Thermal Imaging Survey
As either a standalone service or the perfect complement to the Home Energy Survey, our Thermal Imaging Survey helps track down the sources of heat loss in your home, whether that be poorly installed or missing insulation, cold air infiltration into voids or direct draughts into your rooms. Unlike many thermal imaging surveys, ours is carried out both internally and externally, providing detailed objective evidence of where heat is being lost.
How does it work?
1. We will book in a convenient time to visit you in your home. We can only carry out a reliable survey when the weather is cold enough (typically November to April), and in the event that the weather forecast is wholly unsuitable then we will contact you to rearrrange.
2. When we arrive we’ll discuss in detail the problems you are encountering with heat loss/draughts and any objectives or priorities you may have.
3. Following this we will carry out a thorough survey of your home, both inside and out. We tend to get much more helpful results surveying the interior, so this is where we concentrate most of our time. You should allow 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your home and how involved you want to be in the process.
4. Typically within 7-14 days, you will receive your thermal imaging report in PDF format – this includes the images we have captured, along with our interpretation of the problems indicated. Where appropriate we will also include our detailed 26-page guide to Insulation, Ventilation and Draughtproofing. Full written recommendations for remedial work are available for an additional £150.
What kind of problems are we looking for?
Insulation is one of the two main barriers to heat loss, the other being airtightness. Unfortunately a poor standard of insulation is often not visible to the naked eye, being hidden within the fabric of the building.
Thermal imaging can quickly reveal where shortcuts have been made in the construction process, or where well-meant but counterproductive installation methods have introduced routes for heat loss. In more serious cases our reports have been used as evidence in disputes around substandard building work.
The images below show the stark contrast of heat loss through an uninsulated dormer window “cheek” against the internal portion of wall to the right – a common issue with dormer construction.
Draughts are not only uncomfortable, they are also usually an indication of heat being lost unnecessarily. The source of draughts is not always obvious, for example small amounts of cold air can be coming in through multiple gaps and cracks in walls, under skirting boards and through floorboards. Doors, windows and redundant vents are perhaps more obvious, but in our experience some homeowners remain oblivious even to significant sources of cold air entry.
The thermal imaging camera immediately picks up the cold traces that give away where cold air is entering the property, providing objective evidence as to where to focus your draughtproofing efforts. In the example below, draughts around patio doors are very common.
Cold air infiltration
Draughts and cold air infiltration are slightly different – cold air from outside can dramatically cool rooms down as it moves through the voids behind walls, above ceilings and below floors, without the cold air ever entering the living space itself. Much of this depends on the design of the house, quality of construction and any extension work which has taken place over the years. In almost every case, however, all the homeowner will know is that a particular room is cold but they can’t work out why.
Draughts and cold air infiltration are the most significant sources of heat loss in many homes. The image below shows cold air infiltrating into a ceiling void from an adjacent insulated roof pitch, and from there passing down behind the plasterboard of the internal wall below.
Heating and damp problems
During our survey we can often uncover a plethora of problems with the heating, from air trapped in the system and unbalanced radiators to leaking underfloor heating and heat haemorrhaging from uninsulated pipework hidden in voids.
Problems with damp can also be assessed, although it is recommended that this is supplemented with an inspection from a chartered building surveyor with experience in this field as full diagnosis often requires specialist knowledge and testing equipment.
The following prices are for 1-3 bedroom properties. For each additional bedroom please add £50. For a full write-up of recommendations for remedial work please add £100. No VAT is chargeable.
West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset: £595
Greater London, Bucks, Oxon, East Sussex, Gloucs, Somerset, Bristol, Beds, Herts: £695
Other counties at our discretion.
Please note that the thermal imaging survey can be incorporated into our Home Energy Survey for only £200 on top of the cost of the latter.
We are also happy to negotiate discounts for multiple properties surveyed on the same day in the same locality, and for surveys that omit the written report for those happy to make their own notes.