For the second year in a row, the South Portland Energy and Recycling Committee (ERC) is proud to announce that it is bringing Window Dressers insulating window inserts to South Portland.

Last year’s Community Workshop was a resounding success. And this year is shaping up to be a success as well, with returning participants either ordering more inserts or simply giving their time to help build new inserts.

Ask your friends, family and neighbors if they’ve heard of Window Dressers inserts. Chances are, if they have, they’ve heard what a great job they do at increasing the comfort of their homes.

Interior insulating window inserts are effective at reducing heat loss from windows because they are custom built to fit snuggly inside your existing windows. You might think that this type of insert is necessary only if you have older, drafty, single paned windows or poorly insulated window frames. But, believe it or not, you will see a benefit no matter what type of windows you have because the glass in your windows, compared to most other materials in your home – walls, roof, and foundation – has a relatively low R-value.

The R-value of a material is a measure of its resistance to heat flow. A material with a lower R-value, such as a glass window, has high heat flow or heat loss. Therefore, the addition of a snug fitting, insulating layer inside your window frame increases the R-value immediately, keeping more heat inside and reducing the amount of fuel needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Depending on the efficiency of your windows and home, you could see fuel savings of up to 20 percent with inserts in place.

If you want to be warmer and more comfortable this winter, all while saving a bit of money on your heating bill, Window Dressers inserts are for you. They are easy to install and can be easily removed, stored and reused for many heating seasons to come.

Insert pricing is based on window size and insert finish (natural pine or white). A medium-sized 30 x 52 insert in pine costs $40 plus tax and in white costs $50 plus tax.

Our workshop will strive to produce approximately 25 percent of inserts for low income households through special pricing which offers low income households up to 10 pine inserts at no charge.

Donations of any amount are always welcome. This year, we are excited to share that the ERC received grant funding from the New England Grass Roots Environment Fund to pay for a portion of the inserts going to low income households.

This type of grant funding helps low income households stay warm and achieves one of the leading goals of the Window Dressers organization.

Sign up with us if you are interested in custom window inserts for your home. Once you sign up for inserts, our team of volunteer measurers will make an appointment to come to your home to measure your windows.

What happens next is one of the coolest parts of the Window Dressers model. Customers give some of their time during the Community Workshop to help build window inserts or donate food to feed the hungry and hard-working participants.

We will work with you to find a way to participate that fits your needs.

By working together to ensure that all the inserts are completed by the end of the workshop week, participants help strengthen our community ties.

This ‘barn-raising’ style workshop is one of the main reasons Window Dressers can maintain high quality while keeping the cost of inserts so low compared to anything else available on the commercial market.

This year’s Window Dressers Community Workshop for South Portland will take place from Jan. 4-11.

Southern Maine Community College generously donated its large Construction Technology department work space to host the workshop for the second year in a row.

350Maine.org will be also supporting us again this year with workshop volunteers, food donations and community outreach.

Based in Rockland, Maine, Window Dressers is a nonprofit, volunteer driven organization dedicated to helping Mainers stay warm, save money, help the environment and build community.

The organization’s small, dedicated staff, works with local leaders in communities across the state who volunteer their time to coordinate from start to finish Window Dressers Community Workshops

Think of Window Dressers insulating inserts as a simple, affordable step to save energy — not unlike changing out your light bulbs for a more efficient option. You can take this step now as you consider other efficiency upgrades that may require a more significant investment of time and money.

Volunteer measuring teams from the South Portland Energy and Recycling Committee are available to measure your windows now.

The South Portland workshop has the capacity to build inserts for approximately 30 homes, so interested households should sign up right away.

Contact your local coordinator, Jessica Williams at [email protected] or 831-8439.

For more information, visit www.windowdressers.org.

Jessica Williams is chair of the South Portland Energy and Recycling Committee.

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