Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Community Effort to Increase Energy Efficiency and Save Money

    In January 2020, a group of volunteers gathered in York to make a difference in their community. Sponsored by local organizations, including WindowDressers, these volunteers worked together in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church to build window inserts. The purpose of these inserts is to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of homes while also saving residents money on heating costs.

    WindowDressers, a Maine nonprofit, specializes in creating durable and affordable window inserts for residents. During the event, 120 volunteers built 180 window inserts for 21 homes in York County. Diane Kleist, a volunteer at the event, purchased a window insert for her own home and reported that it significantly reduced drafts and kept her kitchen warmer. Four years later, the insert is still going strong.

    A community build is like an old-fashioned barn-raising, where volunteers come together to measure window openings and manufacture the inserts. New volunteers are trained in the process, and supplies, food, and camaraderie are provided. These build events not only improve homes but also foster a sense of community among participants.

    Window inserts are a cost-effective alternative to replacement windows for moderate to high-income residents. They are even provided free of charge to low-income individuals. According to WindowDressers’ website, these inserts improve the warmth and comfort of interior spaces, lower heating costs, and reduce carbon dioxide pollution.

    The benefits of these inserts extend beyond cost savings. Research conducted by WindowDressers indicates that a typical house with a medium-sized insert could save an average of 8.5 gallons of heating oil annually, resulting in estimated savings of $15 to $43 per year, depending on fuel prices. Furthermore, improving a home’s energy efficiency reduces its carbon emissions.

    Due to local interest, York Ready for Climate Action is already planning another build event for the spring of 2024 and is seeking volunteers. They are looking for individuals who can help with building and logistics coordination. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact them at [email protected].

    Window inserts are a practical and effective way to increase energy efficiency, save money, and reduce carbon emissions. By coming together as a community, volunteers in York are making a positive impact on the environment and the well-being of their neighbors.

    – Portsmouth Herald: Getting Ready: How to save money and energy with window inserts