly helpful. Devices like the Seek thermal camera make it easy to see where the source of the problem is locating and can speed up repair efforts through simpler identification of trouble spots.
For those working in the construction or HVAC fields, being able to see heat leaking through faulty insulation can help pinpoint systemic inefficiencies. It can indicate when ductwork needs to be repaired or replaced, as well as when the insulation around certain components has become ineffective. When used outside of a building, you can identify any points along exterior walls that may have insufficient coverage as well as easily see drafts caused by windows or doors that are no longer sealing properly. All of these uses can be included as part of a home energy audit to ensure your home is as efficient as possible.
Loose wires and other electrical issues often produce excess heat. Since these components may be difficult to inspect by simply looking them over, you can use a thermal imaging camera to identify any points that appear to be producing excessive amounts of heat. Often, excess heat is a sign of a potential problem including potential fire hazards.
While it might not be obvious initially, thermal imaging can help you identify sections of drywall that have previously been patched. Patches don’t automatically indicate a problem, but it can provide evidence of prior issues that affected the building. For example, water damaged drywall must often be replaced. If only a small area was damaged, a patch might be used instead of replacing all of the surrounding drywall. Even though the issue may now be resolved, it can be helpful to know where issues occurred should signs begin to show that there may be a problem.
Clogs and Leaks
Another unexpected use of thermal imaging is to discover clogs and hidden leaks in your plumbing. Areas holding hot water will show up clearly on thermal cameras, providing indications regarding the source of particular plumbing issues. This can help you determine which method may be required to unclog the pipe or fix the leak without having to purchase other equipment or try a variety of solutions until one finally works.
Thermal imaging can help identify hidden fires when smoke prevents them from being easily seen by those on scene. They can also help identify people in other scenarios where visibility to compromised, such as search and rescue operations after dark.
While not related directly to maintenance, some photographers have chosen to explore the beauty of thermal imaging. If you are looking for unique, custom artwork, consider taking your thermal camera for a spin and see what kinds of images you can capture. If you enjoy the results, then you may have found yourself a new hobby.