Our Family Room Is Freezing!


This is great information for those with palladium windows.  Infrared cameras are a terrific tool for a home inspector to detect leaking windows.  If the seal is broken, you may not realize it until a future date.  It should be detected during the inspection.

Via Jay Markanich (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC):

This is an easy one!  All you need is a website for people with a home inspection problem to find you, a car to get you to where they live, and some really cool tools, including an infrared camera.  Beyond that, knowing what you are doing is important, but you have already demonstrated that with your fabulous website!

Showing up at the house, you want to make sure the front porch ceiling is painted light blue!  When they are not, the IR camera can find things that perhaps you did not want to run into during the inspection!  If the porch ceiling is light blue, and the house thus guaranteed ghost free, just get started!

Rooms can be cold for these reasons:

1.  The windows.

2.  The insulation.

3.  The windows AND the insulation!

This house is five years old.  This high-ceilinged family room has always been cold.

Rooms with high ceilings are hard to heat.  The heat naturally rises and any cold naturally sinks.  Sometimes with an IR camera you can actually see stratification of the air temperatures in a room.  It can be a rather colorful display depending on the color palette a thermographer chooses to demonstrate it.

In the palette used here, blues and purples indicate cooler temperatures.  Certainly cooler temps can be seen all around this bank of windows.  The insulators did a poor job installing the insulation.  Either it was loosely attached (without staples) and sinking over time, or it is minimally present.  Either way this area will get cold.

But look, there is another problem.  Do you see the lavender area in the palladium window?  Its seal is beginning to break.  Double-pane windows have a seal all around which encases an argon gas inside.  This gas, along with any coatings on the glass, provides energy efficiency.  If the seal breaks and the gas dissipates, air gets introduced.  This brings in humidity (you have all seen perspiration inside of windows) and makes the window less efficient.

But as the glass loses that efficiency and cold gets through, it pulls the two panes of glass together.  The closer they are, the colder the two panes become.

Thermographers call this a “bull’s eye” pattern.  You can see why!

This is a classic bull’s eye.

Now look at the palladium window above and you can see the beginnings of that pattern.  That window is beginning to fail!

As it does, and gets worse, the problem in this room will get worse.

My recommendation:  Call a thermographer who can diagnose many different kinds of problems – temperatures, leaks, electrical, various!

Thermal infrared imaging – it’s not just for leaking anymore!  Call your local, and very cute, thermographer!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia


About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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