Interior Air Panels, Instructions.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another satisfied air panel maker posts results over at the Forest Home blog:

http://foresthall.blogspot.com/2008/12/another-project.html

and:
http://foresthall.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-on-windows.html


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Last edited by johnleeke on Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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shclin



Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 1
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

Yes, I am very satisfied with the air panels. Thanks for the great info! You had asked if I noticed a difference in the room and I had said it was hard to tell. Well, I had a gap at the top of one panel and also noticed that the panels had popped out of position. After I sealed the top and re-seated the panels, there is a definite difference in the room.

I'm looking for a different solution for keeping the panels in place as I would prefer not to use screws as you recommend. I was thinking maybe using those 3M Command strips and will let you know how that works.

http://foresthall.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-on-windows.html

Steve
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Laura



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 9
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After posting my first question in this thread two years ago, I've made almost a dozen storms following John's instructions. My results have gotten better with practice and yes, I did finally manage to improve my technique for cutting the backer rod. <laugh>

The storms have made a huge difference. In fact, Dave Bowers currently has the sashes for my three kitchen windows at his restoration shop so I've had only the interior storms and original exterior storms in that room for a several weeks. In the dead of winter, the room has been comfortable.

I did find some features at this link that I've added to the new storms I'm making and retrofitted to some of my earlier ones.:
http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/energy/conservation/basics_1/window_cover.htm


I would never attempt to cut my frames to the close tolerances called for by those directions, especially on the windows that are out of square. I'm still using the backer rod on the edges, but I've been adding the folded plastic strips stapled to the backs of the frame in the HammerZone version. It does a great job of filling in spaces where the backer rod was crimped in its package (or the cutting was less than ideal as in my first attempts). It makes it much easier to slide the storm into the window frame and I don't have a problem with the backer rod being dislodged from the frame during installation at spots where the fit is tight.

The downside is that the plastic that slides in more easily also slides out more easily when the wind is roaring. In my case, the round head wood screws that hold the stops prevent the storms from blowing out altogether, but that may be a consideration for other folks.

I also added small loops of cloth based on the idea of the handles in the HammerZone article and found them very helpful in getting the frame properly positioned for the best fit and effectiveness without accidentally poking my finger through the shrink film.

I've been very pleased with my air panels, in terms of both effectiveness and appearance. Even with my limited carpentry skills, the first panel was acceptable. Things have gotten better (and faster) since. Well worth the time, effort and expense! Thanks for getting me started, John!
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yer welcome !

and thanks for the update

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OKLA



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been a very helpful information. I'm working on it already. Thanks:)
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judell



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting backer rod weatherstripping Reply with quote

I so wanted that pull-through jig to work. For me it didn't, at least not yet. So for my prototype I chiseled a U-shaped channel along the short edge of a board, about half the depth of the rod. If I lay the rod down into that channel, it's pretty easy to slice it with an Exacto knife.

For production, though, I would love to make that jig work. If somebody has a picture of one in use that might help.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SpokanRose writes:

Last Fall, I built 10 air panels for all the first story windows on my 1903 house. The windows are all original including the glass and all need to be repaired. This includes windows that have some cracks in the leaded glass portions or half the window caulk is gone. The cold air just whistled through. All are double hung windows and 5 of theses windows are 24 ft square. The air panels cost about $.85 a square foot to make. I built them on the dining room table. I installed in November. As each panel went up the difference in room comfort was AMAZING. Our winter was brutal. No ice formed on the windows, no green hairy mold bloomed on the sashes. Our drapes did not develop the usual brown water drip line from the wet-cold- dry cycle. And best of all, the panels are crystal clear. No one can tell they are in place. [I stained the wood to match the ebony stain of my windows]. This year I will try to build air panels for the upstairs eight windows. Forget the energy rebate. I love these panels.
By the way I am the building manager of a near-by National Historic Register building that had a portion of it's windows replaced with Vinyl 10 years ago. About 33% of these windows have failed at this point in time. So sad. I wish I had been around to stop them from pulling out the originals.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Rosemary reports in Reply with quote

Rosemary reports:

I have a 1904, all fir, transitional colonial revival house in Spokane [colonial revival on the bottom, Queen Anne on the top]. Ninety five percent of the original wavy glazing is intact. We have lived in the house for 6 years. The windows are large and double hung, all use weights to operate and all have built-in pop off sliding wood screens. Four are very wide double hung picture windows with leaded glass. All 20 windows need wood restoration work. The first thing is to survive in the house [it goes below zero here in the winter], while you learn how to do things right.
We have quilted drapes on all windows. Make them from king size quilts with tab tops hung on wood poles. No they are not sealed to the wood with magnets, but you will feel the difference summer and winter when they are closed.
I built interior storm air panels for all the windows on the main floor [still working on upstairs]. This reduces the wind blowing through to almost nothing, and feels so much warmer. We no longer get condensation and ice build up on the windows. Mine averaged $28 for 4’ X 6’ frames made with clear pine and archival quality shrink wrap. Be sure you use indoor/outdoor [rated for exterior use double sided tape and buy all the need elements by the by the case, it’s cheaper.

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larryjohnson



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I successfully made two air panels following your design. Since I was using adequate, not excellent, scissors, I cut the backer rod a little unevenly. But I had planned for a close enough fit that even with a slightly uneven edge, the rod still filled the gap between the frame and the surrounding trim.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry, that's great.
Keep in mind that if you have difficulty with backer rod, there are other types of gaskets and weatherstripping that would work along the edges of the panels.

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JulieL



Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Albany NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Success with my interior storms. A couple tips I learned. Just by chance, the lower rail of the storm fit just below the sash pulls, so it fits in snugly. So another detail to pay attention to. Also for those of us who are not cutting/ripping our own stiles, I looked through a lot of lumber to find pieces that were true/straight - well worth it.
I also added a note to the instructions the option to stain the wood before assembling. Would really make it blend in. But even these look great and of course they work really well.



interior_storm103.JPG
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Note how lower rail fits just under the sash pulls. Nifty.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julie,

My sash pulls and bottom rail worked out just the same as yours, except I had to make my rails 1 1/4" wide to fit under there.

Thanks for your tips on staining, pulls and selecting lumber. I've added all of them to the instructions in the message at the top of this discussion.

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cbabkirk



Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Sanford, Maine

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Alternative Sources fro Window Inserts Reply with quote

Hello John,

I live in southern Maine and I volunteer with the WindowDressers non-profit that operates out of Rockland, Maine. I was wondering if it would be possible to get the WindowDressers link added to your alternatives listing.

http://windowdressers.org

WindowDressers is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to helping Maine residents reduce heating costs, fossil fuel consumption, and CO-2 emissions by lowering the amount of heat loss through windows.

We have developed a community-based volunteer model that taps into individual and collective interest in saving on fuel costs, helping fellow citizens and sparing the environment from unnecessary CO2 pollution. We call this the Community Build program. We’ve augmented that effort with specialized equipment and computerization to ensure the efforts of our volunteers are boosted to the highest degree possible.

Our target is leaky windows in Maine’s housing stock, the oldest in the nation. Inserts offer an affordable alternative to window replacement. Our customers save, on average, ten to twenty percent on their fuel consumption which translates in most cases to payback within the first heating season. We donate 22% of our inserts to low-income families who could not otherwise afford them. Many of these families choose to donate back to the program in order to help other families.

With 30% of building heat loss occurring through windows, WindowDressers volunteers manufacture insulating inserts which, when placed in windows, reduce the need for heat during cold seasons. Stopping this avenue of heat loss reduces fuel oil use and CO2 production simultaneously.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbabkirk,

Welcome to the Forum.

I have also volunteered with the Window Dressers. My Portland contact with them is Steve Shaw. it's an excellent outfit, doing a lot of good.

I've added them to my listing above.

We need to do a study of durability and usability for these thin-film air panels. Have you gone back to Window Dresser installations to see how they are holding up? Are people actually still using them after 3 or 4 years?

I've been using them here at my own house for 20 years. The Clearmount film needs to be replaced after 6 to 12 years, depending on sun exposure. Repairs may be needed before then if there are cats or dogs in the household.

I've recently found a thicker more durable film made of cellulose acetate, which is more sustainable than other films. One brand and product is Warp's Flex-o-Pane.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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cbabkirk



Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Sanford, Maine

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello John,

Thanks for your quick reply. Since I am relatively new to WD, I don't have some of the historical answers you are looking for but will seek out that person to get back to you directly or will pass that info back to you myself.

From my view and understanding of longevity, I tell people that they will last at least 6 years as that's how old WD is. I expect a reasonable estimate is more like 10 years with the usual cautions of not storing-in-place on in south facing windows and not storing inserts in hot attics, etc. It is great that you have participated in a community build as it gives you a good perspective on the process quality of these inserts. I am grateful that you are willing to add us to the list of alternatives.

Do you prefer that a response come here to the forum or to your email? If email, I would need to get that from you.

We are consistently looking for additional communities to sponsor a community build. We added 6-7 new builds last and are hoping to add 7-8 more this year. It is important to get the word out and we appreciate our mention on your site. I often get asked it we can show/teach people how to make them themselves. That is not our model but I am glad to be able to point them to your website for how to instructions.

And yes, I am the proud owner of window inserts and am enjoying the benefits of draft free, no condensation windows from handsome low cost insulating window inserts.

best regards,
Cliff Babkirk
Sanford maine
Window Dressers Volunteer
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