How to look for sources of heat loss at home

Heat leaks FLIR ONE

How to look for sources of heat loss at home

Insulation Vs No insulation

Probably the most effective method to lower your utilities bills it is to have a well insulated house.

Any source of heat loss at home can dramatically increase your gas or electricity consumption. 

Therefore, if you want to reduce your home energy costs, it is very important that you get to know how well insulated your house is.

With a FLIR ONE thermal camera it is possible to identify any source of heat loss at home by just walking around and looking to the images displayed on the phone screen.

If you want to know what a thermal camera is or how they work, you may want to have a look to this Wikipedia page.

Home infrared thermal imaging - cup and kettle thermal reading
Home infrared thermal imaging - television and modem thermal reading

For more details and technical specifications, clicking on the FLIR One Pro thermal camera picture below will redirect you to the product page in Amazon.

Older Vs Newer buildings - Major sources of heat loss

We have used our thermal camera to take a picture from some buildings that are near to our own place. 

We know that the building on the right hand side is of recent construction and the building on the left hand side was most probably built over 20 years ago, but it had the roof renovated recently.

House insulation through thermal camera

The thermal image and the heat readings from Spot 1 (9.1 degrees) and Spot 3 (11.4 degrees) clearly show what we can easily assume by just looking at the buildings, that the newer building’s elevation has lower heat loss that the older building.

Still, the reading from Spot 2 (7.7 degrees) and Spot 4 (4.1 degrees) show that the old building’s roof performs better that the roof from the newer building

The owners of the older building have significantly improved their heat efficiency by renovating the roof and now they should consider to do the same with the elevation.

Old Vs New house heat reading

Sources of heat loss inside our households

For those of us who live in buildings which have been built recently, and where efficient materials have been used for the construction, the heat losses most probably will not be a problem. 

Still, there is always room for improvement if we know where to look.

Armed with our FLIR ONE Pro thermal camera, we have gone around our house looking for sources of heat loss and we are showing the results in the video below. 

Don’t forget to turn on the video captions because they display important information!

Interesting, isn’t it?

Through the images displayed by our FLIR ONE camera, we could also notice that the underfloor heating was more active in some rooms than others but, as we are living in a rented house, we haven’t given it any major thought. 

Still, if in the future we are moving to a new place or if we build our own house, it will be most definitely useful to check if the underfloor heating is performing correctly. 

Once you have accepted the house and made the payment, there is not way back…

Apart from that, everything did look quite normal and the heat sources we could appreciate where all within what was expected. 

There was some heat coming out of the bulbs, or from the kettle, or from behind the fridge and from our daughter who was watching cartoons on the TV…

Thermal camera heat reading

Doors and windows drafts as heat loss sources

But then we decided to come out of the house and take a picture from the outside to see if we could appreciate any heat loss source though the door. 

The heat readings were not any clear but we could see some heat sources, in red, that didn’t make much sense. 

But we noticed that one spot on the lower right of the door seemed to be irradiating a higher amount of heat so we took a look and then, yes, we found a flaw.

When the door frame was fitted, they left a gap between the frame and the floor allowing a draft to flow from that gap the heat was leaking towards the exterior of the house. 

That is why we had detected an unusual heat reading from outside the house.

It has been estimated that around 25% of all the heat loss from an average house it is lost by draughts so looking after draught proofing windows and doors has a big influence on reducing energy consumption.

Heat loss under the door

All in all, it was an interesting experiment, even though this would had been a more productive if we could had conducted it in some older building or apartment block.

But most definitely we will perform the same test if any time in the future we decide to move to a new property because we may be able to spot any construction defects.

How to save electricity at home

If you are looking for additional tips and advice on how to lower your utilities bills, have a look to this video that we prepared explaining on how to save electricity at home.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.