Working for Community: UMaine Students Build Window Inserts

Published: Oct. 25, 2017 at 6:48 PM EDT
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University of Maine students are putting their handiwork to the test building window inserts.

The goal? Helping folks in Bangor with their heating bills.

It's part of a collaboration with Rockland non-profit, Window Dressers.

"They go on the inside of people's windows inside their homes."

She's talking about wood-framed, plastic window inserts.

"We have to wrap them and heat shrink them and put foam around them."

UMaine students and community volunteers are building 40 inserts per shift.

"We have people who go out and measure people's windows in their homes."

The inserts are designed to help homeowners reduce the heat lost through their windows.

"The holes are all pre-drilled, so we're ready to go."

Sparing not only their wallets, but also the environment.

"Try to get right to it and put it together so you don't have glue setting on you before it's in inserting position."

"And there you go."

Pricing starts at $25, but a grant is helping to subsidize window inserts for low income families at no cost.

One of several reasons Alicia Oberholzer was motivated to start her own window insert project in December.

"The build that I'm going to be leading is for low income households around Maine to increase their local and regional energy efficiency."

Energy efficiency aside, volunteers say it's also about creating a sense of community.

"It's so simple, every step is something you can do, and teach to someone else just to keep it going and help other people around. So far that's what I've gotten out of it."

"The window insert build not only provides inserts for people, but it also teaches them skills and it gets the community together talking with each other."

Students and community volunteers have been working on the inserts since Saturday. They're hoping to build and distribute 200 by the end of the week.