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How Thermal Imaging Helps With AC Maintenance And Service

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Thermal imaging is a technique that detects objects by measuring their infrared radiation. The thermal imaging equipment uses radiation to crease the targeted objects' images. Thermal imaging is useful for detecting hidden objects and defects, especially defects inside appliances.

Below are some ways HVAC contractors use thermal imaging for system maintenance.

Identifying Electrical Faults

ACs draw considerable electricity to run motors, fans, and other electrical parts. Electrical faults are dangerous and can interfere with AC efficiency. AC contractors may use thermal imaging to detect electrical faults.

Thermal imaging of electrical issues is possible since many electrical faults cause overheating. For example, loose electrical contacts and damaged motors can overheat due to increased electrical resistance. Thermal imaging can detect overheating and help diagnose electrical faults.

Evaluating Air Issues

Thermal imaging of the air is possible because objects, including air molecules and particles in the air, emit some energy. AC contractors use thermal imaging to analyze different aspects of airflow in your house. Below are examples of air issues thermal imaging can help with.


Your AC works best if it delivers fresh air to all rooms and the air circulates throughout the house before returning to the AC. Thermal imaging allows AC contractors to monitor airflow. For example, the contractor can tell whether cool air stays on one side of the room instead of circulating throughout the house.

Duct Leaks

Duct leaks interfere with AC efficiency since they lose cool air and allow warm air to infiltrate the ducts. Thermal imaging can detect air flowing into and out of the ductwork.

Building Insulation

Ideally, air should not leave or enter your house through unauthorized avenues. Otherwise, dirty air can contaminate your house, and the house can lose conditioned air. Thermal imaging can help detect air loss through unwanted areas, for example, around plumbing pipes.

Detecting Water Leaks

ACs extract water from the air and help regulate your indoor humidity. Ordinarily, the extracted moisture should condense and flow out of the AC through the condensate drain line for safe drainage. Problems occur if the water doesn't drain as it should. For example, moisture can corrode the AC and encourage mold growth.

Thermal imaging can detect water leaks before they cause problems. The detection is possible because the thermal detectors can detect damaged areas, such as small cracks. The moisture-affected areas will also have different temperatures from other parts of the AC, and the thermal detectors can spot the differences.