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Unity volunteers build window inserts to keep homes warm

Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship in Unity built around 140 window inserts and donated them to 23 home owners to help keep heat from escaping their home this winter.

UNITY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Last week was a cold start to 2018 and a reminder of how hard it can be to stay warm during a Maine winter. An AmeriCorps program in Unity held an event over the weekend to benefit low income homes that experience heat loss.

Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship held a window insert build event in the fellowship hall at the Unity United Methodist Church. The weekend event had volunteers building around 140 window inserts built from wooden and plastic seals. A large quantity for Stephanie Tardiff, energy efficiency coordinator, and others to design and build, but they don't take long and are made to last.

"Very light weight, easy to store. You can re-use them every year," said Tardiff. "They have a life expectancy up to ten years before they lose some integrity because of the plastic over time."

When heat is looking to escape a home during a cold winter, a window is where it goes first to find a crack. It's why community volunteers, Unity College and Window Dressers of Rockland all jumped on board to do their part to help donate supplies and build frames.

"This time of year we want everyone to be safe and healthy and having a good thermal comfort in their homes is one way to do that and in order for them to reduce the amount of fuel that they use to heat their homes," said chief sustainability officer at Unity College Jennifer deHart. "That's where the efficiency comes in."

As word spread about the window Inserts, it was time to narrow down the 23 homes that would receive 6 inserts at no cost. Tracey Higgins' inserts helped keep her Friendship home warm during the arctic blast that swept through Maine the first week in January.

"I've noticed a big difference," said Higgins. "There's absolutely no air that comes in around them and they're a lot better than what I had been using before."

Thursday's snow blizzard set the window insert build event back a bit. They were able to complete around 80 inserts over the weekend and have scheduled another day next week to finish and insert the remaining 50 inserts.