by Miriam Rubin
Many homes in the Buxton area are inefficient in their winter energy use. Windows are a major source of heat loss, but upgrading them is an expensive endeavor. Fortunately, there is a simple, low-cost, yet highly effective solution to drafty windows that can be accomplished by combining “Yankee ingenuity” with community effort – Window Inserts. Clear interior window inserts are an easy to install, inexpensive, and proven means to dramatically reduce heat loss by stopping air infiltration around windows. and they can be used year after year for up to ten years.
Window Dressers is coming to the Buxton area to save you money on your fuel bill and to keep you warmer this winter. The Window Dressers project is all about keeping you warm in the winter and saving money on heating fuel. By using less heating fuel, we can also reduce our community’s carbon footprint. And you won’t have to wrestle with taping that pesky plastic film over your windows ever again!
The inserts have a very real impact: one square foot of insert saves approximately one gallon of heating oil per season. A typical window may be ten square feet (roughly 2’ x 5’). This means ten inserts provided to a home saves one hundred gallons of heating oil per year; with the inserts lasting ten years, that is a total fuel savings of one thousand gallons of heating oil over the lifetime of the inserts.
It has been documented that the cost of $26 per average-sized window insert (32” wide x 53” high with one strut) will be recouped within one to two heating seasons. However, because this initial cost may be prohibitive, the Narragansett Number One Foundation and the Horizon Foundation have stepped up to ensure that cost is not a barrier to anyone who would like to get window inserts. Window Dressers has an opportunity this year to offer inserts at a price that matches whatever a household can pay.
There is no application process nor income threshold to meet; grant funding will be applied to make inserts affordable to anyone who would like to install them in their home at whatever they feel is affordable for their household or at no cost if needed.
The funds are being distributed on a first-come basis until they are all assigned, and the funding can only accommodate orders for 45 homes in total. Go to windowdressers.org to begin the process, or write to BuxtonGorhamWindowDressers@gmail.com.
The price of these inserts is kept down because they are built by teams of volunteers at a Community Build using jigs and materials provided by the Rockland-based non-profit organization, WindowDressers. Volunteer teams of “measurers” will visit homes during the spring and summer to take laser measurements for the custom sized inserts. They are now beginning this stage of the process.
The Window Dressers production shop custom builds each of the frames and provides them to the volunteers to cover with clear plastic and edge with weatherstripping at a Community Build. No skills or tools are needed to be a volunteer! The Community Builds are modeled after a New England Barn Raising, complete with a lunch provided for all volunteers. The Community Build will be held from November 11 through 20, 2017 in the former Moody’s Collision Center behind the Southern Maine EMS building on Route 202/Narragansett Trail in Gorham. The Community Build will be run with two four-hour shifts of volunteers per day from 8:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 5:30pm.
If you live in a house that can benefit from these inserts, or know anyone that does, visit windowdressers.org to sign up for inserts. Even if you don’t need them yourself, you are invited to join as a volunteer.