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Posts Tagged ‘energy savings


The above photo illustrates the Symphony Shade’s ComforTrack Plus “sidetrack” system – as you can see, it creates a “seal” between the cold or hot temperatures outside, and your climate-controlled interior. By reducing the exchange of exterior air through the windows and into your room, this “total package” of cellular shade AND sidetracks significantly reduces both winter heating costs and summer air-conditioning bills.

And we’ve got DATA to back up our claims:


While the main function of the ComforTrack Plus sidetracks is to help block air exchange, as the photos above demonstrate, they do a nice job of blocking side light gaps too!


  • Minimum inside mount depth: 1 1/2″
  • Flush inside mount: 1 7/8″
  • The widest width of the window cannot exceed the narrowest width of the window by more than 3/8″
depth for tracks

Measure depth at narrowest point
(cranks, handles, locks count as obstructions)


  • Sidetracks are easy to install: Sidetracks attach to the window casing with an adhesive-backed magnet strip.
  • Tracks are made of durable, high-tech plastic.
  • Notched track at upper edge and specially designed bottom end caps provide snug fit at top & bottom of shade.
  • Increases privacy and room darkening by closing side light gaps between the shade and window frames.
top notch side tracks

Track’s notched top fits around headrail

Current Sale:

side tracks sale


Sam SnowmanIf it’s COLD enough to keep a snowman comfortable in your home, consider a:

Cellular Window Shade

For your room’s window!

Cellular Window Shades are perfect for retaining your home’s heat: Today I was talking to a man who had just taken delivery of his recent shade order. He was so enthusiastic! And tonight will be the FIRST time a room (kept at 60-degrees this winter) will have SHADES in the windows at all.

“You will find it makes a WORLD of difference,” I told him, “regarding your comfort as well as the energy savings” — and that’s no mere boast. I sit directly below a “leaky” double-paned window. Today, especially, the only thing that kept me warm was the cellular window shade: I didn’t lift it up till 2 pm! (Winter sun = must “bask” in it)

Click on the snowman to visit our website – Introduce yourself, your home, and your family & pets to the same cold-weather protection my guy was so pleased to be experiencing this afternoon. Our shades are Made in America — unlike this Arctic Blast, which dropped down from Canada….

As owner of an “older home” (c1948), I’ve an interest in stories on replacement windows. The noise reduction! the increased insulation! As a Blindcrafter Team Member, found on the web at, the conversation also includes how shades can help older windows — which are often better built windows — out of the landfills.

Over the weekend, I watched a 60 Minutes episode on the demolition of foreclosed home in the Columbus, Ohio, area — truly, a great waste – of money, energy, goods; not to mention the foolishness of removing people from their homes which now are fodder for criminals stripping a property for items of a little worth (the guy on the segment mentioned: “They’ve even taken the kitchen sink!”).

So it was with great interest I read about a Vermont man who has been in the business of “redressing” older windows. The story ran in the free weekly newspaper, 7 Days, and was written by Amy Lilly. The company — which is bound to get some much needed publicity, is Open Sash, owned by Christopher Pratt. Amy’s story really tells you all you need to know, so I will let it speak to you – just click on the photo:


Other posts on similar subjects, include:


The October issue of This Old House magazine has a short one-page “illustrated” PRICE-WISE article about Cellular Shades!

The quick look at cellular shades involves the ComforTrack Plus blackout shades.

WARNING: The ONE THING readers of TOH do NOT want to do with their Symphony BLACKOUT fabric shades, however, is SOAK the fabric!!! That cleaning method is ONLY for LIGHT FILTERING fabrics!

We’d love to hear from you, if you heard about cellular shades through This Old House magazine — tell us, if this was your source when you order from

Check out our “As Featured In….” page of links all about the Energy-Saving Side Track System. You can learn about the side track system, and why it will save you money — and how to benefit from Comfortex’s Insulation Systems Federal Tax Credit for 2011.

Woodruff Hall, on the campus of Castleton State College (Vermont), opened in 1926. It was built on the site of the 1829 Old Seminary, which had been destroyed by fire. Woodruff Hall is now in the midst of a $275,000 “window renovation,” which seeks to have historically accurate windows that match the “look of the buildings in the 1920s”:

Being a window shade manufacturer, wondered: Did anyone ever think of upgrading window shades rather than replacing windows? It is a valid point, given the cost of such projects especially.

We all know that windows provide a “path of least resistance” to drafts, winds, and the elements. Upgraded windows usually provide upgraded performance, convenience, and maintenance. But when you add “historically accurate” to the equation you are bound to compromise on some issues. Take for instance, the vinyl (minimal upkeep) tilt-in (easy to clean) replacement window. Vinyl would not typically be termed “historical” and tilt-ins may need to take a backseat to true weight/pulley sash systems.

In this “green” era, there is also concern about landfills and the preference for refurbishment over replacement.

Take a look at a couple articles from 7 Days, a Vermont weekly:

  • Heeding Unhappy Homeowners, Burlington Planners Look to Redefine “Historic” (3-9-11)
  • The Preservation Police (9-22-10)

The flurry of Letters to the Editor can be found online too.

We did address the issue of Energy Shades vs Replacement Windows in an earlier post, when the newspaper column About the House with Henri de Marne ran a question/answer about this very subject! Mr de Marne’s answer started off with the point that “The energy efficiency can be about the same!” He then went on to say “Insulating shades cost much less and are easier to do.” Ultimately, he suggested good storm windows rather than replacements.

I also distinctly recall a This Old House that refurbished their historic (old) windows, upgrading them in an effort to improve them while retaining the actual original window.

There is even a Repairing Old and Historic Windows: A Manual for Architects and Homeowners.

An interesting article (published in 2009) found here at The Herald Tribune brings up some interesting points: including temperature “control” and “noise reduction”. Cellular Shades help in both those situations!

Sometimes improvement can start from the inside:

(see the “BEFORE” by clicking on the picture!)

Breaking News!

Comfortex, the “inventor” of the ComforTrack sidetrack system, has recently announced that the US Government has been certified for Tax Credit (those taxes done in 2012) of up to $500 for purchases made between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.

“Comfortex Corporation certifies that the following ComforTrack Plus Energy Saving Sidetrack Insulation System products are ‘Eligible Building Envelope Components’ that qualify as insulation systems for the federal Tax Credit allowed under Internal Revenue Code 25C…”

CWS is in the midst of adding the new “2011 Manufacturer’s Certification Statement” to our website, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the same document through Comfortex’s website.

* * *

A very interesting “find” by a colleague here in the CWS office: an Idaho home inspector who just raves about our “northern Vermont company”! While they credit us with “creating” the sidetrack system, it’s the system itself which obviously has made them into raving fans:

“plastic tracks that you mount on the inside of your window frame… have a small plastic ridge that fits into a notch cut into the ends of the pleats.  You can hardly see these side tracks, and do not even notice them unless one is looking closely at the window frame.  These side tracks eliminate that “R” stealing gap that occurs naturally with traditional blinds.  When installed, these side track blinds add an “R” value….”

The writer goes on to talk about the impact on his home, comfort, bills, and bank account:

“I recommend you purchase just one… and install it in your bedroom.  Your room will be instantly much warmer in the winter months, and you’ll be able to turn your thermostat down without reducing your comfort.  In the summer months, you won’t need the air conditioning as much.  I am certain that you’ll be so impressed, you’ll do like I did and outfit the entire house with them.  These blinds have reduced my monthly heating and cooling costs by about $30 per month.  The money I save on utilities will pay for the cost of these blinds in only a few years.  So, instead of a 20+ year cost recoup time… I am looking at recouping the cost in less than 5 years.  After that, they are just money in the bank.”

Our own thermal photos: open shade, closed shade, sidetracked shade

The greatest of praise is reserved for our firm’s “customer service”, which has to include in this instance (a repair) our wonderful Production Team:

“The thing that impressed me the most with this company is their service.  All of the blinds I ordered from them were exactly what I ordered and they all fit perfectly.  About seven months after installing one of the blinds, it developed a problem in the retraction mechanism and would not allow the blind to go up or down.  I sent them an e-mail asking for advice on how to repair the mechanism.  They mailed back to me a UPS label for company paid shipping… asking me instead to send the blind back to Vermont, so I did.  Yesterday, I arrived home from work to find my blind had been returned to me in full working order.  No questions asked.  No cost.  This is what has impressed me the most.  These people operate their business with old fashioned American values.  A good product at a fair price.  American made… American backed.  With fantastic service… standing behind their product.”

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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