Is there such a thing as “fourth-party validation?” If not, there should be! At MHH, we know we build energy-efficient homes because the third-party EarthCraft certification proves it. But now, we have VISUAL proof that we build a tight, energy-efficient home for our homeowners!
I had the pleasure of meeting a Chris Curles, an Atlanta home inspector who uses a highly advanced infraRED thermal imaging (aka IR) camera during his inspections. He used the thermal camera to look for any issues “in the walls” of the home – insufficient insulation, air leakage, water leaks etc.
What this type of camera can “see” is truly amazing.
I had Chris walk me through one of our homes in Stonehaven at Vinings and look at it through the thermal camera’s “eyes.” Chris also lent me some images of homes that don’t pass the “smell test,” so you can compare the GOOD and the REALLY BAD.
In the imges below, the orange-yellow portions are the insulated areas of the walls or attic, while the blue to purple areas are the uninsulated areas, most often the wall studs (wood.)
You can see that removing one section of insulation changes the temperature of that area 7 degrees! Imagine if you had a whole wall that wasn’t properly insulated, the temperature of that room would be drastically different, and would cost more to heat and cool.
Here’s the GOOD:
Now you can SEE for yourself what a great insulator the blown cellulouse insulation is in a Monte Hewett home (and it is made of recycled newspapers too.)
These are images of the heating ducts in the attic. What is important to note is that there is little to no air leakage where the ducts are sealed – you see very little bright orange at the edges of the ducts. This is visual proof that the homes we build cost less to heat and cool. If you live in an EarthCraft certified Monte Hewett home, you can breathe easier!
Here’s the really BAD:
Ready to see what The BAD looks like? Feast your eyes… these are shots from another home Chris inspected (not a Monte Hewett home of course!) Yikes!
Now, if you do not live in a Monte Hewett home, there are ways this new thermal technology might help you. This camera can spot water leaks with one sweep of a room. Do you have a room in your home that is drafty or colder than the others? Thermal imaging can determine where the air leaks are located. Think you may have a roof leak? Now you can track it down and be sure before you call out the roofing company to try and find it.
And on a personal note: On a quick run through my personal home, Chris’ super-charged camera found a “cool spot” in the ceiling of a bedroom…something you couldn’t see with the naked eye. We were concerned it might be a water leak, but after a quick trip to the attic, we determined it was a just spot where the satellite TV guy had moved the insulation to wire my satellite. Whew! Without the infraRED, I would never have known.
What a cool tool!
Thanks to Chris Curles for the thermal imaging lesson and for the “fourth-party” validation of our homes! If you are interested in having Chris inspect YOUR home, you can contact him through his website: www.homeinspectionsatlanta.com
Director of Marketing, MIRM, CMP
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