iframe-slider2-simple-350x215Oregon BEST is the best! The nonprofit research center invests in partnerships that transform new ideas into world-changing clean tech companies and was tremendously helpful setting Indow on a path to success, Sam told the Oregon BESTFEST crowd in Portland today.

It was an Oregon BEST grant that paid for a study early on proving the energy efficiency of Indow inserts.

Portland State’s Green Building Research Laboratory studied four Portland area homes that installed Indow inserts. That study initially predicted that Indow inserts would save homeowners 10 percent on their heating bills. But it found it actually saved them almost 20 percent! And here’s why: a person feels warmer standing next to acrylic than a single-pane of glass even if the room temperature is the same in both cases. And that in turn makes that person less likely to turn up the thermostat.

Those results were backed up by a U.S. Department of Energy study released earlier this year that found Indow inserts led to a more than 20 percent reduction in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning use in a Seattle home.

We’re grateful to Oregon BEST for believing in Indow as we seek to make the built environment more energy efficient!

 

2013_play_warm_3000

A comfortable family is a happy family!

Summer isn’t quite over yet, but think back to last winter. Was it a multiple-sweater-can’t-drink-enough-hot-tea-my-house-is-freezing kind of season? Then you might be thinking about home weatherization.

Where to start? A home performance contractor can help you assess the energy efficiency of your house and provide strategies for increasing it, but there are also DIY resources for the handier types. Whatever direction you take, keep in mind the four myths below and you’ll be sure to save money and create greater comfort and happiness in the long run.

Myth #1: Replace your windows.

This will cost a small fortune and is unnecessary for home weatherization! Whether you have double-pane or single-pane windows, Indow thermal inserts will instantly block drafts and make your home more energy efficient and comfortable. Don’t just save money, save your existing windows.

Myth #2: First weather strip and caulk doors and windows.

This will help stop drafts a bit but won’t get at the real culprits: big leaks are usually in attics, crawlspaces and basements. Read this great Energy Star DIY Guide to sealing and insulating.

Myth #3: Insulate your attic first.

First air seal your attic, then insulate it. Otherwise, air holes in your attic can lead to moisture and mold in your insulation.

Myth #4: The most energy-efficient homes will have to sacrifice some comfort.

Actually, if you feel comfortable you’re less likely to turn up the thermostat. That’s one reason it’s important to tackle drafty windows in a home weatherization project. A study by Portland State’s Green Building Research Laboratory found that because the interior of an Indow thermal insert is warmer than the inner surface of a pane of glass, a person will feel warmer standing next to an Indow than a single pane of glass – even if the room temperature is the same in both cases.

For more advice on weatherizing, check out this home weatherization website from Energy Star.

>> Check out our videos and case studies for more about Indow thermal window inserts.

 

Resized Alcatraz 2 for WordPressAlcatraz. An iconic part of American history and folklore. Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Robert Stroud, a.k.a.“The Birdman of Alcatraz,” all spent time at the former federal penitentiary on an island in the San Francisco Bay designed with the intention that no criminal could ever escape.

And now Indow Windows will do time there too!

Next week our CEO Sam will photograph the initial installation of Indow Windows panels in the gun gallery of the New Industries building in preparation for the latest exhibit by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei, known for his work on freedom of expression and human rights, was once under house arrest and even now can’t leave China. That was just one of the many challenges of putting together the show. Another: part of the vision for his exhibit at Alcatraz calls for visitors to look down at his art from a gun gallery full of broken windows where guards once trained their weapons on prisoners below.

But that meant opening a part of Alcatraz off-limits to the public. FOR-SITE, the foundation organizing @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, had to carry out this powerful vision without putting a single nail or screw hole in this National Historic Landmark. FOR-SITE asked us to custom engineer a solution that would shield visitors from Alcatraz’s broken gun gallery windows without leaving a mark. And we did! Visitors will view Ai Weiwei’s work through transparent Indow Windows inserts, which will protect them from broken glass (and help them resist the temptation to snap off a piece of Alcatraz as a souvenir!)

IMG_0337Indow Windows’ unique window inserts press into place using the our patented Compression Tube without screws or any other damaging changes to the existing structure. Our amazing San Francisco dealer, Kevel Home Performance, expertly laser measured the length of the gun gallery to create the company’s biggest order ever. Indow Windows’ innovative cleantech product is one reason FOR-SITE managed to put together this exhibit at one of America’s most popular tourist attractions just nine months after receiving State Department approval.

The gun gallery is in the two-story New Industries Building, constructed between 1939-1941, where inmates did laundry for the military and manufactured clothing, shoes and brushes. It replaced the nearby Model Industries Building, which was the site of several attempted escapes.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz runs from September 27 – April 26. Let us know if you go to see it!

Click Here to read more about this exciting project!

Shade Grade Crop 3Summer in New Mexico is hot. But this year Beverly was convinced she had been experiencing a cooler than average summer. When she learned it had actually been hotter than normal, she knew why: she had installed Shade Grade Indow Windows inserts on her home’s 19 windows.

“I used to have to close the blinds and pull the curtains to keep the afternoon sun from baking the bedroom. Now I can have the Indow Windows alone.”

This is our newest grade and one we’re super excited about since it’s perfect for those hot, dusty climates with unrelenting sun. Shade Grade helps block the solar heat gain through Beverly’s windows making her 1930 Mediterranean bungalow more comfortable when the sun is blazing. She hasn’t run her evaporative cooler as much and is looking forward to lower energy bills.

She also appreciates that Shade Grade lessons the harsh white glare she sees when she looks out her windows. Legally blind, she used to have to put on sunglasses to look outside. Now her windows have them thanks to Indow Window’s dealer, Current C Energy Systems in Albuquerque.

“New Mexico sun is extremely strong in the summer,” she said. “It’s so bright I keep the blinds closed. Now I can leave my blinds open more and get more of the outside inside.”

 

Baby near the double-pane train

Who put baby in the corner of this double-pane?

Double-pane windows promise an insulation value double that of single-pane but don’t always deliver. Pat Bushway bought a 29-year-old house in Hampton, New Hampshire with double-pane windows that blew drafts as if they were old-fashioned single-pane windows.

“They’re just really drafty,” Pat said.

Often people seek out Indow Windows when they have older homes with just a single-pane of glass separating them from the cold weather outside, but we work wonders on newer homes with more modern windows that just aren’t performing as they should be.

Pat called Clearview Sunroom & Window in Dover and bought 24 Indow Windows to make her home more comfortable for this coming winter so she could get away from blow drying plastic sheeting over her view to the outside world. She is looking forward to watching them perform and so are we!

Another double-pane window story that caught our attention could be a cautionary tale about moving too quickly to replace single-pane windows with expensive double-panes. A report by The Snell Group found problems in 10-year-old double-pane windows filled with argon gas made by a reputable company. Just 10 years old! Condensation formed in the center and some even imploded. The reason? The report found that argon escaped from the window but wasn’t easily replaced by air, creating negative pressure in the space between the two panes. That pushed the two panes of glass close together, which led to heat transfer and during the right conditions, condensation in the window’s center.

Remember this: Indow Windows provide real double-pane performance at a fraction of the price and leave beautiful old windows intact.

Are you having similar trouble with your double-pane windows? Ask for the free white paper by The Snell Group, A Unique Thermal Problem Found in Certain Double-Glazed Windows (Hint: click on buildings.)

Brad&LaurenInstall2Today is the longest day of the year when that glorious sun shines on and on. After dinner, you can play capture the flag, ride your bike, walk or talk on the porch for hours. Sleep? Trickier for sure.

To stay healthy, sharp and creative adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re battling the late night and early morning sun with these long summer days, Indow Windows  blackout panels block all light and make a room super dark. (Like I-can’t-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face dark.) They’re perfect for shift workers who might as well be experiencing the summer solstice every day since they’re always trying to sleep when the rest of the world is awake! They hush a room too, quieting all early morning sounds be they crows, traffic, garbage trucks or troubadours.

Dark, quiet rooms can help improve a person’s sleep tremendously. But other things can help too. Read more on healthy sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation.

Brooklyn photo number 2New York City winters are tough. New York City winters with enormous windows so drafty they send the shade swinging back and forth are merciless, powerful monsters. This was Laurie Duncan’s seasonal cross to bear in the converted warehouse-apartment she and her husband bought 17 years ago in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill.

Not only was it uncomfortable, the sharp temperature swings between the heat being on or off were destroying her husband’s guitars.

But what ultimately spurred them to fortify their home against the brutal weather was a quest for energy efficiency. They had just finished swapping every single incandescent bulb with an LED in their elaborately lit place and their energy bills were plummeting.

“We were so excited we were making such strides in our energy consumption and monetary outlay,” said Laurie. “We asked, ‘What else can we do?’”

They were staring straight through it: strengthen those windows to stop the drafts that could be felt a foot away! Their loft-style apartment is one room with three huge single-pane wood-framed windows in a landmarked building. Replacing them would cost a fortune. Trying to blow dry plastic wrap over them would be Quixotic. They needed something simple, easily removable, affordable and effective.

So they kept researching. And then she found Indow Windows.

“And I went crazy: this is the most obvious idea ever and it doesn’t seem like anyone has ever thought of it.”

Her windows were completely out of square with almost a full inch difference in width from the top to the bottom.

“It narrows and slants,” she said. “Nothing is flat and nothing is at 90 degrees. Is it going to be possible to accommodate that?

Since Indow Windows are laser-measured to ensure a precise fit, it doesn’t matter how much a window has settled into a trapezoid or parallelogram.  Laurie did have challenging windows, but with her help and persistence Indow Windows and our dealer, Ciel Power in Lyndhurst, N.J., got a great fit. And she solved her problem.

“They look perfect and no one knows they’re there,” said Laurie. “It has truly improved the quality of our life, which I know sounds like a ridiculously cliched thing to say.”

And while she didn’t buy the Indow Windows for their noise reduction properties, the quiet they provide is arresting. In New York, Laurie explained, people automatically filter out noise because otherwise “your head would explode.” The buses, the sirens, the English pub across the street that gets loud during televised soccer matches are now all hushed.

She conquered the noise and has slayed New York winters. And we’re grateful she tells everyone about her secret weapon!

 

_DSC0372

Sam speaking at the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network event at the McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland.

It was a great moment for Sam: he had just installed the first Indow Windows prototypes into his window frames. Here was a way to block drafts and make his 1906 Craftsman bungalow more energy efficient. He had invented something to address his long-standing worry about climate change.

It was so simple, he told the crowd at the recent Oregon Entrepreneurs Network event titled “School of Hard Knocks” where entrepreneurs from around the state shared stories of perseverance and tenacity in creating their companies.

The elation he felt when he went to bed evaporated the next morning when he came downstairs to find the acrylic inserts had all flopped out of his windows. That disappointment was the beginning of a long road. He quickly realized most windows are out of square, slight trapezoids and parallelograms.

For his simple invention to work, he would ultimately have to help develop a complicated software program so people could precisely measure their out-of-square windows all over the country.

Talk about something simple turning into something really hard.

That whole experience played a role in defining the company values later on: creativity, discipline, confidence and humility.

“Creativity helps us come up with completely innovative new solutions that help us do things in new ways,” he told the crowd. “Discipline helps us make six-foot-by-four-foot polygons that are going to fit perfectly in a home in New Jersey and aren’t going to have to be shipped back to the factory for a rework.

“Confidence allows us to dare to risk new things. Humility allows us to learn from the mistakes we dare to make. “

And those values fuel us toward an important goal: lowering our price to $15 a square foot while raising production wages and maintaining company gross margins – all so that we can continue to make the built environment more energy efficient!

Sam Pardue Margie Hoffman Jules Bailey

Margie Hoffman, Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Energy Advisor, and State Rep. Multnomah County Commissioner-Elect Jules Bailey at the Indow Windows factory. Sam tells the crowd, “Climate change is the fundamental socioeconomic issue of our time.”

It’s no secret Oregon is the epicenter of the energy efficiency movement. This week some of the most creative and effective minds in developing a more energy efficient built environment joined us on the Indow Windows factory floor to celebrate Oregon’s commitment to the clean energy economy.

CEWO-event-Derek-Sam-800x648

Clean Energy Works CEO Derek Smith and Indow Windows Founder Sam Pardue

We powered down our loud saws and production stopped early while everyone gathered to talk about what the future holds now that Oregon has committed to helping fund Clean Energy Works, a nonprofit providing home performance upgrades throughout the state.

Governor Kitzhaber’s Energy Advisor Margie Hoffman, State Rep. and Multnomah County Commissioner-Elect Jules Bailey, Clean Energy Works CEO Derek Smith and Tom Kelly, president of Neil Kelly, all took the podium to speak about the important work ahead.

CEWO-event-crowd-800x525

Our factory floor was packed! We’re glad to see so much support right here at home.

It’s exciting to think the state’s $10 million investment will lead to energy upgrades in 600,000 homes, 60,000 good jobs and ultimately $100 billion in economic development opportunity.

Every day at Indow Windows we’re working hard to make thermal window inserts that improve the energy efficiency of the built environment but also create good paying jobs for Oregonians. We’re committed to becoming as efficient as we can to continually raise production wages and make our product as affordable as possible. After all, there are one billion leaky single-pane windows in the U.S. that need saving!

Which leads to the most important reason we do what we do: climate change. Our CEO Sam Pardue said it well to the gathering of 100 or so people: he wants to redefine climate change not as environmental issue but one of the greatest socioeconomic challenges of our day.

While it’s hard to blame any one event on climate change, the unstable climate is leading to more catastrophic weather events like Typhoon Haiyan that slammed into the Philippines six months ago –  the most powerful storm ever recorded to hit land.

Today, two million people still live without adequate shelter and of the 18,456 classrooms destroyed, only 51 have been rebuilt. Climate change is creating devastating poverty around the world, making it imperative to shrink our carbon footprint.

“Climate change is the fundamental socioeconomic issue of our time and the work the legislature has done to fund Clean Energy Works is incredibly important,” Sam said. “It’s just the start of a long road ahead and I want to applaud you all and celebrate the work that’s been done so we can get back to work with really good hearts to do more.”

Our loud saws are back at it today!

Hofler deck

The story of how Michael Hofler came to be the new Creative Director at Indow Windows started with his house.

It’s an A. Quincy Jones house, built in 1960, a beautiful example of mid-century modern architecture in East Portland. Michael and his wife, Karen, love this house. Its clean lines. Its flow – with every square inch designed to maximize living. Its efficiency: large eaves that shield the hot summer sun from casting too much light on the floor but in the winter allow it to travel far enough to brighten and warm the house.

Hofler front of houseIt’s a treasure, Michael says. “And I won’t sell it  - at least not to anyone who planned to change A. Quincy Jones’s vision in any way.”

But as with houses of that era, it has single-pane glass, making it chilly and drafty in the winter and allowing radiant heat buildup in the summer.

Replacing the windows would have cost more than $23,000 and marred the structure’s architectural integrity.

Hofler bathroom

That’s when Michael found Indow Windows. He realized they were just the thing to make his house even better by blocking drafts and keeping the original windows intact.

“Indow Windows has helped my house become more efficient without altering its character,” he said. “I think that’s really important. The inserts just make perfect sense. I’m amazed that someone hadn’t thought of it sooner.”

Hofler window detail

While checking out the Indow Windows website, he saw the company needed a creative director. As a brand design director, he had been looking for a company small enough that it didn’t already have a solidified brand.

He wanted to help build something from the ground up. And when he met founder and CEO Sam Pardue and the rest of the Indow Windows team, he knew he could help.

“As soon as I met Sam I knew it would be a good fit. Like the fact that he allowed his staff to post playful out-take videos on the site showed that he and the company didn’t take itself too seriously,” he said.

“To me it was a sign that the company had the sort of culture I’d been looking for.”

In discovering Indow Windows Michael found a solution for his home and a career path with a clean tech startup that supports his desire to help the planet, rather than take away from it. He’s excited about the visual changes he has planned for the Indow Windows brand and is looking forward to the year ahead.