Losing Church Heating Through the Windows

Many congregations have a shared problem: church heating. The congregation can radiate warmth, but the buildings tend to have an issue with temperature control. We can generally blame the large, beautiful windows. But placing church storm windows over intricate stained glass? Or, church window replacement when they are associated with hundreds of years of history? Neither of these are good options.

Poor church heating is distracting to the congregation and expensive to maintain. Church storm windows can help control some heating and cooling, but they cannot accommodate the unique and varied shapes of church windows. Indow window inserts solve church heating: they can fit any shape, disappear once installed, and block 100% of drafts.

exterior of church with indow insert church storm windows

Indow is one of the only solutions that can fit any kind of window shape because of our precision measuring and customization. Learn more about how we create our special shape window inserts.

The benefits of keeping your windows and insulating with Indow window inserts:

  • Help regulate church heating & cooling
  • Remove the need for church storm windows which can harm historic church windows
  • Solve how to insulate stained glass windows
  • Are customizable and fit any shape of window
  • Block outside noise so congregants aren’t distracted

Single-Pane Historic Windows in Bowdoin College Church

Bowdoin college church sits in Banister Hall in Brunswick, Maine. The Romanesque building was designed by Richard Upjohn and has striking, arched, single-pane historic windows. The building can radiate warmth, but the windows were letting in a lot of cold weather.

At first, church storm windows were added, but they didn’t look right and so the college removed them. Replacing the windows was out of the question. These single-pane historic windows, though drafty, are a part of what makes this building iconic. Church window replacements cannot replicate the intricate windows students and congregants look out each day.

historic arched windows

Bowdoin College Church Heating Solution

Bowdoin College wanted a solution that helped solve church heating, saved their single-pane historic windows, and was sustainable. The campus sustainability coordinator had been working to reduce Bowdoin’s carbon footprint through measures such as weatherization, switching from oil to natural gas, and installing energy-efficient lighting. She reached out to Indow to do a pilot test with a single office on the building’s south side.

The window inserts created a huge impact on the church heating. “They eliminated the drafts,” said Caitlin Callahan, assistant director of the McKeen Center for the Common Good, who worked in the office at the time. But she noticed something else too: the chapel bells that ring every quarter hour were quieter.

So the college purchased 19 Indow inserts for the building’s south side. Because Indow inserts are precisely measured to fit any window, the inserts were custom fit to the stunning arches and batwing windows. The north side of Banister Hall houses the American Musicological Society, which is now interested in having Indow inserts as well.


installing indow inserts in church single pane historic windows

“If it’s blocking that much sound, it’s helping with the cold.”

– Caitlin Callahan, Assistant Director of the McKeen Center for the Common Good

“They’re nearly invisible. Unless you know they’re there, you don’t know they’re there.”

– Shawn Gerwig, Administrative Coordinator for the McKeen Center

Read more case studies.

Insulating Stained Glass Windows in McMinnville Cooperative Ministries

Church heating was also an issue for McMinnville Cooperative church who needed help insulating stained glass windows. They decided that carbon reduction was an important priority and proposed a plan that included air and duct sealing, wall and ceiling insulation, an upgrade to the heating system, and installation of solar power. WIth all those upgrades, they still had to figure out how to insulate stained glass windows.

The church contacted Cellar Ridge who recommended Indow window inserts instead of traditional church storm windows. This way, the windows remain intact and aren’t blocked by clunky church storm windows.

exterior view of church indow window inserts insulating stained glass windows

McMinnville Cooperative Ministries Church Heating Solution

The church’s plan for energy efficiency was actually voted on by two entire congregations. When the leaders presented the renovations to all members, they weren’t sure if everyone would agree that a smaller carbon footprint was that important. It was, and so was saving and insulating the stained glass windows. This building had been a sanctuary for the rebirth and mending of many of their lives, now it was time to lovingly restore it.

closeup of church window inserts insulating stained glass windows

The sanctuary has beautiful church stained glass windows. Cellar Ridge Energy Works recommended church replacement windows for other areas of the building, but when it came to the stained glass windows, they brought in something that would upgrade their energy efficiency without hiding any of their beauty like church storm windows would. Indow inserts insulated all the church stained glass windows while letting in beautiful natural light.

McMinnville Cooperative Ministries reduce its carbon footprint by 80%. Plus, their sanctuary now shelters from the cold and noise. They chose Indow window inserts instead of traditional church storm windows and gained an easy installation, superior insulation, and remarkable window noise reduction.


installing indow inserts in church stained glass windows

“I had read about Indow in the newspaper just a week before being presented the weatherization plan. It seemed like a great way to insulate the stained glass windows while preserving their beauty. 68 degrees is so much warmer than it used to be. The temperature is the same, but the room is much cozier because the cold surface of the stained glass windows no longer sucks the heat out of our bodies. When I remove an insert to show a congregant how they work, we can feel the cold air rushing in.”

– Pastor Pederson, McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, McMinnville Oregon.

Read more case studies.

A Glowing Review: Better Than Church Storm Windows

Both churches, regardless of the size and shape of their windows were able to solve their church heating issues. Each one was able to maintain a clear view of their windows with natural light flowing through to their congregants. Even though the window inserts were brought in for church heating, each noted surprise at the fact that as each insert was installed, their sanctuary became quieter and quieter, “Once one side of the building was installed, the difference was remarkable!” said Pederson.

After installing window inserts in their church windows, everyone was glad they skipped the church storm windows for something more illuminating.

person installing indow window church storm windows

Hear from others who have used Indow commercial window inserts in their historic buildings. Business owners, building managers, and architects have all used window inserts to help those who use the space be more comfortable. Or, speak with one of our window experts to get a free estimate for your window solution.

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