Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (IHP) is currently sponsoring a building science training series. The most recent training took place in Normal, Illinois at Heartland Community College on Infrared technologies such as infrared cameras and images used to detect problem areas in buildings. Brian Kumer, owner of Thermal Imaging Services, was the instructor for this 8-hour course which consisted of both a classroom portion and a field portion.
During the in-class segment of the training, students were taught a variety of uses for their thermal imaging equipment and how to interpret what they saw. Important factors in image taking were considered such as which color scheme to use and why and how many images should be taken. Students were also taught how to spot “red-flag” areas, places that are almost always an issue for energy efficiency and potentially a source of air infiltration. In addition to air infiltration, the students were taught that their thermal images could be used to find leaks in mechanical system, ducts, and to spot trouble with steam traps in radiator systems. The students were shown a series of non-infrared photos and asked to spot potential problem areas. The students were then shown the same images using infrared technologies. This juxtaposition allowed students to gain an understanding of the types of problems IR technology can assist them in identifying.
The second half of the training, the field portion, took place at the Underwood House near Heartland Community College. The house featured an unconditioned garage, conditioned crawlspace, finished basement, 3 levels, and an attic. With numerous opportunities for infiltration due to the design of the house, and a great day to spot temperature differentials between indoors and outdoors, students were able to see areas of major and minor infiltration. These issues became more apparent when a blower door was set up to negatively pressurize the house and the house pulled in cold air to make up the air pushed out by the blower door. Students were able to use the knowledge they gained in the classroom in typical real world, gaining hands on experience.
The IHP Building Science Training Series features many other aspects of home improvement, in addition to the infrared technologies course, which can be beneficial to contractors, homebuilders, code officials, and to anyone in the energy efficiency field. If you have any questions about classes offered or Illinois Home Performance, please visit our site: http://www.mwalliance.org/programs/home-performance or contact Will Baker at 312-784-7240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.