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Thermal Imaging and Greener Homes Program Update

The public library in Ottawa has several thermal imaging cameras you can borrow. The wait time is several months as there seems to be a lot of demand.

The camera is not terrific resolution. It gives you an accurate temperature reading but I am not sure I could find air leaks. You need to have a temperature differential of at least 14 C to get any decent readings. This morning it was 4 C outside and 19 C inside so I had 15 C difference.

Image of door to deck from inside

This above image shows my double door to deck is at 18 C whereas my wall and floor temperature is 19 C so there is a reasonable insulation value to my windows. What was interesting was the temperature of my window on a sunny day was 24.5 C whereas the walls where 19 C. This is due to the high solar heat gain of my glazing which actually lets heat in when the sun is shining.

Living room window from inside

I went outside to look. The outside ambient temp was 4 C and south wall was 4.8 C. Garage window were not visible as there temp is the same as the outside wall.

Garage windows from outside – don’t even see them
Hot water tank – two hot spots are the valve and control electronics

I think the resolution is not sufficient to find any heat and air leaks. I think you can only see if there are any big gaps in your insulation. I think if you want to find air leaks you need to to depressurize your house (blower door) and then go around inside with a smoke pencil looking for drafts.

Smoke Pencil for air movement detection

On a separate topic, I had applied for the Greener Homes program back in Feb 2022. The Canadian government offers an up to 5K$ grant for improvements to the energy efficiency of your home and $600 to pay for the mandatory energy audit. I also talked about the Better Homes program from the City of Ottawa. This program offered an interest free loan paid off on your property taxes. This program was launched in Nov 2021 and by Feb 2022 they had run out of money. Fortunately, the Greener Homes program added an interest free loan component to their program. Unfortunately, the demand seems to exceeded there capacity to process applications and I did not get approved until Sept 2022 (7 months later). Now I have applied for the loan and that will also take at least 2 months to approve.

It is also very difficult to get any clarification on your application as the people answering the phones have very little info and if they can’t answer you they will forward your question to a manager who will answer in about 8 weeks. I had to work with my MP to get them to answer some questions about how this program would work.

If you want to use this program, fasten your seat belt!


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