The Story: As energy and winter heating costs rising, many Mainers are looking for ways to make their homes more efficient and weather tight. Purveyors of new windows tout the efficiency of replacements, many of which are less durable that historic windows and are thus more expensive over the long term in spite of initial energy savings they provide.
The Threat: Storm windows are being marginalized as an option in the face of aggressive marketing by new window companies. The removal of historic windows from a home and removes a piece of craftsmanship which in many cases could be repaired, and removes an element of its historic character.
The Solution: Innovations in storm windows are producing long-term, light-weight, less-expensive alternatives to window replacement that outlast vinyl or new wooden windows. The addition of storm windows to historic windows produces an R rating of 2, the same R-2 rating as a double-paned window. “Maintenance free” actually means it cannot be fixed, putting a building owner in a shorter endless cycle of “replace and throw away.”