Heat loss in a home
Probably the most effective method to decrease your gas and electricity bills 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 at the images displayed on the phone screen.
For more details and technical specifications, clicking on the FLIR One Pro thermal camera picture below will redirect you to the product page on Amazon.
We have used our thermal camera to take a picture of 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.
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 of the newer building.
The owners of the older building have significantly improved their heat efficiency by renovating the roof and now they should consider doing the same with the elevation.
How to improve heat loss in a house
For those of us who live in buildings that have been built with efficient materials, 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!
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 no way back…
Apart from that, everything did look quite normal and the heat sources we could appreciate were all within what was expected.
There was some heat coming out of the bulbs, from the kettle, from behind the fridge, and from our daughter who was watching cartoons on the TV…
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 through the door.
The heat readings were not 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 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.
All in all, it was an interesting experiment, even though this would have been more productive if we could have 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.
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 for your energy bills.
And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.
Now, at the individual level, it may not look worth trying to save a few watts here or there.
Still, every little count 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 hours (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 euros (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euros 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.
In any case, it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.
Proven ways to save electricity at home
If you are looking for saving electricity ideas at home, have a look at this YouTube video where we provide some useful tips to reduce electricity usage and decrease the electricity bill.
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.