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Thermal camera rental for checking insulation

  • 27-08-2021 11:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 9,988 ✭✭✭

    I saw video a while back from the UK that an energy provider over there (Octopus Energy) were letting people rent a FLIR One thermal camera that plugs into a smartphone for a week.

    I think it was basically free, you just paid a refundable deposit in case the camera got broken and you were in a queue since they didn't have many cameras

    The idea was that you could look at your house when the heating was on and see if there were any hot spots where the heat was leaking through gaps in insulation or air gaps

    Does anyone know if there's any budget friendly thermal camera rentals in Ireland? Most of the ones around seem very high end and the cheapest rental I've seen is €100 per day, which is probably more than I'd save in finding any insulation gaps

Best Answer


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,475 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Been eying up one of them myself. Just to have sort of thing!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,199 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    There is a thermal camera for the Raspberry Pi too, limited to 32x24 'pixels'. The FLIR one is 80x60 pixels.

    I'm not sure how to compare the sensitivity of both as they use differing metrics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭holdfast

    No point using this time year, you need to get a temp difference between the inside and outside. Best use them in the winter also readings or images off highly reflective surface gives an error. best of luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,988 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Ah yeah, I'd be waiting until middle of winter before trying one out. Not much point in the sunny weather 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,289 ✭✭✭1874

    I was thinking, great! they have a FLIR, no, this kit is basic stuff, more like childs learning toy, looks like an IR temp detector, maybe it is useful?. Id say, unless specific work has been done related insulation/airtightness/replacing older/poor performing windows, you can guarantee most house need work done to improve their energy use/performance. Pen and paper, get the dimensions of the structure and see what performance values it is at, and what you would need to go to to meet current recommended standards (or better still exceed those).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,988 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    This is pretty cool even though I've already got most of the gear.

    I'd say the temperature sensor is probably a good start for finding cold spots, I'll give it a go this winter and see what I find. Maybe if I can get my hands on a thermal camera too I'll try to compare notes

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭Merrion

    I bought a FLIR-1 (with the connection for Android phone) and have used it to make sure I don't miss anything in my own insulation project and it is very accurate...I recommend it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,201 ✭✭✭cruizer101

    Was thinking of picking one up myself to identify cold spots and draughts and the like, they are pricey enough but probably worth it in long run and you can probably sell it on for a decent % of its original price after you fix any issues.

  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭Entonces

    What are you guys doing where you find cold spots/gaps in insulation? I drilled through and pumped expanding foam in but it's absolutely hit and miss and messy as

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,988 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I guess it depends on where and how big the cold spot is and how much work you're willing to do

    If it's in the roof then there's probably a gap in the rockwool which can be filled in

    Walls are trickier, ideally you could take the plasterboard off and fill in the gap, but that's probably more of a job then most people would be willing to get into

    Might be possible to drop in some insulation from above if the tops of the cavity walls are open

    Otherwise I think filling with foam might be the only course of action

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  • Registered Users Posts: 791 ✭✭✭reklamos

    I would say expanding foam should a be a last resort and only for small areas. Expanding foam can push existing wool insulation and create new cold spots. Also I would use low expansion foam.

    I have done my walls last year during lockdown. It is not as big job as it might look like, took me 2 weeks and I work in IT :). The main culprit is to have all the required tools. The biggest job was to skim the walls but the surface area was not big and I did practiced on walls that are not seen first. Also you can hire someone to skim walls for you.

    The house was built during celtic tiger and insulation although existed, was terrible. I could feel cold drafts in most of the rooms. Once plasterboards were removed I could see why I was getting drafts. The wool used was only 50mm and even then was missing in multiple places or just has dropped to bottom. That was replaced with 140mm one. Also I could see what was happening outside under window sills. Once I fixed all the holes and replaced wool I've also put vapor barrier on top of it and then used denser plasterboards which supposed to help with sound proofing. I am happy with the result as there are no more drafts and the rooms do not lose heat that fast. It did not cost much and now when I think about it I think I should have done this sooner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭Entonces

    My cold spots are in external cavity walls. The cavity was filled with beads years ago but there are clearly gaps in a couple of locations lower down and near corners for some reason. It's only 2 rooms but temps in these are 2-3 degrees lower than rest of house in winter and lose heat quicker. It's quite the pain

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭Merrion

    You could also use an infrared thermometer (about €50) to check areas to give you an initial idea of how good the insulation is...

    (Useful to see if you are losing more heat through windows, walls or roof for example)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Merrion - what was the cost and make/model of that FLIR camera? Looks the business.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭Merrion

    €379 from Dublin Camera Centre (Flir 1 LT - Android)

    Flir Thermal Imaging | Camera Centre