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Thermal Imaging: DIY vs Professional

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thermal imaging diy vs professional

When it comes to thermal imaging, you may be tempted by the idea of doing it yourself. Prices start from around £150 for basic devices and many business owners and site managers will fancy themselves as a dab hand at DIY.

So, should you attempt thermal imaging as DIY? In this post, we’ll compare professional and DIY thermal imaging to help you decide which is best for you.

What exactly is thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging is a method that turns heat into visible light to study objects or areas. It uses special cameras that sense infrared radiation – the energy that objects give off as they get hotter.

These cameras detect this energy and convert it into an electronic signal. The signal is then transformed into a visual image that shows the variations in temperature – making it easy to identify areas of heat and cold.

What do we use it for?

As thermal imaging is used to see heat, it can help in maintenance, safety checks and troubleshooting. For example, it spots heat loss in buildings and machinery issues in factories. One of the most common uses is as a non-invasive way to identify issues within your electrical installation.

Thermal imaging – DIY pros and cons


DIY thermal imaging is obviously cheaper than hiring a professional. You’ll pay the cost of the equipment you need, which will typically be between £150 to £1,000 depending on quality. Then all that’s left is the cost of your own time, whenever you can fit it in. You’ll also bypass the need to book in with a professional, which may be something you tend to put off.


Although budget-friendly, DIY thermal cameras can have quality issues and the data they provide might not be as reliable compared to professional equipment. Additionally, interpreting thermal images can be a challenge without proper training, leading to the potential to misread the data. Remember, you’ll need to call in a professional to make repairs for any issues you find too.

Professional thermal imaging


Hiring professionals for thermal imaging brings many benefits, including:

  • Accurate results – A professional’s expertise ensures precise and reliable results.
  • Clear images – The use of advanced tools delivers clear and detailed thermal images.
  • Efficiency – Time is saved as issues are identified and resolved quickly.
  • Quality service – Clients are assured of a consistent and high-standard service.


There are also some potential downsides to hiring a professional for thermal imaging:

  • Cost – Needless to say, it will cost more than a thermal imaging DIY job. But it’s important to consider value, including safety and time savings.
  • Scheduling – You’ll need to book an inspection when your chosen contractor is free. However, this can often come around sooner than a free slot in your own schedule.
  • Control – Some clients also worry that they’ll lose control. Rest assured, a good contractor will explain everything clearly to keep you in the know.

Thermal imaging with Volta Compliance

If you’re looking for a professional team to carry out thermal imaging checks on your electrical systems, look no further.

Volta Compliance's team has over 20 years of experience in commercial and industrial electrical work. We provide professional electrical thermal imaging as a standalone, non-invasive check for your site, or as part of a full inspection.

For expert advice, more information on our services or a free no-obligation quote, get in touch with our friendly team today on 0113 397 1361.

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.