We can’t see air with a thermal imager, right? Anyone who has completed Level I training knows this very well. A common follow-up question is always why, then, can thermographers still detect air leakage bypasses in buildings?
That’s possible because an infrared camera senses changes in thermal patterns created by air moving over a surface (given there’s a temperature difference) when either infiltrating into (example seen here, image above), or exfiltrating from, a building.
Thanks to a video that my fellow colleague, and ITC Instructor, Ron Lucier recently sent in it looked like, at least for a fleeting moment, that we might have to re-consider this question; can we see air with infrared? In his video, available below, it certainly appeared that way when using a FLIR GF320 mid-wave infrared camera to view air leakage. Was it actually detecting air? How was this possible? Well not exactly, as we’ll explain, but it was still interesting to watch: