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IR Thermometer for Isulating Walls??

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by szmaine, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    371
    Loc:
    Mid-Coast Maine
    We are in the process of replacing our dead boiler and are using a Maine Efficiency program that gives rebates (getting a $2000 rebate, so 6K boiler with boilermate install will be 4K - SWEET!)
    A person had to come and do a pre-installation check as required by the guidelines of the program. He started pointing an IR thermometer at my walls and found a cold spot - we have blown in rock wool but have found gaps during renovations ourselves - I know they are trying to push me into a full house audit ($600) so I can do weatherization also. But you have to have it done by a contractor which is not gonna happen since I can do it myself.

    But now I am very intrigued by getting an IR thermometer myself.
    Has anyone here used their IR therm for this and gone in and actually found that the cold spot was indeed a void in the insulation?? If so, I'd like to hear what you discovered.

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  2. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,524
    Loc:
    SE PA
    In a word, yes. I can 'see' the studs and furring strips behind the drywall on a cold day with mine, cold air infiltration points and exfiltration points in my attic floor, as well as breaches in my flex ducting, under the insulation wrap. Poor man's IR camera, and def takes the guesswork out of where to put airsealing/insulation effort.
  3. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    May 25, 2008
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    Loc:
    Western PA
    Yes, I've used mine in the same way. You just have to go slow, and make sure you hold the IR gun at the proper distance from what you want to read. Also, if there's a source of radiant heat in the room, it'd be best to stop it for a while, then use the gun to check for spots where heat is leaving the fastest. A hot stove can mask any poorly insulated area within sight.
  4. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
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    371
    Loc:
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Thanks for chiming in both of you. I've already ordered one - god, I love new toys.

    Gonna go at the weatherization hard this spring - did alot in the beginning when we bought the place 5yrs ago, but got a little burnt out when confronted with the under-insulated attic - knob and tube, 150 yrs mouse/bat sh*t, vermiculite (yeah, the good kind from Libby, MT), slope ceilings and kneewalls, etc
    Time to face it!
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    If you haven't already seen it, take a look at the book titled "Insulate and Weatherize." I don't recall the author but it was published in the past few years. Very worthwhile for what you are planning.
  6. rustynut

    rustynut Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    302
    Loc:
    mid mich
    I like tools that pay for themselves..........
    What does something like that cost ?
    rn
  7. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    371
    Loc:
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Depends on the brand $30-80 I've seen. I just order a Kintrex for $47 with Amazon. If you search the forum you'll find many threads with cost and brand recommendations.

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