Gaines Group Architects

Green Term Defined: Infrared thermography

Green Term Defined: Infrared thermography

Infrared Thermography, thermal imaging, or thermal video, is a type of infrared imaging used for determining air leakage in energy audits. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 900–14,000 nanometers or 0.9–14 µm) and produce images of that radiation. In other words, you can see temperature variation on a surface in bright colors to determine air movement or thermal bridges. This allows you to determine strategies for reducing energy usage in a building. This is a tool that is used in energy audits.


Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects based on their temperatures thermography makes it possible to “see” one’s environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature, therefore thermography allows one to see variations in temperature.