Thermal imaging highlights deficiencies in the homes of one Massachusetts community

In Needham, Massachusetts, residents have been given a glimpse into how energy inefficient their homes are thanks to thermal imaging requested by town officials.

Sagewell Inc. took images of residences throughout Needham at the request of local officials to encourage citizens to take part in Green Needham, a local initiative to have townspeople give their properties energy audits.

The town chose Sagewell Inc. because of the company's experience as a referral business, which identifies problem areas in a home and then recommends the most qualified professionals to repair them.

As of September, the Green Needham program has been successful in having 377 houses undergo an energy assessment, with 103 residents subsequently upgrading their homes with better insulation and weatherization modifications.

The main focus of the program is to not only instill greater energy efficiency throughout the community, but to also make properties more durable against the inclement weather known to accompany New England winters.

The thermal images were taken using drive-by camera technology similar to the kind Google employed in making their street-view maps, according to the Needham Patch.

"We wanted to go into communities where there’s kind of an ecosystem we can work with. We’ve done this in about 25 communities around Boston, so we we’re kind of spiraling out from the city," said Brad Harkavey, Sagewell Inc.'s chief operating officer.

If you are a homeowner worried that your property may not be ready for the coming winter, a home inspection will help to highlight your house's weakness and educate you on what can be done to prepare your home.