Before we gave a “thumbs up” to this new product from Indow Windows, a California company, we gave them a test run, having three installed in a hundred-year-old historic multi-family building in Portland, Maine.
Over a couple of months, we monitored both gas usage and perceived comfort in the building. The building was less drafty, more soundproof, and we can safely say the inserts live up to their claims: saving about 19 percent of energy costs (on average) over old, single-pane wood windows.
Historic homes are a special case when it comes to window replacement. Windows tend to be odd sizes, and restrictions often apply if you change the look of the exterior façade. Indow’s inserts fit exactly in the interior openings, with no special tools. That exact fit is the result of careful fitting with a laser measuring tool by certified installers.
Yet after the first installation, homeowners can pop them in and out seasonally. The installed cost is roughly a third that of new vinyl windows. The company also offers frosted versions of the inserts, and a new opaque “blackout” product that might be good for home theaters and the like. Standard units deaden sound by about 50 percent. They make a thicker, sound-deadening version that will quiet things even more.
Great product for the existing home retrofit market. I’d like to see the company get more proactive about its shipping materials and process, however. Because they are shipped from California, it would be nice to see some packaging and protective window films that could be reclaimed and re-used, rather than tossed into local recycling bins. Check them out at www.indowwindows.com