Single family homes built today must adhere to the energy conservation code. This code includes the building thermal envelope, air leakage, recessed lighting and moisture control. These codes continue to improve and get updated every 3 years. Although a builder can state a home is energy efficient and conforms to code, that does not make it so. May be this is why the energy department of the government recommends that if you are purchasing a new home you should consider an infrared energy scan.
The primary diagnostic procedure for determining the thermal performance of a building envelope is infrared thermography. It can be used to identify heating and cooling loss due to poor construction, missing or inadequate insulation, air leakage and moisture intrusion.
Correcting the defects plays a significant role in increasing building efficiency and structural integrity. I have not found a new home which does not have an insulation or air leakage problem. The picture below shows air leakage (darker color at base of wall/door) at wall and door separating attic space from living space.
These pictures indentify missing/poorly installed insulation and air leakage (darker colors).
The picture below shows air leakage from attic into interior wall cavity (vertical dark color) due to a top wall plate not being sealed where wiring enters wall structure.
If you are purchasing a new or newer home, it is in your best interest to have an infrared energy scan, prior to closing. Spending a few hundred dollars on an energy scan can save thousands of dollars in the long run.