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Use Your Home's Thermal Image to Learn How to 'Zip it Up'

Thousands of thermal images from homes from all over Hamilton and Wenham have been collected and homeowners can look at their home and find out on Saturday how to make energy-saving improvements.

Is your home “zipped up?”

You can now get online, see a thermal image of your home and find out whether it is zipped up. And if your home is not all zipped up, you can spend a few hours on Saturday morning at finding out how you can make it more energy efficient and save money on the improvements.

Last March, .

Since it was late winter, the images showed which part of each home was holding in the hot air and where hot air was getting out – all a measure of energy efficiency.

Thermal images were captured of about 3,000 of the 4,400 homes combined in the two towns.

“If your home is too far back from the road or there are trees in the way, they were not able to get a good image,” said Sue Patrolia of Hamilton-Wenham Green, which has worked with Sagewell to conduct the project that was paid with a state Department of Energy Resources grant.

Hamilton and Wenham received a share of a grant that also paid for the same work in Arlington and Lexington plus several towns in the Berkshires. A total of 25,000 homes in the state were imaged.

In addition to the state grant – which was federal money that came through the state agency – the library has received a grant that has trained staff members to assist residents in locating the thermal image of their home online and then understanding how to interpret it.

Homes on private ways were not imaged.

From there, the 20 percent of homes that would have the “most opportunity for energy efficiency” were sent a postcard with a special code. That code - entered at the Hamilton-Wenham page at the Sagewell website – shows an image of the home with details about its energy efficiency.

For other homes, the resident can enter their address and then request that a analysis also be completed. Sagewell will do it within two days at no cost, Patrolia said.

The goal of a scheduled on Saturday at Hamilton-Wenham Library it to allow attendees to view the thermal images of their home, understand what it means and figure out what sort of improvements can be made to more efficiency heat and cool their home.

Sagewell’s president, Pasi Miettinen, will be at the seminar.

“He will be talking about energy efficiency statewide and in Hamilton-Wenham,” Patrolia said.

For homeowners who are interested in pursuing improvements, Hamilton resident Barbara Lawrence will be in attendance to explain the process. She made improvements to her home and took advantage of the rebates – up to $2,000 – available through the Mass Save program.

“There are tons of incentives that are hard to navigate for the average person,” Patrolia said.

Saturday’s event begins at 9:30 a.m. and the first two hours includes various presentations followed by lunch and then a question and answer period before wrapping up at 1:30 p.m.

For more information, check the two PDFs attached to this story.

Tim September 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM
I guess if you lived on a dead end street they skipped your house as well. I was looking forward to this and even specifically requested they do my house via email as instructed. Oh well. (My house is not back from the street or blocked by trees either)
Robert Gates (Editor) September 29, 2011 at 01:14 PM
If you live on a public street and your house is visible from the street, I am told your house was imaged. Three quarters of the homes in both towns were imaged, so that is a significant number and extends beyond the major streets.
Tim September 29, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Thanks, but after looking it up again my house was not imaged unfortunately. They went halfway down my street, took a left, and ignored the last 8 hours on the dead end part. Seems true for the street next to me as well...
Grace September 29, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Yes, looks like they skipped entire streets or ends of streets without many houses on them - undoubtedly a good strategy to maximize the number of houses imaged. Going up Essex Street, for instance, they did the longer roads and those that branched into neighborhoods, but not short dead ends with just a few houses on them. Are there still opp0ortunities to request imaging? Many thanks to Sue Patrolia, H-W Green and others for doing this. Great project for the towns and citizens.
Laurie@Sagewell September 29, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Hi, I am the customer service manager for Sagewell. We have received such an overwhelming response this morning that we have decided to donate the analysis of another 500 homes as a thank you for everyone’s support. We generally can turn around custom requests in 48-hours, but we have received so many requests that it will take us a few extra days to get through the list. Please send in your requests to support@sagewell.com so that we can make sure your house gets analyzed or added to our list for future imaging (if it had not been imaged). Sagewell was under an agreement to image and analyze 1,000 homes in Hamilton and Wenham combined. In addition, we imaged another 1,000 homes at our cost. Since then we have received many additional requests for imaging so will be coming back to Hamilton and Wenham this winter to fulfill these additional requests. Thank you again to everyone who has written to us. Please keep sending your requests and feedback on our service to support@sagewell.com. Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Best regards, Laurie
Tim September 29, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Thats fantastic Laurie. I will be sure to email again requesting my house being included. I appreciate the work. I feel bad that I am complaining that my house wasnt included, but I was just dissapointed. I do agree with Grace though that I'm sure some smaller sections of road were not included for the benefit of the majority.
Greg Horner September 29, 2011 at 07:39 PM
my house was imaged and analyzed - very interesting and useful...and I can now see where I have some work to do! heating season is coming.
Barbara Lawrence October 01, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Our house was imaged and analyzed and, even though we had worked to Zip it up, I learned that we're losing a lot of heat from the basement up through the chimney. Very helpful! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.
sdf October 01, 2011 at 09:52 PM
I attended the seminar this morning and it was terrific! Many thanks to Sue and to all the presenters. Also, thank you to Sue and Arlene who urged the attendees to check out the NESEA open house at The Old House at Appleton Farms. The Trustees of Reservations have just completed a deep energy retrofit of the house and it is a stunning example of what can be done to a derelict old house to bring it into the 21st century. Bravo to The Trustees and Allsopp Design, it is beautiful.

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