Sidetracks are not something that comes to mind when you think of home insulation. Much of the conversation around insulation is still centered around wall insulation. It is not common knowledge that a huge chunk of energy loss happens through doors and windows.
As awareness is growing around the role of windows and doors in insulating our homes, the market is responding by introducing numerous window treatment solutions that provide greater insulation. While the initial spotlight is on the material, certain hardware can prove to be equally vital in keeping in the heat. Sidetrack is one such solution.
What are Side Tracks?
Most shades are made slightly smaller than the actual window size so that the sides don’t scrape against the while when they go up and down while in operation. This inevitably leaves a gap that lets in enough light and draught to make you uncomfortable.
Sidetracks are L-shaped plastic structure that settles into the gap between the window and the shades, to seal off the gap so that no light can escape through the gap.
Different Types of Side Tracks
Sidetracks are mostly available in white, black, bronze, and brown so that it goes with most window frames. Sidetracks form a nice border around your window, giving it a definite shape and structure. They can be fitted to your existing shade as they are super easy to fit. Most side tracks come with adhesive strips or magnetic strips that are very easy to install.
Benefits of Side Tracks
Insulation: Shades are great for insulation, but the gap they leave between the window and the material inevitably leads to a considerable loss of heat. In winter months, the same gap lets in the wintry air. As a result, your heating costs go up. But with sidetracks, the shades completely block off the window. If you install side-tracks for every window in the house, you will see the benefits in the reduced energy bills.
The side tracks are designed to block of 97% of the light that would have leaked through the gap. The material also aids in the process as they are made of light absorbent plastic.
Privacy: If you treasure your privacy, the gap left between the blind and the frame will be a source of endless annoyance. Side-tracks can easily take care of this problem. As the gaps get sealed off, closed blind offers complete privacy, both during the day and night.
Blackout Effect: Sidetracks are a must for the blackout blinds. These blinds are designed to cut off the light completely. But the gap still lets in enough light to defeat the whole purpose of having blackout blinds. If you want that pitch dark effect, sidetracks are a must. With sidetracks, your room will easily achieve that night like atmosphere, once you turn down the blackout blinds. Now you can sleep peacefully, or watch the movie without the sun playing spoilsport.
Operational Ease: Sidetracks make the operation of shades smoother so that they sustain less damage and last longer. This is especially true for motorized blinds, which often operate remotely.
3 Insulating Shades that have Side Tracks
When it comes to insulation, three shades that stand out are Darkout Shades, Cellular Shades, and Roller Shades.
Dark out shades
Dark out shades are best known for their dark out effect. The main purpose of dark out shades is to block light, to the extent that very little light enters the room. This feature has become very popular with homes and businesses alike, especially in settings like hotels and hospitals, where getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to the well-being of the inhabitants.
But getting complete darkness becomes very difficult if there is a gap between the window and the shade. These gaps are popularly known as ‘light-gaps’ as they leave a fine outline of light all around the shade. Sidetracks are usually available with all dark out shades, as they are easier to fit at the time of installation, and will complete the look. These sidetracks are usually made of durable plastic that mounts either in front of behind the shades to seal off the gap. They are available in a wide range of lengths and thicknesses and can be easily modified to suit your particular requirements.
Cellular shades are your one-stop solution for saving energy, both in summer and winter. Their unique honeycomb-like hollow structures trap air, which in turn becomes a formidable insulation barrier. As a result, the room does not lose heat during the winter and in the summer the room retains the cool air of the air-conditioner. The other benefits of cellular shade include noise reduction and light-filtering abilities.
Sidetracks are sold as supplementary features for cellular shades. However, it is a useful addition to the whole setup. The gap that remains between the shade material and the window allows heat-loss that can ultimately lead to increased energy bills. If you have installed cellular shades to reduce your energy bills, add these sidetracks and the effect will be clearly visible on your energy bills.
Roller shades are the most common choice for most consumers. It’s simple operation mechanism, coupled with a huge variety of patterns and materials, makes it an extremely versatile window treatment solution.
Roller shades are suitable for any rooms, whether it’s the kitchen or the living room, you will find their classic appeal taking the aesthetic appeal of the room to another level. Roller shades are great for blocking sunlight, preventing heat gains, reducing noise pollution and so on. However, all these functionalities remain incomplete, unless you use sidetracks. Especially in an inside mount, the gap cannot be covered unless you use sidetracks. With the use of sidetracks, you can easily seal off the gap and enjoy the full benefits of your roller shades.
To get the most out of your insulating shades, use side tracks and just see the difference.