(WREG-TV) A picture is worth a thousand words, but the ones taken with an infrared camera could be worth savings on your utility bill.
"It’s not x-ray vision, it’s thermal energy," Grayson Smith said.
We tagged along with Smith, owner of Memphis Thermal Photography, as he pointed his infrared camera around a Midtown home.
The camera shows where cold air is creeping in the house.
The temperature differences show up on the screen in different colors, with the hotter things in yellow and the colder in purple.
He starts in the living room, where the camera shows missing insulation.
On a different wall, the mail slot lights up in purple.
“The cold air-filled up this whole wall space,” he said.
The cold air was also coming through the outlet on an exterior wall.
The most dramatic pictures were captured at the attic door.
“The quarter-inch gap that goes around the pull down stairs, if you add up the linear inches, it’s nearly the same as a five-inch hole in the side of your house,” he said.
The camera also captures the temperature of walls. The camera showed the wall behind the water heater was just 52 degrees, which means the water heater has to work harder.
About 20 percent of your utility bill comes from your water heater, but there’s an easy fix - just cut and seal insulation around the pipe.
There are other quick and inexpensive fixes for your home.
For $2 you can insulate your outlet, and another couple bucks can seal off your attic.
He also says if you have a fireplace, close the damper. Ninety percent of your heat can go out the fireplace.
They’re small fixes that could prevent big problems.
"If you can minimize the chance of a busted pipe or frozen pipe, you’re saving money, and it’s really self-help."
Help that keeps warm air from escaping you home during this frigid Mid-South winter.
The cost for the thermal photography is about $450.
You can reach Smith at 755-1224 or through his website.