Beyond Recycling partnered with the RDCK for a pilot program to bring infrared cameras to three classrooms this winter. The cameras plug into iphone or android devices and make heat loss visible. Students from Twin Rivers Elementary in Castlegar, Adam Robertson Elementary in Creston and JV Humphries in Kaslo participated. Students from the three classes were able to sign out the cameras and take them home to try out. All the students also received draft proofing kits to help fix any leaks that they found in their homes.
At home, students and their families scanned windows, doors, chimneys and electrical outlets for leaks. Videos and instructions made it easy for families to use the infrared cameras. How families used that information was up to them. Sometimes, improving energy efficiency means behaviour changes like closing curtains at night to keep the heat in. Sometimes, reducing heat loss it means weatherstripping around leaky windows or doors. The RDCK also has a Regional Energy Efficiency Program to help families make their homes more comfortable.
When I showed the students the infrared camera in class, they noticed how the classroom windows were much colder than the walls. They also observed that the projector was hot after an hour of use. During the lesson that day, the students had been learning about energy and energy conservation. The infrared cameras showed where energy is lost in a building, making heat loss easier to understand.