Interior Storm Windows
Interior storm windows are one of the great success stories of the Midcoast Green Collaborative. They were introduced by Topher Belknap at the 2nd AnnualMidcoast Sustainable Living Expo, and have been modified, improved, tailored, andrun rampant since them. We estimate that over 5000 windows have been made by, and for, Mainers since then, and thereare groups now in other parts of the Country, and in Hungary and England making them.
picture credit: Guy Marsden
The idea of the windows is simple. A wooden frame is made about ½ an inch smaller than the window frame it is to go in, and that frame is covered on bothside with pieces of heat-shrink (polyolefin) plastic. Tape is used to cover theedge, the film is shrunk with a hair dryer, and a ½ inch foam weather striping is added around the edge. The storm is then inserted in the window frame for the winter, and removed for storage over the summer
We generally make these storms with pre-primed pine, but most any wood will do,provided it is structurally sound. Scrap or #3 pine is fine for basement windowsfor example, or using clear wood, or painting the wood to match the existing trim, willmake the storms even less conspicuous.
Detailed assembly instructions with pictures, material suppliers, and a spreadsheet for material costs.
picture credit: Guy Marsden
Interior storm windows have an R-value of around 2.3 and will reduce the airleakage from a leaky window. They also reduce outside noise. However, they doreduce the amount of incoming solar heat (SHGC 0.86), which while not a benefitin the Maine (and many other places) climate, it is a reasonable compromise, andthe storms on a whole are a benefit.
The actual benfits you get will vary depending on your climate, cost of heating fuel,and type and condition of your windows. But broadly, if you have single pane windows(and no storms), the simple payback time will be under 7 months. In other words it is cheaperthan buying fuel this year. And the benefits will continue for years to come. For single pane windows with aluminum storms, the payback is around a year. For good double pane windows around 2 years. For Andersen energy-star rated lowe-4 windows, the payback is still around 4 to 5 years. Only if you have super high-efficiencytriple pane, lo-e, gas filled windows (or better) do these storm not make good sense.
MGC sponsored workshops
Window Workshop, Round Top Farm, Damariscotta
Closed until Fall 2013
Habitat for Humanity / 7 Rivers Maine and the Midcoast Green Collaborative havejoined to offer opportunities for mid coast residents to learn how to make interiorstorm windows and reduce their energy costs. Each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 noonat Round Top Farm, 3 Round Top Lane, off Business Route One in Damariscotta, therewill be an instructor, supplies, and the opportunity to build windows at the siteor take a kit home to build the windows. The windows' cost is dependent on size,but is very affordable.
Led by Topher Belknap, whose Greenfret Consulting designed the windows for effectiveness,affordability and ease of insert, the storm window workshops will serve communitiesfrom Brunswick to Belfast. Habitat and the Midcoast Green Collaborative thank BobHardina for his long-time dedication to providing this service to the communityand pledge to carry it forward.
For more information call Topher Belknap 882-7652 oremail at topher @ greenfret . com
If you are running a interior storm workshop, we would love to hear about it, and will gladly put the relevant information here.
Buying Interior Storm Windows
Topher Belknap, a MGC member, makes these as a part of his business Green Fret Consulting. He also makes a triple pane version for toughapplications like single pane windows, or very large windows.
Rendon Sabina, another MGC member, has a business, Downeast Interior Storms,of making windows in large numbers. He has done some large and historical buildings. The interior storm windows are manufactured in Newcastle, Maine. The business serves most areas in northern New England. The storm windows can be installed in virtually any window frame and each window frame is individually measured to ensure a perfect fit.
If you are making these interior storm windows for sale, we would love to hear about it, and will gladly put the relevant information here.
This is a sing-out from Bill McKibben at 350.org