Skip to main content

Your web browser is out of date. Please update it for greater security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Choose a different browser

Thermal Imaging Cameras for warmer winters

a thermal image of a radiator taken from above.

What can thermal imaging cameras do and how are local councils helping to link up residents with this useful technology?

Have you ever struggled to work out where your home might be losing heat? Often, we can tell which rooms are a little cooler, or if there’s a draughty window that needs sorting, but getting the fine detail about your home’s structure can be tricky.

One way to reliably get this information is to use a Thermal Imaging Camera. These cameras use colour to display the temperature of what they’re looking at, so pointed at your home they can show you where heat is escaping.

How do Thermal Imaging Cameras work?

If an area is red or orange this means it is giving out a lot of heat, if an area is dark green or blue this means it’s much cooler. The cameras also show a temperature gradient between the warmest and coolest parts of the space. Pointed at your home, the warmer areas indicate that heat is escaping to the outside, whereas cooler areas show that heat isn’t being lost. You can take photos and save them to your phone or computer as with any normal camera.

Thermal Imaging Cameras need to be used when there is a temperature difference of at least 10 degrees between the inside and the outside, and the heating needs to have been on for a few hours.

What can thermal images show you?

In practical terms, photos taken with a Thermal Imaging Camera can reveal where:

And, they can identify why mould might be occurring as a result of any of these things.

Thermal images of your home can help you to work out where to focus improvements to make your home more energy efficient. Whether that’s working out how to insulate your listed building or looking at the possibility of installing a heat pump.

If you’re based in the Southwest our advice service may be able to check your eligibility for funding schemes for home energy efficiency improvements.

Councils in action: North Somerset’s thermal camera loan service

Thermal Imaging Cameras are expensive bits of kit, costing anywhere between £200 and £1000. That’s why some councils are offering free loans for householders to use over winter.

North Somerset council has funded a scheme to place thermal imaging cameras at every library across the county. These cameras will be available from November through to March 2024 to anyone with a library card to loan out for a week. Library staff have been given training to help you use the cameras and answer any questions. The cameras are easy to use and can send photos straight to your phone or email.

It’s best to get yourself on the list now as similar schemes have proved really popular. For example, South Gloucestershire council where there’s now a waiting list to hire these out.

Schemes like this are a great example of ways councils are reaching their own climate goals, and being based out of libraries ensures that this climate action is centred around community spaces. Similarly, the Library of Things in Frome lets residents hire our these cameras for a very low price. Community groups are even using these devices on their own buildings, to help householders see what’s possible in their own homes.

For more information for community groups contact

Share this: