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  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    Eatonville, WA
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    Default Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Thanks for looking at this thread. (I have been a member for over three years and mostly read here)

    First, I am not a Home Inspector, but am in the market for a Thermal Imager.
    From looking around, it seems like I will be setting my budget at or around $1000.

    My uses will be at home and the newly acquired rental house.

    Here are my wants, needs and desires.

    I want a unit with fairly good accuracy or differentiation, fairly good resolution and a reasonable response time. Video is not a requirement. Static Images would be nice.

    The primary use will be to determine where I am leaking cold air, and what walls might be the worst exterior walls in terms of insulation (floors and ceiling also).

    While I may not recoup the cost by energy savings, this is not a big concern. I will probably put this in the family loaner pool of tools and equipment.

    Last edited by Glenn R Cummings; 01-08-2014 at 07:03 PM.
    Inspection Referral
    Glenn Cummings
    Eatonville, WA.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    1,769

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn R Cummings View Post
    Thanks for looking at this thread. (I have been a member for over three years and mostly read here)

    First, I am not a Home Inspector, but am in the market for a Thermal Imager.
    From looking around, it seems like I will be setting my budget at or around $1000.

    My uses will be at home and the newly acquired rental house.

    Here are my wants, needs and desires.

    I want a unit with fairly good accuracy or differentiation, fairly good resolution and a reasonable response time. Video is not a requirement. Static Images would be nice.

    The primary use will be to determine where I am leaking cold air, and what walls might be the worst exterior walls in terms of insulation (floors and ceiling also).

    While I may not recoup the cost by energy savings, this is not a big concern. I will probably put this in the family loaner pool of tools and equipment.
    Flir E4

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Ebay...

    Buy a lightly used imager, as your budget really doesn't allow much in the way of resolution. Shoot for 120x120 or thereabouts, else the image will be blocky and vague.


  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    Eatonville, WA
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Flir E4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Ebay...
    Shoot for 120x120 or thereabouts
    Looked at Flir E5, this may be possible.
    Feed back? (120 x 90 is all)

    Will look at ebay also for used unit.

    Glenn Cummings
    Eatonville, WA.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,546

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    New Tech! - The Inspector's Journal Forums

    A new iPhone attachment by Flir for about $350. Check it out.

    Not good enough for work, but a fun device for a home owner, IMO.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    Eatonville, WA
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    New Tech! - The Inspector's Journal Forums
    A new iPhone attachment by Flir for about $350. Check it out.
    Not good enough for work, but a fun device for a home owner, IMO.
    Interesting, but not what I'm looking for. (Besides, I don't have an iPhone )

    Glenn Cummings
    Eatonville, WA.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,248

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    New Tech! - The Inspector's Journal Forums

    A new iPhone attachment by Flir for about $350. Check it out.

    Not good enough for work, but a fun device for a home owner, IMO.
    Interesting, but it becomes worthless (almost) when you upgrade or change your phone ... they should have made it adaptable for all smart phones.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Interesting, but it becomes worthless (almost) when you upgrade or change your phone ... they should have made it adaptable for all smart phones.
    isn't that just an app? I can operate both of my Flir cams with iphone or Ipad, for free..

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn R Cummings View Post
    Thanks for looking at this thread. (I have been a member for over three years and mostly read here)

    First, I am not a Home Inspector, but am in the market for a Thermal Imager.
    From looking around, it seems like I will be setting my budget at or around $1000.

    My uses will be at home and the newly acquired rental house.

    Here are my wants, needs and desires.

    I want a unit with fairly good accuracy or differentiation, fairly good resolution and a reasonable response time. Video is not a requirement. Static Images would be nice.

    The primary use will be to determine where I am leaking cold air, and what walls might be the worst exterior walls in terms of insulation (floors and ceiling also).

    While I may not recoup the cost by energy savings, this is not a big concern. I will probably put this in the family loaner pool of tools and equipment.
    common sense
    hire a pro or rent an imager if you feel qualified...use the savings/difference to retrofit/repair/replace what's found

    you may not know, what you don't know

    absence of thermography fundamentals, building science knowledge & misinterpretation of images is not uncommon amongst the "certified wand wavers" in our industry

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    isn't that just an app? I can operate both of my Flir cams with iphone or Ipad, for free..
    Looks like it is a physical device which the iPhone 5 fits into.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Sep 2008
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Looks like it is a physical device which the iPhone 5 fits into.
    Hmm, sounds interesting. I'll have to check that out.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    I'm with Marc on the E4 recommendation... good bang for buck and fits the bill for a non-pro or at least someone *not* doing Building Envelope IR.

    FYI Hands On Review: FLIR ONE iPhone Infrared Camera | Ivy Tools Blog

    I'm guessing that these devices will be doing all sorts of things they should and shouldn't do. Who knows.

    From the reviewer...

    In the same way that the iPhone digital camera has not replaced the SLR digital camera, the FLIR ONE is not going to replace the FLIR thermal cameras used by professionals the world over. Like the iPhone, the FLIR ONE has no focus operation–nor is one necessary in most conditions. The FLIR ONE will also not be the camera of choice for those who need to see fine thermal detail, view images at a long distance, or make very accurate temperature measurements. But using the same SLR analogy, the FLIR ONE is positively the first available “point and shoot” thermal imager.
    Maybe Flir will place a "non-professional use" sticker on the box... ya think?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Spargo View Post
    From the reviewer...
    " the FLIR ONE is positively the first available “point and shoot” thermal imager"

    Guess that reviewer is either too young to remember or is not much of a reviewer - when I bought my infrared camera 10 years ago, Infrared Solutions at the time - Fluke bought out their infrared camera operations, my camera was fully automatic and was, indeed, 'point and shoot'.

    And, even being fully automatic, it beat the quality of the FLIR cameras of the day with a much higher resolution, even the FLIR cameras which cost 3 times more than that one (which was $13,000 then). The FLIR cameras with their adjustability were, no doubt, more versatile than my camera was, but all that adjustability was a negative for my uses (I was not going into to commercial/industrial/substation electrical installations and performing thermal imaging of the electrical switch gear).

    I would love to have an infrared camera like my old one, it would make a great tool for what I still do.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager


  15. #15

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Hire a professional thermographer. Don't waste your money on a complicated piece of equipment.
    If you suspected you had cancer and could get an MRI for $50, would you interpret the images yourself?

    www.dapkusinspections.com
    www.chicagoinfraredthermalimaging.com
    Infraspection Institute Certified Level III Thermographer # 8510

  16. #16
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    If they can make that one work and it will work with all brands of smart phones at a price like that, they will have created the 'better mouse trap' and learned how to 'slice bread' great.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-13-2014 at 05:57 AM. Reason: used better terms
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn R Cummings View Post
    Thanks for looking at this thread. (I have been a member for over three years and mostly read here)

    First, I am not a Home Inspector, but am in the market for a Thermal Imager.
    From looking around, it seems like I will be setting my budget at or around $1000.

    My uses will be at home and the newly acquired rental house.

    Here are my wants, needs and desires.

    I want a unit with fairly good accuracy or differentiation, fairly good resolution and a reasonable response time. Video is not a requirement. Static Images would be nice.

    The primary use will be to determine where I am leaking cold air, and what walls might be the worst exterior walls in terms of insulation (floors and ceiling also).

    While I may not recoup the cost by energy savings, this is not a big concern. I will probably put this in the family loaner pool of tools and equipment.
    Here are some possibilities.
    Shop thermal imager online Gallery - Buy thermal imager for unbeatable low prices on AliExpress.com


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eatonville, WA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Quote Originally Posted by Linas Dapkus View Post
    Hire a professional thermographer. Don't waste your money on a complicated piece of equipment.
    If you suspected you had cancer and could get an MRI for $50, would you interpret the images yourself?
    Sorry, I reject the argument as a non-sequitur.
    As a home-owner for years, managing rental property and my intended uses, we are not really talking about complicated equipment.

    Since I am not as fast as I used to be, owning equipment for me is cheaper than hiring or renting.
    I am capable of self-study, learning and gaining experiencing and can seek help where needed.

    For me, using the imager, addressing the problem and re-imaging in my own time is a preferred method. It also allows me to add to the family loan pool of tools, equipments and services.

    Please note, that If I had an MRI, you can be sure that I would look at them.

    I rebuild engines, reload ammuntion, build fire-arms, was a leading aero-space senior systems architect, run tractors on the farm, inject immunizations, cook, tie flies, fish, pay too much taxes, and support the constitution.

    A little imager does not intimidate me. God has blessed me with aptitude.

    Glenn Cummings
    Eatonville, WA.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a homeowner Thermal Imager

    Glen,
    Stop by a Home Depot rental center (check online for which has IR cameras to rent) where you can rent an Flir ix series camera for $45/4hr or $75/24hr. Rental may be your best path. At least you can see if you have a real valid long term use or just a one or two time project need.


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