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Blown insulation is common in attics and walls of older homes since it can be added after construc- tion through small holes drilled between the studs. Blown insulation is usually less insulative than other methods and it settles over time, so re-application is usually required to maintain its R-values. Blown insulation presents two issues for thermal imaging. The first is that normal settling within the walls can make a structure appear to have a false heat signature near the tops of the walls.
THERMAL IMAGING TRAINING >>> By BRAD HARVEY Baby, It’s Cold Outside The Effects of Energy-Efficient Living on Thermal Imaging Operations H oles in the ozone, energy con- Sprayed insulation is an expanding • Low-E glass – The “E” in Low-E stands servation, global warming, ris- liquid sprayed onto bare-stud walls with a for emissivity. Recall that a thermal imager ing sea levels, green living, green paint-sprayer-style device and rapidly ex- bases everything it knows on emissivity. building, global calamity on a scale never pands to fill the void. It is similar to the foam Generally speaking, emissivity refers to the before seen by man. Depending on which used inside your fire helmet and to protect rate at which a surface emits thermal en- media pundit you listen to, life as we know the electronics inside your ergy. Low-E then is designed it should be coming to an end soon. Right, thermal imager. Sprayed to limit the very thing that wrong or indifferent, the call for environ- foam is very efficient, since Steps taken your thermal imager is at- mental responsibility and energy-efficient typically there are no voids tempting to look for. Low-E living has had an impact on the way many in the application and the to limit the glass is generally constructed homes and businesses are constructed and foam has superior R-values. using multiple layers of spe- this in turn has an impact on your ther- mal imaging operations. Insulation in the The problem is that some foam is not as resistive to transfer of heat cially coated reflective glass with an inert insulative gas walls, floors and ceilings; low-E window glass, radiant floor heating, skylights and flame and smoldering fires can develop inside the in- into or out of in between. While a thermal imager cannot see through other steps taken to limit the transfer of sulation itself and may not glass of any type, it can detect heat into or out of a structure have all had be visible with a thermal a structure warm glass in standard win- an impact on thermal imaging operations. imager. For this reason, it dows; however, Low-E glass • Insulation – Insulation comes in is generally best to cut the have all had makes this process difficult different types, including rolled, blown, foam out of the walls in during size-up. sprayed, rigid and reflective, each with in- sulative values called R-values. The higher sections during overhaul to make sure that there are no an impact on • Skylights – Skylights are becoming more popular the R-value, the better the insulation. Each behaves differently when evaluated by a lingering issues. Blown insulation is
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