Cedar Falls thermal imaging results are in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls thermal imaging results are in

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Last fall, Cedar Falls Utilities began a thermal imaging project.  A small plane flew over the entire city, making 56 overlapping passes to capture images of where homes and businesses might be losing heat.

And the results of the flyover are now in.  Cedar Falls Utilities has loaded all the images captured from the flyover onto its website.  All you have to do is type in your address and you can get an up close look at just where you could make improvements to prevent your property from losing heat.    

UNI's GeoTree Center captured images of the bird's eye view from the plane that took thermal images from the skies above Cedar Falls back in November.  The images have now been generated into customized maps showing homes and businesses across the city.  CFU wanted to get an idea of how much heat its customers might be losing from their roofs.  And the results show most properties have only minor energy loss issues.

"I think we've got some good things done already, but we're just trying to fine tune it and get it the best we can," said Peter Olson, CFU energy services manager.

To find what's happening with your home, simply visit CFU's website and punch in your address, then click "zoom to."  The thermal images that appear are color coded.  Red indicates that a home is losing a lot of heat.  Areas of green and yellow indicate at least some heat loss.  Solid blues indicate good insulation.

"Well I saw that our home is blue, which is a good thing.  We did some insulation in our exterior walls a few years ago.  So it looks like that has helped," said Cedar Falls homeowner Stacy Weber.

And CFU hopes that those who didn't get such good results will now be able to see where they can make improvements.

"A lot of times we just don't see a lot of insulation, but we see spots in the roof.  And that's what we call these attic bypasses.  It's an air connection between your living space and a cold attic, if you want to think of it that way.  And you need to get those sealed up.  It's highly important because it's like a chimney.  It's just sucking air out of your house all day long," Olson said.

The good news is, if the thermal images show you do have heat loss problems, CFU can help you fix them.  The utility offers an incentive program that will pay 60 percent of the cost to improve insulation, up to $1000.  And with that help to drop your energy bills, the improvement should pay for itself in less than a year.

In addition to insulation issues, the thermal imagery may also point out a property's structural concerns.  By correcting those issues, you might be able to prevent costly damage from things like ice dams.

To access your home's thermal images, log onto www.cfu.net/flyover.  If you don't have computer access, you can call (319) 266-1761 and CFU can print your thermal images and mail them to you.

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