What is an infrared camera?

Sorry for posting two separate questions here but I have a similar question regarding an IR camera. Is this something that is actually useful to have done or is it just a sells ploy?
-Jim T., New York, NY

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Answers

Human eyes are able to see only a small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum know as visible waves. Other parts of this spectrum include x-rays, UV, infrared and radio waves. Whereas human eyes and digital cameras pick up the images from the visible portion, an infrared (IR) camera picks up images from the infrared portion of the spectrum. The hotter a material is, the more infrared it emits. As such, infrared images are an excellent way of locating where heat is flowing that otherwise would be invisible. This information is crucial when making decisions on home or building energy conservation decisions because it gives your a picture of the building's weak spots. For example, this information can be used to see behind walls where insulation is missing or additional insulation is needed.
-Jeremiah A., Charlotte, NC