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Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency

bed in snow

This “fluffy” bedroom looks oh-so-cozy. . . With ONE exception: those gaping windows looking out to the snowy landscape. Brrr. . . This couple will NEED that down-filled duvet!

Cellular window shades are made expressly for blocking the cold that seeps through windows. Instead of turning an uncomfortable room into a grab for the thermostat or the thickest hand-knitted wool sweater, a set of cellular shades, pulled down over those cold windows will stop drafts, increase comfort, and save mega $$$ over the years. And HOUZZ agrees, placing cellular shades on their list of the top 9 Ways to Insulate Your Windows and Doors:

  • Weatherstripping and caulking: plug those air leaks!
  • Heavier curtains: swap out those summer sheers.
  • Doorway curtains: glass doors are just begging to be behind a velvet curtain at night.
  • Cellular shades: those “honeycombs” trap pockets of air – thereby adding to the insulating abilities of these shades. Houzz writer Laura Gaskill comments that they insulate “like a puffy down quilt“. How so very true. Models available for windows, arches, skylights, doors, and even sliders.


  • Layered window treatments: dress up your windows: shades and curtains.
  • Use draft-dodgers and door snakes.
  • Insulating Energy film for windows.
  • Install storm windows and storm doors.
  • Exterior “barn doors”: moving external “shutters” for glass doors and sidelights.

Easy “green” in more ways than one:
Easy for the environment and easy on your pocketbook.



Decor Ideas for your window from TLC: “If eyes are the windows to the soul, then… windows are … one of the most important decorating decisions facing the homeowner.”

“Window treatments are more than a decorating decision… — [they] must also serve a functional end: to admit or block sunlight and to provide privacy. Window treatments need to do far more than look good.”

ANALYZE your needs:

  • How important is privacy?
  • What direction is the room’s “exposure” (south or west = sunny)?
  • Does your climate (hot or cold) call for energy-efficient window treatments?
  • Does the window’s architecture dictate a particular treatment?

How to make your Window Solution SIZZLE:

Sage Decorating ADVICE:

  • Absence of color doesn’t have to mean a lack of style at the windows.
  • Reflect your lifestyle: Casual and bold can be fun!
  • Shades “come in a range of diverse looks and executions. Compatible with virtually any decorating and architectural style”.
  • Choose from Clean-lined – Highly Decorative; Translucent – Opaque; Patterned – Solid.
  • “Because the blinds provide all the privacy and sunlight function … drapery treatment over them really can be for appearance only“. Try “fluid and spontaneous”.


If you’re in “mid-life” like me, then you will remember the early days of This Old House – and its host Bob Vila. Bob’s still around, plugging more than Sears and their Craftsman Tools. He’s picked out some Tips of the Day. And even has a tweet “What to do with OLD WINDOWS”! How up the alley for a blindcrafter manufacturer specializing in Cellular window shades.

Of more interest, perhaps, is Bob’s website — which is where I ended up when looking at What To Do With Old Windows. LOVE the table!

The Green Building Forum, in the UK, featured this recent Q&A session about blinds. One forum-poster, JT, confessed “I think I’ve been so fixated on heat loss that I hadn’t given thought to avoiding overheating.”

With July temperatures already wilting many communities, OVERheating — through glass found in windows, patio doors, and skylights — is a concern.

Of exceptional interest is James’s link to this article on Thermal Performance of Traditional Windows. I have “original” windows in my modest Cape-style home here in Vermont, and have blogged a couple of times about the value and also the historic desirability of original sash windows (never mind the landfill conundrum). This article actually uses the phrase “evidence is available to counteract some of the misconceptions about the energy efficiency of original timber sash windows“. They advocate simple repairs and “basic improvements”.

In point number 3, where there is discussion of curtains and “roller blinds”, imagine how much more effective and efficient those windows could be with Cellular window shades. We’ve got data to back up our assertions: Check out our R-values for Cellular Shades page.

If the UK strives to target U-value for windows of 2 or below then more windows should be covered by Cellular Shades: “To compare R-value and U-factor, divide 1 by the U-factor number,” says the site Efficient Using this to get an R-value for “high performance double-pane windows” -> with a U-factor of 0.30 on average – that equates an R-value of 3.33.

This R-value is desirable: and what comes close is the Light Filtering Cellular Window shade fabric, with an R-value of 2.8.

Add side tracks to that same shade and you’ve raised the R-value to 3.3 — and tied that “high performance double-pane” window.

Use Black Out fabric rather than Light Filtering fabric and you up those values even more: R-value of 4.0 and, if you add side tracks, 4.7.

These numbers are for SHADE ALONE. Once you factor in the window itself, you’re potentially reaching R-values in the range of 8.2.

So how does all this help with keeping OUT the hot weather, as well as keeping in HEAT during the winter months?

English Heritage has produced a video Sash Windows – Why They Are Worth Keeping. The same link also gives access to a couple of well-thought-out publications on improving thermal performance.

It’s a two-way street: What improves to keep heating inside rather than dissipating to the outdoors also helps keep the sweltering outdoor temperatures from impacting your internal temperature. If outdoor heat doesn’t enter your premises, then your cooling system — whether a/c units or fans — can relax and work much less. offers the following “Handy Info” pages:

* * *

“There is nothing quite like walking into a cool room on a hot day…”

If you answer the following question, with a YES, maybe it’s time
to research Cellular Shades and Skylights:

Do you start your air conditioning early in the morning,
and run it all day??

(for A Cooler You, Click on the link or photo)

Happy New Year’s to all our customers, readers, friends and employees!

At we look forward to some exciting changes in early 2012 — we’ve got a new shade style, some fantastic new colors, and — we trust — the same great customer service. Join us!


A ‘Made in the USA’ company, is thankful to everyone who contacted us in 2011, made comments on our product, needed help with shade solutions, or just wanted to say ‘hi’.

We appreciate your patronage, and send out this THANK YOU to one and all!

Thursday, I spoke to a woman who had installed the ComforTracks side-tracks, but was unable to pull the shade down over the crank.

She was adamant that the depth required for the side tracks — a minimum of 1 1/2 inches, but a flush mount requires 1 7/8 inches — was available on her window, yet was curious that the shade could not be pulled completely down, because of the crank handle.

Take a look at this window – its flat surface depth – its crank.

If we assume the flat surface depth is 2-inches, one can concede that tracks could be applied to this window. But look closely at the handle: it is the full depth of that flat surface! So for this window to fully accommodate a cellular window shade with side tracks, it would require the depth of 1 1/2 to 2-inches as measured from the furthest point beyond that handle.

The greatest hint I can give about measuring is NOT to measure depth with the idea of where is the point of greatest depth (for even sash windows have more depth on the upper sash than the lower sash), but where is the point of least-greatest depth.

This user could have side tracks on their window – but the shade will never clear that crank at the bottom. If the molding were straight out for another couple inches, the story would be quite different. Always remember: it is flat surface depth beyond any window obstructions like cranks, handles and locks.

For more information, see our measuring guide.

I am reminded to say that long-handled CRANKS are a thing of the past: check out our supply of T-Handles. NOTE: This will help your profile, but not solve all lack-of-depth problems.

In my last post, I mentioned the Temporary Shade as a great “fix” for on-the-market homes.

Then I went to lunch…

                                     …And started thinking…

…About homeowners who have told me that having cellular window shades in their home was a GREAT SELLING POINT.

Let us count the ways:

(1) Custom-made blinds look great because they fit the space they were intended to occupy. No gaps at the sides, no overlapping.

(2) Custom-made blinds don’t have easy portability — although wide (or long) shades can be cut down, it’s quite probably as cost-effective to start anew (new shades=new place) than tote the old around, send them in for a cut-down, etc etc.

(3) Wouldn’t YOU like to come into a new home with nice blinds already in the windows?!?

Nowadays, when you’ve got hardwood floors, or original molding, or all-stainless steel appliances to tout, wouldn’t it be wonderful to also point out the privacy-factor and energy-efficiency of cellular blinds to potential buyers?

Cold days of winter will soon be upon us – then
formerly sunny windows invite in winter’s chill

I had a friend who waited until she was READY to put her home on the market to change out wall-to-wall carpeting for hardwood flooring. She got to enjoy the flooring for maybe six months — after all that wear-and-tear of tearing out the old…

One CWS customer “Down Under” — who lives in a BEAUTIFUL home (we’ve seen pictures)! — has had the house on the market, but decided to enjoy their shades while they were still living there. They purchased for the entire house. Now they get the benefits of the shades in lower energy costs (winter and summer), and possess an unusual selling point–

These owners also now know how well the shades have worked (versus nothing in the windows before) and can communicate those thoughts to potential buyers. A real “Win-Win”!

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

CellularWindowShades are

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