Frequently Asked Questions

There are so many choices - how do I choose the right shade for my windows?

Different things are important to different people. That’s why we at Custom Thermal Shades custom-make every one of our shades to your specifications. Over the years, we have developed a series of questions that will help guide you as to what shade would fit your lifestyle and best serve your needs. All of our shades have the same great r-value, insulating your windows and keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Our shades vary in how and where they are installed, how they hang, and how they operate. The first question to ask yourself is “How frequently am I going to be opening this shade?” If your answer is that you are opening it on a daily basis (to let the sunshine in), then you might find that the Classic Roman, Wide Pleat Roman, or Side Draws would be the best option for you.

If, however, your shades will be closed most of the time opened occasionally if desired, or you just want to seal off a door or window for the winter, consider the basic or Stagecoach shades. Basic shades can be put up for the winter and taken down in warmer weather. Stagecoach shades can be in a bedroom or bathroom, where they might be closed most of the time in the winter, and perhaps opened most of the time in the summer.

The next question to ask yourself is “Where is this shade going to be hung?” If you are going to put your Custom Thermal Shade in a nursery or child’s playroom, it is recommended to get a cordless shade for safety, such as our Side Draw Shades, or the Basic or Stagecoach shades. If your shade going to be in a room that you frequently open and close the shades, the Classic Roman is the most convenient for this. If you have very wide windows, or a slider, atrium door, or French doors, The Side Draw Shade is the best and easiest to use choice for this.

How do I choose between Inside and Outside Mount?

Most of our shades come with the option of an inside mount or an outside mount. To help you decide which you’d be happiest with, we find that there are two factors that people consider when making this decision. First, is it important to see the woodwork when the shade is closed? If the woodwork on your window frames were harvested from trees on your land, and hand-shaped by your grandpa, you probably would want to see and enjoy this woodwork. The inside mount is probably the better choice for you.

The other factor to consider is how much of the window will show when the shade is open? If having the maximum window area showing with an open shade it of primary importance to you, then the outside mount (with the shade mounted above the window) would be the best choice for you.

How do I clean my Insulated shade?

There are several methods you may use to care for your Custom Thermal Insulated shades. Vacuuming or dusting your shades should keep them fresh for years to come, but “spot cleaning” the cover fabric may be necessary for stains. You can use a spray-on upholstery cleaner and vacuum your shade while it is still hanging, or if you wish, dry-cleaning in a non-immersion cleaning method.

How should I cover a sliding glass door?

The side draw shade is an excellent choice for a sliding glass door. It’s a cordless system, making it child safe. Sliding doors can also be covered with one Roman shade using an outside mount so the shades will gather entirely above the door when raised.

Magnets? My windows aren't metal.

Magnetic strips are attached to your existing window frame, no matter what the material is. Additionally, you can paint the magnetic strip to better blend with your woodwork.

How can I reduce condensation?

The amount of condensation that will accumulate on windows is related to the amount of moisture in the air and the temperature of the window glass. With a Custom Thermal shade installed, the window glass is much colder since it no longer is warmed by the escaping room heat. The colder glass would normally increase condensation, but the Custom Thermal’s vapor barrier stops much of the moist air from reaching the glass. The accumulated condensation is usually about the same after installing a Custom Thermal shade as it was before. Because the Custom Thermal shade is so effective in preventing the room heat from reaching the cold glass, the condensed moisture may freeze. Opening the shade, daily and wiping away any accumulated condensation moisture or ice will help prevent mildew. Apply open-cell-foam weather-stripping at the bottom of the glass to help absorb moisture before it reaches the sill. Place a container of desiccant behind the shade to help control moisture accumulation. If condensation is a problem, it may be the result of excessive moisture in the air from many indoor plants; the lack of an exhaust duct and fan for showers or a clothes dryer; or from the lack of a vapor barrier in the crawl space under the floor.


Call (413) 354-2320 for more information, or request a quote here.