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Home > Projects Index > Harvested Projects > Infra Red Survey Spring 2010

Infra Red Survey Spring 2010

Every single one of the coldest nights of last winter found 35 volunteer Henley residents out on the streets with a large yellow camera, fingers chilled to snapping point. They were carrying out Henley's first comprehensive thermal imaging survey of homes.

Point, focus, calibrate, click once and click a second time – the wonders of digital technology – here you have a thermal image of a house, showing how well the roof is insulated, but look to the left at next door, heat's leaking out there, through the roof, and the walls.

Black, magenta and dark blue in this and subsequent images are 'cool' and 'good'; light blues, greens, yellows, reds and whites show more and more heat escaping.
We have just under 4,000 houses in Henley and the volunteers have got images of over 10%, so it is quite a representative survey. Why bother ? Well it helps to know if and where your house leaks heat. Look at these

There's a radiator under this window. A simple reflecting pad behind it could reduce the heat lost to outside.

The people in this well insulated house have an Aga in the kitchen and they don't draw their curtains.

Pity some of the residents of Reading Road – those who didn't replace their old sash windows before it became a conservation area. They have got a much higher bill to pay if they want to do it now. We all like to have conservation areas, but at what personal cost ?

The first house, with original sashes in the bow and upstairs, is losing much more heat than the one on the right with modern double glazed units - though their doors indicate that both are at a similar internal temperature.

Age is not necessarily a guide to effective insulation. Look how cool is one of the oldest buildings in town – the Barn, (left below) beside the Town Hall. Despite the fact that the bee-keepers in session above had left the door open, there's hardly any heat leaking from the room above.

Ancient wattle and daub (mud and manure mixed with hair) keeps rooms warm and cosy; you can't get it in Gibbs and Dandy though. On the right, the library at about the same time of night, busy leaking heat from every window.

Here are some of the volunteers who braved the cold winter nights – for real and in their favourite format – infra red.

They are all part of the Henley-in-Transition group – dedicated to helping find ways of reducing carbon emissions. Of course, with heating bills going up and up every year, it doesn't matter whether you believe in global warming or not, we are all united in not wanting to pay the gas and electricity companies any more than we have to !

Home > Projects Index > Harvested Projects> Infra Red Survey Spring 2010