Kara’s Korner: Every Month is Spooky Month at LEAP!

By | October 13, 2021
LEAP’s Dan Morgan, Anthony Malabad, and Kara Chipiwalt suit up to fight energy inefficiency.

Happy October, friends! October, or what I call “spooky month,” is a great time to chat about one of LEAP’s coolest, and spookiest, diagnostic tools, the infrared camera!

LEAP uses this device to detect areas where outdoor air is entering a customer’s home. In some cases, I speak to customers who experience very high utility bills or uneven temperatures throughout their homes. In those situations, our auditors can use the infrared camera as a tool to diagnose how or why this could be occurring.

After our auditors do the visual inspection, they will run a blower door test to read the home’s air leakage amount while simultaneously walking through the home with the infrared camera to locate potential air leakage issues.

Photo 1

The way they identify these issues depends on the season. In the winter months, the air coming in will appear as blue and purple on the infrared camera, due to it being cooler than the current indoor air temperature. During the summer months, the air coming in will appear yellow and orange because it is warmer than the current indoor air temperature.

You can see an example of this in this photo taken by one of our auditors (Photo 1). In this particular instance, there is no wall insulation present near the top of the wall, which is where you can see the light color representing air coming into the customer’s home.

Although the infrared camera is arguably LEAP’s coolest diagnostic tool, it is not always necessary that our auditors use them, as each assessment they perform varies on a case-by-case basis. For instance, on days when the temperature is more moderate, when there is less of a difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the infrared camera is far less useful.  

Now I know what you’re thinking… okay, Kara, but what does this have to do with October or every month being “spooky” for LEAP? Well, if you happen to be a huge paranormal fan, like I am, you know that almost every paranormal investigator possesses *pun intended* an infrared camera in their toolbox. Paranormal investigators also use this tool to detect changes in temperatures, although in their case, they are looking for ghosts! 

Photo 2

One of my all-time favorite LEAP stories is from our auditor, Anthony Malabad, who accidentally caught a “ghost” on his infrared camera. According to Anthony, “I was going back and reviewing the infrared photos from one of our customer’s houses when I noticed a figure in the second-story window. It startled me at first because I thought, ‘there shouldn’t be anyone in that window!’ but then I realized… it was just my reflection.” (Photo 2). Our auditors have reported seeing pet paw prints appear on their infrared cameras as well! 

At this point, our auditors basically second as paranormal investigators too, am I right?!

Happy Spooky Month to all of our LEAP supporters! Don’t forget to call your resident (Energy) Ghostbusters for any unexplained activity in your home.