Thermal Imaging – A Snapshot

Thermal Imaging

Over the past year, we’ve offered thermal imaging surveys as part of our home energy visits, and have made some interesting finds!

Our thermal imaging camera can be used to identify areas of heat loss in a home and produces some incredibly interesting images. Take a look at a selection below and find out what our energy advisors have to say about them.



How it works

Thermal imaging cameras detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum and convert this into an image. Infrared radiation is emitted by all objects that have a temperature above absolute zero (-273.15°c!) The warmer the temperature of the object, the more of this radiation the object emits. This means we can use it to identify areas of heat loss.

There are loads of other uses of this technology, from security to medical and electrical engineering, to night-vision!

The camera works on a temperature scale. The warmest parts of the image are white and red and move down through orange, yellow, green and then into blue and black for the coldest areas.


Heat loss through windows

This image was taken from the outside a property.  You can see from the image the walls are quite cool in comparison to the windows and door, which are warmer, meaning heat is escaping from them. We would suggest hanging a thermal door curtain to prevent heat escaping.


An old chimney breast

We visited this home as the residents were finding their living room very cold. There was nothing visibly contributing to this problem. When we surveyed the room using the thermal imaging camera we found the image above, which we guessed correctly was the remains of an old (very cold) chimney breast that had been covered over.

Without the camera the residents wouldn’t have known this was here as there was no visible indications. We contacted Fife Council, who the rented from, who came and insulated the area.


Draughts under a front door

Many people get in touch with us because of draughty doors and windows. You can see from this image here, where the draught actually comes from. The colder area along the bottom of the door is where the draught is getting in. Something as simple as a draught excluder, or even a door curtain would help with this.


Draught under the kitchen cupboards

This is something you’ll find in most kitchens and can be tricky to fix, especially if you have a timber floor. The kitchen units are attached directly onto the floorboards and draughts rise up through them.

Interestingly, the large white and red spot on the floor to the bottom of this image is actually one of the hot water pipes running underneath the floor!


A cold spot in the corner of a room where the walls and ceiling join

Something else that are all too common are cold spots where the walls and ceiling meet in the corner of a room. These areas can be tricky to insulate. Loft insulation doesn’t reach right into the corner and wall insulation doesn’t either.


Loft insulation that hasn’t been laid out properly

This image was taken when looking up at someone’s ceiling. The difference between the two halves of the ceiling in this image is obvious.

While one half is quite warm as a result of heat being kept in by a good amount of loft insulation, the dark blue area appears to have been missed – the insulation either hasn’t been rolled all the way out or the area was blocked somehow.


Uninsulated loft hatch

This image was taken of someone’s loft hatch, which was visibly cooler than the rest of the ceiling. After opening it up, we found the hatch itself wasn’t insulated. If you’re getting insulation installed, it’s a good idea to put some on the top of the hatch too.


Cosy Kingdom

Cosy Kingdom is a free and impartial energy advice service available to anyone living in Fife.  Our advisors can help you find practical and affordable ways to save money at home. Get in touch to see how we can help.

Please note due to COVID-19 we are unable to provide home advice visits at this time, including for thermal imaging. To replace this service our advisors are offering telephone-based advice.