If you have a library card, you could start saving on your monthly cooling and heating bills.
We have thermal cameras on loan 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.
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.
How to Reserve a Thermal Camera
Go to the library catalog and search for “thermal camera.” More than 50 cameras are available to loan for this free program, though you’ll likely need to place a hold on one because of the program’s popularity.
“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 on homes in our area from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The cameras are easy to use (and work with many versions of popular smartphones; view these iPhone or Android instructions to see if your phone is compatible). The cameras can also take spot temperature measurements and show results in a variety of color palates.
Just as easy are many of the improvement 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.
We’re 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.”