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Give your house an energy audit with your smartphone

Posting in Energy

If you live in a drafty house you don't need someone to tell you that energy isn't being used efficiently -- that's why the heat is turned up and you're still wrapped up in blankets. But to figure out exactly where the cold air is leaking in from (in the winter) you'd need to buy a thermal imaging camera that would set you back thousands of dollars or hire a professional.

Enter the IR-Blue. It's a much more affordable thermal imaging camera that connects to your smartphone. The device uses an InfraRed sensor array that shows a heat map and the temperature of any place where you point your smartphone.

The inventor of the device, Andy Rawson, turned to Kickstarter to get funding for the product. He has already more than doubled his goal of $20,000.

"I have a 100 year old house that can be drafty and hard to heat in the winter. I have been wanting a thermal imaging camera to help find leaks ever since we bought this house. The cheapest one I could find was $1,500 so I finally just made my own," he said on Kickstarter.

The IR-Blue is expected to retail for $195, according to Treehugger, but it's available for $175 on Kickstarter.

The device connects to iPhone and Android phones using Bluetooth. It can also connect with iPads, the 5th generation iPod Touch and newer devices with 480x800 resolution displays.

Dawson shows off the uses for the device below:

[h/t Treehugger]

— By on December 18, 2012, 3:53 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure