24 Nov 2018
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United Kingdom
Hi everyone,

Can someone please help me? I'm tearing my hair out trying to figure out why our home is so cold.

I managed to get a Flir One (Gen2) Thermal Camera pretty decent price. I'm not sure if I'm using it properly.

I've taken some photos of the outside of the house and some of the hallway and kitchen areas. What can you guys make of it? Any tips?


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awilliams, good evening.

Scanned the images, initial question? do you have retro-filled cavity insulation?

Hi Ken. Thank you for your reply.

This is a 1930s edwardian semi which has I believe a Yorkshire stone & brick cavity which I've been told is not supposed to be filled due to risk of damp problems later. So in answer to your question that's a no.
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I'm sorry Tigercubrider, but I don't have a house which I can compare mine to :(
Photograph similar houses for comparison

Yes, this.

I reckon there are two things to look for:
1. Generally how much heat is leaking through your walls/windows/roof compared to similar houses, taking into account how warm they are inside.
2. Looking for specific hot-spots where there may be anomalies that you can fix.
endecotp / Tigercubrider - Are you guys asking that I record someone's house from outside or inside? If it's outside then that's not a problem, but if it's inside, then I can't because I haven't been living here long enough for neighbours to allow me to start recording inside their homes.

If I may ask, are the uploaded photos no good?
Outside of course.

But could be a good way to meet you neighbours!

Right No problem. Only thing is that I'll have to try and do this during daytime Last thing I want is for neighbours thinking I'm some sort of peeping tom! :p
Before using the camera get around on a windy day with a jos stick and resolve any draughts you find.
Then start to look at the camera.
The house would only be cold because there's heat leaving as quick as you put it in. You can resolve that with either more heat ie better heating, or less heat getting out.
You would have a lot of thermal bridges on an old house like that. If you want to feel warmer, focus on the ones at floor level as they will end up with a cool static area around your feet. If you want to save money deal with the ones at ceiling level as they are where most heat is lost.
But as i say, draughts first, then worry about insulation.
awilliams, good evening.

A few things to possible have a look at?

There appears to be some sort of heat leakage around the lower bay window? both sides? [lighter colour on the image]

Odd that within the loft space above the top window there appears to be a lighter colour on the image that could point to some missing loft insulation what I cannot resolve is why is there a light colour on the image that is following the roof line in the loft? seems odd?

There is a distinct dark mark below the ground bay window as if there was no heat loss in that area?

As an aside your neighbour on the left has a very odd vertical hot spot right up the wall?

Hi awilliams,

To keep it brief, here are some areas I would check:

Rather than insulation, drafts are the main cause of a house feeling cold. Mitigate the drafts and your house will feel a lot more comfortable. I speak from experience as I live in a detached bungalow with no cavity wall insulation. I've took plenty of measures to rescue drafts and our house in now a lot more comfortable.

I can see from your pictures that the area around the front door and the intersection between skirting and flooring the temperature is a lot colder. This is probably due to drafts. Check the seals around the front door and replace them if they're worn or broken.

It's also worth checking all your windows as well.

Have you got a suspended timber floor? If so, it's probably wise to check all the gaps around the perimeter of the floorboards. Normally there's a 10mm gap for expansion. You could use a flexible expanding foam to fill the gaps if there are any.

Also worth checking any gaps in the skirting boards. If you find any, use caulk or filler to seal them.

You can go a step further and make sure all downlights, ceiling roses and extractor fans are sealed into the loft cavity. I used down light covers in our house.

Again, speaking from experience, its worth checking your radiators are the proper specification for the rooms. There are a number of online calculators you can use. Essentially you have to take into account the cubic meterage of the rooms, how many windows, how many external walls and what's above the room (loft or another room). Then you can calculate the required BTU (British Thermal Units) the room is going to require to heat and match a radiator accordingly. We found that most of the radiators in our house were under spec and have since been replacing them one by one. The time it takes to warm the rooms, and the amount of time the heating is on has been greatly reduced.

Short of having your cavity walls insulated, it's worth checking your loft insulation. I believe current regulations stipulate a thickness of 270mm in rock wool or fibreglass. Check to make sure you have got full and even coverage.

If you have got suspended timber floors, it might be worth considering floor insulation. One method is to hang wool insulation between the joists. I did this in my house and it's certainly made a difference to comfort levels, especially with a vinyl flooring.

If you've got any further questions, feel free to ask.

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