Call or write to Black & Decker to demand that the company launches its Thermal Leak Detector in Europe and elsewhere. This is the single most useful energy saving device I have ever seen. Europeans can buy it from Amazon.com in the States, but shipping and customs charges make it quite expensive. Let's get it here before the winter ends. What is it? When pointed at a wall, a window or any other solid object, The Thermal Leak Detector detects the temperature. It compares this to the standard temperature in the room. If the place at which the device is pointed is markedly colder than the room (i.e. there is a heat leak at that point) a light shining from the detector changes colour from green to blue. This provides immediate and effective visual indication of leaks around doors, windows, and corners in the house and enables you to target your insulation efforts.
It is a handheld device, powered by a single battery. The instructions are simple and clear, making it an absolute delight to use. The Amazon.com price is about $50, but VAT, customs duties, and shipping pushed the price up to over £60 for me. Delivery was swift and efficient.
The manufacturers claim the detector can save 20% off your fuel bills. This seems a bit unlikely to me - 10% might be an achievable target - but the payback is undoubtedly very quick. Average UK heating bills this year will be over £600 and many households will face costs of £200 this month because of the unusually cold January weather. So buy it from the States if necessary and share it with your friends.
Below is a video file, shot on my mobile phone, of the device in action. I am shining the light at the front door and you can see the colour change at a point where I need to replace the draught excluder. I apologise for the poor quality of the file - click here to download it.
Black & Decker - get this into European shops as soon as you can.