Where is our heat (and money) going?

15th March 2022

Where is our heat (and money) going?

Quite a few people borrowed the digital thermal imaging camera over the winter months to try and spot where they were leaking heat, and with rising energy costs and worry about climate change it's good to find out. We had some great feedback and we thought you might like to see some of the pictures and ideas that have been put into action.

And for anyone who would like to try this out for themselves, we hope to have the camera available again in the future.

The glowing front door!

We’ve always known the hall was cold and a bit draughty but were really shocked to see just how much heat is being lost through the door – it was not just red hot, but white hot. It’s a solid, paneled wood door, and we hadn’t realized how thin the wood is at the edges of each panel……the door is just leaking heat. In fact, the Christmas door wreath is probably more insulating than most of the wood! We thought about getting a new door, but the door is not a standard size, so it would need to be custom made. So, instead, we’re putting up a hinged curtain pole and a big door curtain, both of which can be removed in the summer. Next winter we’re hoping that our door picture is definitely looking less rosy and the hall rather warmer.

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We also had a walk around the outside of the house and realized that despite the cavity wall and room insulation and double glazing we had a few hot spots. The roof insulation was working well but at the top of the walls there was a gap, possibly where insulation has settled and something we’re going to check.

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Uninsulated and draughty floors

We used the Thermal Imaging Camera on a chilly evening in November. We used it inside and outside the house. Our house is old with part of it dating back to 1681. With the upper house constructed only of timber and covered with tiles we are well aware that we face challenges to make it eco efficient. We refurbished the house in 2011 with roof, wall and floor insulation, double glazed windows and at the time, put in an efficient gas boiler with underfloor heating throughout. We were very interested to see what the thermal imaging camera would pick up as weak areas for heat loss.

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The camera showed us that around the windows there were gaps which would explain the drafts and difficulty to keep some rooms warm especially on a windy day. We were surprised to see that in many rooms there were also gaps between the wooden floors and the skirting boards which the camera, when used inside showed as cold patches, see photo below.

We have now sealed the around the windows and around the skirting boards with Stormguard draught excluder foam which has made a considerable difference to the room temperature.

The Green Team

Author: Holly Ivaldi

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