Thermal scans are hot right now!

02 March 2023 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Co-funded by Stronghouse, Flemish partners from the intercommunal authority IGEMO have developed an information platform for citizens relating to energy use in the home. Stekr provides transparent customer advice and information on energy efficiency measures such as insulation, how to access energy renovation subsidies and more. With the help of a volunteer brigade, they also provide a thermal-scan service. Thermal scans give more insight into where potential heating leakages are in buildings – providing a valuable basis for targeted energy-saving measures.

Using a special infrared camera, the house is thoroughly inspected; roof, facades and windows. Thermal bridges are also visible. Furthermore, this is complimented with a questionnaire filled in by the homeowner which can give a better picture of what has already been done, for instance. The results are reported  and together with energy experts at Stekr, a list of priorities is made in terms of what the homeowner’s options are to improve energy consumption.   

High demand, limited conditions

Thermal scans are, not surprisingly, in high demand just now. “After making an appointment it can take a while,“ says energy volunteer Jef Broecks. “Not only is there a huge interest as a result of the extreme energy prices, but a thermal scan can only be done properly under certain, limited conditions. The outdoor temperature must be below 10 C and the house must be well  heated so that we can see where the leaks are. In addition, it must be overcast – sunshine on a wall distorts the results.”


Stekr volunteer Jef Broecks - "Thermal scans visualize the problem areas and energy leaks." 

‘Close to home’ motivation

In response to the huge demand, Stekr is now working with a neighbourhood approach, aiming for a certain amount of scanned houses per year by also clustering visits. The problem is exasperated by a shortage of volunteers – Stekr depends on them for this work.  “On average I can do about 30 scans in a season,” says Jef. “But we could help more people and drive the transition forward if we had more volunteers.  Retired people like myself, for example. I got involved because I want to do something socially relevant, I care about the environment and climate, and I want to help motivate others to take real steps. These scans visualize the problems ‘close to home’ so to speak, and stimulate people to act.”

Following the scans, the colleagues at Stekr interpret the results and offer the homeowner made to measure advice during a return visit. This valuable service is just one of the many ways Stronghouse contributes to supporting homeowners.