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6 Potential Pitfalls with Thermal Imagers—and 6 Solutions

Here are some tips, courtesy of Danny Parker (Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center) and Chris Carroll (Owner, Carroll’s Inspection Services) on avoiding potential pitfalls of thermal imagers to ensure the most reliable data and images.

1.  Problem: Lack of Comparative Assessments
Solution: Research what other consumers are saying about thermal imager brands.  Check reviews (like Consumer Reports), including price, features, customer support, software, etc.   It helps to have sources that back up your salesperson!

2.  Problem: Emissivity
Solution: For accurate temperature measurement, apply paint or electrical tape to objects that have unusual emissivity (metal, foils), since paint and tape have known emissivities.

3.  Problem: Reflectivity
Solution: Beware of bright floors/walls, mirrors, windows—any surfaces that reflect light—as they can produce false readings.

4.  Problem: Seasonal Considerations
Solution: Best results are achieved when the temperature difference from the inside to the outside of the structure is maximized, typically during heating or cooling seasons.

5.  Problem: Lack of Software and Firmware Support
Solution: Research which companies provide the best customer support with software revisions and firmware updates—less hassle the better!

6.  Problem: Lack of Scale Settings
Solution: Purchase an imager that allows you to set the range and use the range consistently for accurate comparisons.

Now get to work with your thermal imagers!  And if you have any cool, funny infrared pictures, we’d love to see them!

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