Hunting for Heat Loss

Infrared cameras allow you to see infrared radiation (heat), which is just outside the visible light spectrum. Among other uses, these cameras can detect heat loss in buildings. Knowing where this is happening can help you make changes, or let other folks know there’s a problem.

Not only that, it avoids unneeded resource use – also known as energy saving and cost saving!

This applies to windows and doors!

If a VIU building left 50 windows open throughout a winter season, it would equate to approximately 300 GJ of wasted energy, or an additional $2,000 on VIU’s utility bill.


YOU can make a difference!

Borrow a FLIR ® Camera (it attaches to your smart phone) from the library and hunt for heat loss!
(look for opportunities to conserve energy) 

Two ways to play!

1-- Hunt

  • Borrow a FLIR ® infrared camera from the library (https://library.viu.ca/library/equipment-loan-nanaimo-campus --sign in and look for Infrared camera. **NOTE the iPhone and Android cameras are NOT interchangeable
  • Using the FLIR ® infrared camera, investigate your office/class/lab area and look for excessive heat or excessive cold.
  • Take a picture (or more) to show the opportunities.
  • Report back to us via this handy online form 
    (Don't want to do the online one? PDF to print/fill in/email to sustainability@viu.ca is  HERE

Now that you can see energy loss, you may be able to do something about it like close your curtains/blinds at night to keep heat in and cold out. Shutting doors (usually!) achieves heat conservation!

2 -- Safari

Want a larger scope? Take the camera for a walk around the campus (inside or out). Is there an area of opportunity to save energy?

Same steps as above, but fill in the last section (Safari) that asks you to share your idea is to make better use of VIU’s energy resources. 

**  Your action/idea for action may be big or small, but every act makes a difference **

-- Well done you, climate activist! -

How do you know if what you are looking at through your camera is an opportunity to save energy? This quick guide will get you started!

While the main focus of this initiative is closing blinds/curtains/doors, you may also see opportunities to turn things off, because appliances, chargers, and electronic ‘stuff’ give off a heat signature if they’re left on. (NOT your CPU though!)

If the heat loss/gain can’t be addressed by switching off, closing, opening, or similar ‘easy’ fixes, send a note to sustainability@viu.ca .

***  play until March 20, 2020 ***

What's in it for you?

We'll draw names from HUNT entries each week for some nifty stay-warm prizes.

Initiative prizes (random draw from entries that have filled in the entire form -- HUNT and SAFARI sections)

  • basket of hot stuff
  • Instant Pot


These how to links may be helpful!

FLIR camera quick start guide 

FLIR camera guide

Climate activist

By participating in this initiative, you're helping to support UN Sustainability Goals 11 and 13! Awesomeness!

SDG 13 Climate Action

More questions?