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Mark Group: exposing energy efficiencies in homes with thermal imaging [VIDEO]

We often have a subtle struggle to be comfortable in our own homes. In the winter, we use layers and blankets, and in the summer, it all comes off to keep down those pesky utility bills. This is where the Mark Group, which says home weatherization can still shape that struggle, comes in. Philly Tech […]

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Craig Rodgers, Mark Group Home Performance Advisor, uses a handheld thermal imaging device to check for temperature variation. Photo by Sarah Schu.


We often have a subtle struggle to be comfortable in our own homes. In the winter, we use layers and blankets, and in the summer, it all comes off to keep down those pesky utility bills.
This is where the Mark Group, which says home weatherization can still shape that struggle, comes in.

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The Mark Group uses state-of-the-art technology to assess and improve a home’s energy efficiency, says spokeswoman Abby Feinstein. Currently the Mark Group uses a blower door, which is a high-speed fan that connects to the outside of the homeowner’s door and pulls air out of the house. By pulling air out of the house, the air pressure is lowered and higher pressured air from outside will begin to come in through any cracks and holes. This allows the homeowner to see exactly where sealing or insulation needs to be installed.
“One of the greatest barriers to scaling energy efficiency is awareness,” Feinstein says. “In the United States, people are not familiar with the levers they can pull to make their homes more energy efficient, which saves energy consumption and money.”

A Mark Group technology thermal energy image of (uninsulated) school children.


In October 2010, the British company launched its U..S. headquarters at the Navy Yard Clean Energy Campus. In part, the company was lured by $3.3 million in state incentives, brokered by the Rendell administration, according to the Inquirer.
The Mark Group also uses thermal imaging so that homeowners can actually see where the temperature in their home differentiates. Currently the Mark Group uses a small handheld device during in-home inspections, Feinstein adds, but in October the technology will really be rolling.
A van equipped with high-speed thermal imaging and satellites will capture a thermal image of homes’ exteriors, which will illustrate energy loss, she says. This is a huge leap from Mark’s current capabilities, as the mobilized thermal-imaging van can capture 1,000 homes per hour.

Rosie Foster, homeowner, and Craig Rodgers, Mark Group Home Performance Advisor, discuss the ways that Rosie can make her home more energy efficient. Photo by Sarah Schu.


With this new technology homeowners can look up their home’s thermal image online instead of scheduling an in-home assessment. The mobile imaging technology will provide a cheaper and more accessible way for homeowners to make informed decisions about energy efficiency.
And that learning, Feinstein says, can shape how we see our homes and keep our homes more comfortable.

Technically Philly staff writer Christopher Wink contributed to this report.

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