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Polar Ray-O-Max Windows has identified a unique technology that can help homeowners assess the heat loss through their existing doors and windows.

It is called “infrared thermography.”


This technology involves a special infrared camera that can capture temperature differences of the surface of any object. The process allows us to visualize how well a window or door performs in terms of its ability to thermally insulate. With just one look through an infrared lens we can immediately see the hot and cold spots of a window or door and where air infiltration is occurring or even if the sealed glass unit has been compromised.

Heat loss calculation on thermal image of window

What is a thermal image?

When it comes to infrared images – a picture tells a thousand words. An indoor thermal image of a window in the winter will show blues, purples and blacks as the area of greatest cold penetration and yellows and oranges as the warmest areas. The usual culprits associated with poor insulating performance of a window are the bottom corners where frame and sill rot can compromise the windows integrity and allow outside air penetration. But the large surface area of the glass can also have a dramatic cooling effect on a room so it is important to look at the glass temperature because it can be affected by a blown seal, excessive condensation or ice build-up.

Calculation of heat loss.

infrared thermography image of heat loss through a doorPolar Ray-O-Max Windows has taken this science a step further by developing a special scoring system for a window or door that numerically measures the thermal performance of the key points of the structure that have the greatest effect on its ability to insulate. We then tabulate those data points into a cumulative score for the entire window/door to arrive at what we call the “insulation power” of that specific window/door. Insulation power is simply an attempt to quantify the relative energy efficiency of a window or door. Utilizing our heat loss calculator each window is scored into a master spreadsheet for the entire home and is accompanied by the infrared photos as part of a final thermal assessment report for the homeowner. As a result, homeowners can literally see how their windows perform relative to each other and thus set some priorities in terms of which windows to replace first. Polar Ray-O-Max Windows can also share the expected “insulation power” of newly installed Polar windows so a homeowner can appreciate what they can expect to gain in energy performance if they upgrade their windows.

For purposes of accuracy the assessment can only be performed when there is an outside vs. inside temperature differential of 10 degrees Celsius or greater.