Message Board Thread - "Career as a Thermographer - level 1"

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Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 11/30/2010
Hey Guys, I am new to this forum and need some advice.

I am in the middle of my home inspection certification program and would like to market myself as a thermographer while I am working on my certification.

My questions are:

1. Is this something good to get into? I dont want to invest on a IR camera and the certification before I do my research.

2. I am leaning towards getting a Flir i7 camera. I know its not a fancy one. But does it get the job done?

3. Should I be expecting this as a seasonal business since temperature differential in winter is more than in summer and so I might get more business in winter than in summer. I am askign this because I wont be using a blower door for my heat/cool loss inspections to create pressure differntial.

Can someone please shed some light on this.

Thanks
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Jarrod 11/30/2010
I too am getting into thermography. I looked at the I7 its a entry model. If your going to do audits a b series camera would suffice. Go to the flir website and check out the differences. Also you'll probably need a good moisture meter to back your findings on some issues. You dont really need a blower door, but it helps if your doing energy audits. Alot of times turning on the bathroom vent fan, and the stove exhaust fan would suffice. I believe if your going this route make sure the water tank and furnace are off cause you make suck CO from the vents, because of the negative pressure in the house.

\hope this helps

Jarrod
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 11/30/2010
Hey Jarrod,

How far are you into this? Have you started marketing yourself already? Hows the response?

I see your point about i7 being the entry level camera but the one which is one level up is a B series and its almost 4 times the value of an i7. I didnt want to spend $8k on that camera and get stuck with the montly payments if something work out. I do however, planing on upgrading it once I get going as planned.

I am actually planing on scheduling a demo with a distributor for i5, i7 and a B series. I have been told by the FLIR people that i7 can get the job done. what you dont find in i7 (on the top of my head) is a laser beam, a flash, a little bit of resolution and being able to integrate with a moisture meter.

A laser can be replaced by an IR thermometer, flash can be replaced a flash light. the resolution of 120 x 120 is still nto bad considering that i5 has a resolution of 80 x 80.

Your thoughts?
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Gary Orlove 12/1/2010
The FLIR i7 meets the RESNET thermal-imaging inspection requirements, so that is the best choice if your budget is tight.

You can inspect in summer, although winter generally works better. You just need to be sure you have the proper temperature differentials. Training on camera usage and interpretation is key, so remember to figure that into your budget as well.
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/1/2010
Gary Orlove wrote:
R i7 meets the RESNET thermal-imaging inspection requirements, so that is the best choice if your budget is tight.

You can inspect in summer, although winter generally works better. You just need to be sure you have the proper temperature differentials. Training on camera usage and interpretation is key, so remember to figure that into your budget as well.
Thanks Gary,

In summer, if we ask the owner to crank up the AC to a point where we can see a clear temp differential then would it not be as good as inspecting in winter?
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Gary Orlove 12/1/2010
Mobius01 wrote:
Thanks Gary,

In summer, if we ask the owner to crank up the AC to a point where we can see a clear temp differential then would it not be as good as inspecting in winter?
Generally you can't crank up the AC to give you the temperature differentials we can get in winter. In winter, for instance, if its 70 F inside and 20 F outside, you have a 50 F temperature differential.

Let's say its 90 F outside in the summer. The interior would have to be 40 F to provide a similar temperature difference, I don't think too many AC units can provide that.

Most standards require a 10 C or 18 F minimum (15 C in Canada)delta T to do thermal imaging. Of course, you can see more, and more easily, if the temperature differentials are larger, that's why its easier and generally more effective to image in the winter.

Air infiltration due to stack effect is also much more pronounced in winter, than summer.
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/1/2010
Thank you.

So this mean that in summer if it is 90F outside then we can do an inspection because ideally the house would be set to 70F (room temperature) which will give us a 20F temp differential?

I would just hate for this profession to be a “seasonal gig” 

Thanks
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/1/2010
Gary Orlove wrote:
R i7 meets the RESNET thermal-imaging inspection requirements, so that is the best choice if your budget is tight.

You can inspect in summer, although winter generally works better. You just need to be sure you have the proper temperature differentials. Training on camera usage and interpretation is key, so remember to figure that into your budget as well.
Can you post a link where the RESNET thermal-imaging inspection requirements are listed?

Thanks
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Gary Orlove 12/1/2010
http://www.resnet.us/standards/RESNET_IR_interim_guidelines.pdf
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Jarrod 12/1/2010
I really haven't started marketing myself yet. I'm waiting for the ITC course to come to my city in April. I have a Domain name, but I'm waiting till I have certification. HI in Manitoba is unregulated, so I guess I could market myself, I have a business name etc. I'm currently with interNachi and they have a good course for IR, but I would still need 16 hours of real class time to get there certificate, its not certification tho. If your going to get the i7 make sure you get the software.

Thanks,
Jarrod
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Jarrod 12/1/2010
Before I forget, There's alot of people out there that have purchased flir's camera's. If you want to buy one slightly used or new, try ITC classifieds, or ebay, snell, or craigs list and kijiji. Hope that helps.

Jarrod
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/1/2010
Jarrod wrote:
y haven't started marketing myself yet. I'm waiting for the ITC course to come to my city in April. I have a Domain name, but I'm waiting till I have certification. HI in Manitoba is unregulated, so I guess I could market myself, I have a business name etc. I'm currently with interNachi and they have a good course for IR, but I would still need 16 hours of real class time to get there certificate, its not certification tho. If your going to get the i7 make sure you get the software.

Thanks,
Jarrod
Yeah, me too. I am in the process of incorporating my business and registering a domain name. I still have a lot to do before I can start marketing my servies but I am a still disappointed that my training course is offered in the end of March. I was under the impression that it will be offered sometime in Feb.
I am in Ontario and based on the weather pattern here in April not sure if i will be able to fully start this gig until next winter.
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/1/2010
@Jarrod
Oh..and i7 comes with the reporting software so I dont have to worry about it.
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Jarrod 12/2/2010
There are courses offered through ITC. There's one coming up on Dec 6th in Toronto. Check out the courses offered. If you can't access the course schedule, Email Flir and request course dates, location and times. Flir and ITC are one in the same.

Jarrod
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Mobius01 12/2/2010
Jarrod wrote:
re courses offered through ITC. There's one coming up on Dec 6th in Toronto. Check out the courses offered. If you can't access the course schedule, Email Flir and request course dates, location and times. Flir and ITC are one in the same.

Jarrod
Yes, there is one coming up on Dec 6th but I cant attend that. Plus, i have not bought a camera yet, need to do a little more research.
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 Gary Orlove 12/2/2010
There is also a course in Feb. See below.

Feb 07-Feb 10, 11 Boston, MA
Apr 18-Apr 21, 11 Astoria, OR TBD
May 10-May 13, 11 Boston, MA
 
Re:Career as a Thermographer - level 1 IRGuys 12/26/2010
For those who are a little further along in this business development...

Can anyone offer up a reasonable price tag that can be expected for performing this service?
Ex. For a 1,500-2,000 sqft house, conducting a thermal audit would cost....?

HOW are you advertising this service since the majority of folks wouldn't know what a thermal image survey is? I mentioned to a few friends I was thinking about becoming a thermographer and doing thermal image scans. Their typical response was, "Huh? What is that?" So, what is the selling point?

 


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