Two Windowdressers volunteers, Rob Prybylo and his daughter, Chelsea Prybylo, assemble a window insert during a community build at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick in October 2022.

Harpswell residents can order low-cost, energy-saving window inserts for delivery this fall through the efforts of a Maine nonprofit. The inserts can lower heating costs, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and keep homes warmer. They let in light while stopping drafts.

Each insert consists of a custom-made pine frame wrapped on each side with tightly sealed polyolefin film, creating an airspace between the two layers for additional insulation. The insert is finished with a compressible foam gasket.

The foam allows enough give for the inserts to slide easily into place, yet hold firmly enough to provide a tight seal. The inserts are installed inside existing window frames with no fasteners required. They can last around 10 years before being rewrapped.

Windowdressers, a Maine-based nonprofit, brings volunteers together at local workshops to produce the inserts. Founded in 2011, Windowdressers has grown from a tiny operation in a Rockland basement to a multistate organization. Last season, more than 9,000 window inserts were fabricated in more than 40 communities where local volunteers organized “community builds.”

Volunteers use lasers to measure windows and determine the insert size, then custom software determines the cost. Prices are 50% to 75% lower than those for commercial products because of Windowdressers’ model of cooperative insert-building. Participants contribute a shift or two at a community build to assemble parts cut at a Searsmont production facility.

One-fourth or more of the inserts produced are given to people in need. No paperwork is required to get up to 10 free inserts. The cost of these inserts is covered by donations.

For more information, to order inserts, or to donate or volunteer, go to or call 207-596-3073.

On June 22, from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Harpswell Town Office, volunteers will answer questions and assist with online registration. Harpswell Aging at Home, the Harpswell Resiliency and Sustainability Committee, and the town of Harpswell are supporting efforts to make inserts available in Harpswell.