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Community and Q&A

Using an FLIR Monocular for Energy Audit

Austin G | Posted in General Questions on

I’ve been asking around my circle trying to find an FLIR device that I could borrow.  A friend of mine has an FLIR monocular, primarily intended for hunting.  This is a $700 optic, so I’m sure it’s high quality, just not familiar enough with the tech to know whether or not it could be used for my purposes.  Anyone familiar with FLIR tech in general?

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    I was part of a design team on a FLIR camera a couple dozen years ago- does that count? :-)

    (Disclaimer: I have never worked for FLIR nor do I have any economic connection to that company. The last consulting I did with them was nearly 20 years ago.)

    You could probably do useful stuff with an infrared gun sight, but it would not as easy to use in an energy audit application as the $200 FLIR One, assuming you have a suitable smart phone or tablet computer to use as the display. (there are Android or iOS versions.) The "-PRO" version is higher resolution and twice the price, but not necessarily worth the upcharge in this application.

    My company has a FLIR One Pro in our laboratory tool kit that some of us have borrowed from time to time for home energy audit/debug purposes. We use a small Android tablet computer for the display, which IS more useful than using a phone.

    If you don't plan on owning it long term you can find used FLIR Ones on the big internet auction site for ~$125 (last time I looked.)

    1. Austin G | | #2

      I appreciate the input Dana. And have considered the FLIR One. Realistically, I’m sure to use it more often than my immediate project at hand, so it’s probably worth the investment. Having been reading the last hour or so, and as you mentioned, I also like that it can be used to identify problem issues in wiring and circuitry. So doubly useful, and even easier to rationalize the purchase :)

  2. ph_aficionado | | #3

    Worth checking if a local library has one that you can borrow.

    1. Austin G | | #8

      Maybe if I lived in a big city. There are certainly perks as well as disadvantages in living in a very small town!

  3. BFW577 | | #4

    I bought the $150 Flir one that connects to an android device a few years ago. I'm still using it to find issues around the house and it paid for itself probably 5 times over. It is an incredible tool for the $150 price tag.

    Here are some random shots of me using it around the house. The picture quality is much better but I had to compress them to post them here.

    1. Austin G | | #6

      Thank you for the review. I’be been dragging my feet on the purchase because I’m “frugal”, read a tightwad lol, but this helped me confirm the decision.

  4. Charlie Sullivan | | #5

    The monocular should be functional for this kind of purpose, but two things, in addition to the awkwardness of the monocular setup, will likely limit its usefulness. First, many of them don't provide numerical temperature readouts, which can be helpful in evaluating the significance of a warm or cold spot you find. Also, the field of view is typically very small. You'll find yourself backing against the opposite wall to be able to see more than a very small region, or outside, going hundreds of feet away from the house to be able to see more than one window at a time.

    1. Austin G | | #7

      I definitely considered this. It is only 1.5X magnification, but even this could be a pain when 150 dollars will provide the proper tool.

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