See Your Way to Savings with Thermal Cameras on Loan at Fairfax County Libraries

If you have a library card, you could start saving on your monthly cooling and heating bills.

To celebrate Earth Day, we’re putting thermal cameras on loan for the first time ever through the Fairfax County Public Library. These cameras, which attach to your smartphone, allow you to see hot and cold spots in your home that aren’t visible to the naked eye. You’ll be able to see your way to savings by finding air leaks and poor insulation.

You’ll be able to see your way to savings by finding air leaks and poor insulation.

These easily fixable problems may be costing you. On average, $200 to $400 per year could be going to waste as a result of drafty doors, windows or other air leaks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Put a camera on hold today and it will be delivered to the library branch of your choice beginning April 22, which is Earth Day. Go to the library catalog, and search for "thermal camera". A total of eight cameras are available to loan for this free program.

The cameras work with many versions of iPhone and Android devices. View these iPhone or Android instructions to see if your phone is compatible.

“You could save 17 percent on your cooling and heating costs by sealing and insulating your home well,” said Jessica Lavender, a utilities analyst with the county citing research from the U.S. EPA for homes in our area.

Fairfax County is offering the cameras through a partnership with the library and Energy Action Fairfax, a program to help homeowners save money, cut energy use and reduce their carbon footprint.

“The thermal camera is a unique concept and a good example of a new tech development that we think will be of interest to our customers,” said Jessica Hudson, director of the Fairfax County Public Library. “We’re committed to providing the type of high-tech resources that patrons can and should be able to expect when they come to the library.”

The cameras can also take spot temperature measurements and show results in a variety of color palates.

They are easy to use, and just as easy are many of the project suggestions posted online, Lavender said. For example, most hardware stores sell sweeps for drafty doors and weather stripping for leaky windows. These improvements don’t cost much, so homeowners will recoup their cost quickly and start saving money.

Learn more about common areas for air leaks or missing insulation and how to fix them.

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