What to look for if you can’t achieve sufficient Delta-T?

Question sent in by Level 1 thermographer…

“What do you look for if you can’t achieve sufficient Delta-T?”

Peter:                    I look for a different day to do the job. Anybody who gets into this business should be following the weather for their particular area of the world. And if I can’t get a sufficient Delta-T on a given day, I move the inspection to an appropriate day. Typically, with energy audits, home owners are looking for finding out why their utility bills are so high, and if they have wait a week, that’s what they have to do.

                            For me as a professional infrared thermographer, when I go out and perform these inspection, and of course what we teach all of our students, is we want to produce nothing but the top professional reports. And so, if I only have an eight degree temperature differential, I’m going to likely come back at a time when I can get that better differential.

Dean:                   A thought that comes to my mind. Let’s say you had a big warehouse, that’s a big open space, obviously you can’t introduce air conditioning or heating to that because it would take a long time to heat it up, whereas if you were thermal imaging someone’s lounge room, you could heat that up nice and quick, so you could do that year round, versus the big open space, that would take possibly a couple of hours to achieve a sufficient differential  – is that sort of what you were alluding to when waiting for a better time for the job?

Peter:                    Well, no, typically the people who are looking for these are inspections are residential home owners, but if you do have a warehouse, and somebody wanted it imaged for some reason – and let’s say it is a refrigerated warehouse and they want to find out where the problems are – you know, that’s one of the situations where a warehouse would be looked at, but you do what you gotta do, and honestly you’ve got to put your mind to what you’re doing – you can’t just go and expect everything’s going to be perfect – that’s not the world we live in.

                             So when you manufacture your heating and cooling, depending on the time of the year, some situations are going to take longer – a bigger house is going to take longer, but usually that’s accommodated for in the size of the heating system that’s in that home. So if you have a bigger home, usually you’re only getting between two and three thousand square feet per heating system, so if you’ve got a bigger warehouse, they usually gonna have a sufficient size heating and cooling system to accommodate that.

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