Heat loss in a home

Insulation Vs No insulation

Probably the most effective method to decrease your gas and electricity bills it is to have a well insulated house.

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

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.

cup and kettle thermal image
television and router thermal image

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.

Thermal imaging home inspection

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 has been built recently and the building on the left hand side was most probably built over 20 years ago.

Still, the building on the left side had the roof renovated recently.

House insulation thermal image

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 walls have a lower heat loss that the older building’s walls.

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 house poor insulation heat loss

How to improve heat loss in a house

For those of us who live in buildings which have been built with efficient material, 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 walked 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!

How lo look for heat leaks at home though thermal imaging

Interesting, isn’t it?

Through the images displayed by our FLIR ONE camera, we could 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 image heat sources

Draught proofing

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. 

Then 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.

Finding a heat loss under the door by using a thermal camera

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.

Two pie charts showing what home appliances and devices are using the most 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. 

Fridge electricity usage calculator icon
Refrigerator
Freezer electricity usage calculator icon
Freezer
Dishwasher electricity and water usage calculator icon
Dishwasher
Coffee machine electricity usage calculator icon
Coffee machine

Energy conservation

Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy 

Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment  

The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less on your energy bills. 

And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.

Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there. 

Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.

 

For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per day (0,01 kWh) that would add to 32850 Kilowatt hour (kWh) saved per year. 

9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year 

32,850 kWh saved per year

That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:

> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro per year.

> To produce 32,850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.

Have a look to this page for more information about the amount of resources needed to produce electricity.
 

In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.

We hope that you have found the information on this page informative and of value. 

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