How to Adjust the Tension on Hanging Blinds

Updated February 21, 2017

Hanging blinds have either vertical or horizontal slats. Vertical blinds have a string and pulley system that controls the tension and release mechanisms. Through this system, one is able to lower and raise the blinds to any height they wish. The tension is adjusted by pulling on two strings that typically hang on the right side of the blinds. A few simple movements allow you to adjust the blinds in different ways. Additionally, after time your blinds may start to sag or have uneven tension. This can be fixed with some simple adjustments or repairs.

Pull up your blinds by grabbing hold of both pull strings (lift cord) and pulling straight down. Pull the lift cord to the right and release gently to lock the tension on the blinds in place.

Let your blinds down by pulling the lift cord down and to the left. Pull the lift cord to the right again to lock the blinds in place.

It is also possible to lift or let down just the right or the left side of your blinds. Try fixing blinds that are hanging unevenly by adjusting the tension on just one side. Grab one string of the lift cord in one hand and one string in the other hand. Pull straight down just one string at a time to pull up either side of the blinds. When the level of the blinds is where you want it, pull both strings to the right to lock the tension.

If blinds are pulling unevenly, let them down all the way and adjust the positioning of the strings in the lift cord buckle so that both strings are hanging straight down and at the same length.

If this does not solve the problem, the strings may be stuck or tangled in the head rail. Remove the blind from the window. Open the head rail. Check to make sure the strings are running evenly and straight through the mechanisms. Many types of blinds will have a pin on the cord lock mechanism that can be pushed to help disengage the cords for untangling and repositioning. Use a flat head screwdriver to carefully push the pin and release the cords.

Shades, such as roller shades, will have brackets around the end of the roller. If the brackets are bent or are too tight around the end of the roller it can cause tension that is too tight. Check for rubbing and friction in the brackets and roller. Remove the brackets and let the shade up just a bit. Unbend the brackets if necessary. Replace the brackets and try letting the shades down and up again.

Some blinds, such as cordless aluminium blinds, may have uneven tension due to problems with the friction clips that are inside of the head rail. Open the head rail and check for non-functioning friction clips. Contact the manufacturer to purchase new friction clips and installation instructions.

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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.