Thermal Imaging - as a tool for retrofit evaluation

What experience do Carbon Coop members have with Thermal Imaging Cameras?
Do people think it is really useful and what difficulties do people have interpreting the results they may have obtained from such thermal imaging?
Thermal imaging 1

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Yes, I think they’re super useful, though need to be wary about the interpretation of results which can be influenced by particular environmental conditions and the materials being viewed.

Someone showed me a picture once and commented on a 2 degree difference and tried to quantify this in terms of U values - but it really isn’t possible to do this given the accuracy of cameras and the skill of the photographer.

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Is that a picture of your house vs the neighbour’s Dom?

I’ve done a fair bit of thermographic surveying. It is useful for highlighting areas requiring insulation or spotting thermal bridges. Usefulness is generally based on what sort of temperature differential you can achieve. So the best results can be achieved in the middle of winter, very early in the morning and following a 12 hour period of having all your heating turned up as high as you can get.
It does unfortunately mean an uncomfortably hot nights sleep!
Its fairly easy to interpret in simple terms. The hotter the fabric is from outside (white being hottest) the more likely there is a need to insulate. Internally it is slightly more difficult to interpret and is generally best to do it in tandem with an air leakage test. Then you see ‘fingers’ of cold being pulled in through air gaps.
Reckon its easier for a DIY person to look at external fabric over internal as results are more obvious.


That is a great question! I don’t know if you have seen the Flir C2 thermal imaging camera that is free for members to borrow? It has been quite a popular service, particularly as the weather is getting colder. I am definitely interested in getting more feedback from members who have used it.

When we lend it out we normally also share these resources on how it can be used as well as how to analyse the images:

You might also be interested in this story from members Monica Bolton & Alan Mould about their experience with the camera.

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I have seen images from many house and I would like to learn more about it and how to use the camera so that I can do another analysis

I know the images can be tricky to interpret but I’ve found using a thermal imaging camera really useful to highlight areas of heat loss which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Thanks for sharing Ivana, and welcome to the forum! I think your experience using it is quite common for a lot of people who find it useful even if not necessarily experts in analysing the images. Do you have any of the images that you are able to share here as examples?

I haven’t used one myself - but I do like how ‘visible’ it makes the heat loss. Like a lot of energy use it’s tricky to engage with when it’s ‘invisible’.


Thermal imaging is where I would start and end with. It gives you a good indication of how bad the situation is and how successful the work/ measures were to correct!

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Love these tutorial links !! these will be really useful for me.
Thankyou Matt

I wish I had taken a before loft insulation thermal image of my roof. Apart from supporting the case study, it would be rewarding to see the difference.

It would definitely still be interesting to see how it looks after the insulation. One of the issues is that we can’t always wait for the right weather conditions to do thermal imaging before starting necessary improvements!

If you are interested in booking the thermal imaging camera just get in touch and we can sort it out.

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Not to worry, using the IR camera you can determine how effective the insulation is currently and whether any adjustments are needed. Here I had new walls doors and windows. Using the IR camera I knew what to fill.

I will definitely take photos and share. i have the camera from the 13th Nov…
I have a feeling that i will go out and purchase lots of insulation and draught proofing tapes afterwards :grin:

We’ll have too compare notes - we have the camera the week before you :slight_smile:

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Stuff the gaps & fill the cracks!
It can make a significant difference.
Best of luck


I’ve borrowed one from Carbon Co-op twice. The first time, I didn’t really know how to use it, but before borrowing it a second time I went on a Carbon Co-op training session with Diane Hubbard, and think I got much better results.
image Internal insulation in bay, on left, uninsulated hard to fill cavity wall in centre and chimney breast on right.

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Matt does the camera need to be collected locally. I am based in Nottingham.

Octopus Energy have done some press releases about lending of thermal imaging camera but not been able to actually get my hands on one.

Are there any other recomend resources about how to get the best out of them.

Or does this section from @liam ust about cover it?

As a standard we ask people to collect it from us in Manchester, but where that is not possible because members are outside of Manchester (or due to the recent restrictions) we can definitely post it out to you! I will send you a private message with more information on how to book the camera.

This post I made in this thread has some links which might be useful to you.

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