August is known for its hot and humid weather. This year is shaping up to not disappoint. With all the home inspections we conduct, we also include a thermal scan. While conducting an inspection this week, I was using my infrared camera around an attic access. The attic hatch was located in the hallway along with the thermostat. This attic hatch did not have insulation on it nor did the door seal properly with the ceiling. Needless to say, the attic space was extremely hot that day. Temperatures in the attic were in excess of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The air conditioner was on and the house was a cool 70 degrees. When I used the thermal imaging camera on the attic hatch it showed that 88 degree Fahrenheit air was escaping from the attic into the conditioned living space. Why is this a big problem? Well, due to the hot air entering the cool, conditioned space, it could potentially cause condensation issues where the hot air and cool air meet. The other problem associated with this hot air escaping into the house is that it is doing so right above the thermostat, which could cause the air conditioner to run more than it actually needs to, since the thermostat will pick up the hotter air that has been infiltrating the house. Also, the hot air will negate the cooling effects of the air conditioner and cause it to work harder.
This is a source of energy loss in the house that could cost the client a higher heating bill in the winter and a higher cooling bill in the summer. Finding deficiencies such as these are not the end of the world, but we point these issues out so you are aware of the problem and the potential consequences it may cause if left unchecked.
Please don’t hesitate to call us if you need anything or have any questions!