Craftsbury, News

Area Towns Build Window Inserts to Keep People Warmer

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Working on a window insert are (left to right) Tracy Washer, Kris Coville and Cappy Santamore.

NORTHEAST KINGDOM – The last part of October found the Energy Committees of Glover, Greensboro, and Craftsbury, and the Albany Planning Commission organizing over 100 volunteers to help build 577 window inserts for 90 area households, the Greensboro Historical Society, East Craftsbury Simpson Library, and the Craftsbury Town Clerk’s Office.  The construction workshops take place annually at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and the Glover Town Hall.

Window inserts are constructed of an attractive pine frame wrapped on both sides with a clear, heat-shrink plastic film and, when inserted on the inside of the window, create two air spaces for extra window insulation. The inserts are finished with a compressible foam gasket on the outer edge of the frame which holds them in place and provides an air seal, blocking cold drafts. The window inserts replace plastic shrink-wrap window insulation, and can be reused over several years.  These simple, inexpensive features provide greater comfort and reduce heat loss, saving on average eight gallons of fuel oil per three-ft. by four-ft. window.

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Chris Jacobs Heat-shrinks wrinkles in a window insert.

The programs are through WindowDressers, a Maine nonprofit that started in 2010 and has since built over 50,000 window inserts.  The area towns have been active in the program for the last 5 years.

Along with addressing economic solutions to weatherization, another part of the mission of WindowDressers and the local programs is to address energy equity.  Income-challenged households can get up to 10 window inserts for free. This year over 260 of the 577 window inserts were provided at no cost through grants from Vermont Electric Coop, Vermont Community Foundation, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, Energize Vermont and Craftsbury and Greensboro community members’ donations. WindowDressers also keeps the price of its inserts low through its non-profit model of cooperative insert-building.  This means that customers contribute to the building of their inserts.  

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Jack Sumberg, Jerry Ralya, Craig Taylor, and Rob DeWess apply foam tape.

Rebates are also available from Efficiency Vermont: when buying three inserts there is a $100 rebate.

The programs are now looking for households who wish to improve their home heating efficiency and comfort for next winter with these simple, affordable window inserts. Once signed up, trained volunteers schedule a time to measure windows for the custom-built inserts. Then, community volunteers gather to build the inserts at the community workshop nearby next October.

To contact a local window insert coordinator in Greensboro,, Glover, Jack Sumberg,, Albany, Hannah Dreissigacker, [email protected] and Craftsbury, Kevin Gregoire, [email protected].

The Craftsbury Energy Committee will be at the Craftsbury Holiday Farmers Market, Saturday, Dec., 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Craftsbury Academy Gym to show an insert model and answer questions.

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