A Guide to Energy Efficient Curtains
One of the keys to improving your home’s energy efficiency is minimizing heat loss and heat gain. Heat loss refers to heat that escapes from inside your home to outside in the winter. Heat gain, on the other hand, is heat from outside that makes its way into your home in the summer.
Both heat loss and heat gain force your heating and cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. To reduce your home’s heat loss and heat gain, you may want to start with the windows. This is because heat loss and heat gain through the windows accounts for about 30% of your heating and cooling system’s energy usage.
How can you prevent heat loss and heat gain through your windows? The answer is energy efficient curtains. Here’s what you should know:
What Are Energy Efficient Curtains?
Energy efficient curtains, also known as thermal curtains or insulated curtains, are special curtains that are designed to prevent heat loss and gain. These curtains usually consist of several layers, including:
- An outer layer, which is typically a decorative fabric.
- High-density foam that provides insulation.
- Layer of reflective material to block moisture.
- Layer of reflective film.
Energy efficient curtain sets may contain some or all of these layers.
Do Energy Saving Curtains Really Work?
The short answer to this question is yes, energy saving curtains really can reduce heat loss and heat gain. How? Hot air naturally moves from warm areas to cool areas. But energy efficient curtains are thick enough to act as a barrier, which allows them to block this natural heat flow.
By preventing heat loss and gain, energy efficient curtains can drastically reduce your home’s energy consumption and lower your monthly utility bills.
There are several other benefits to hanging energy efficient curtains. In addition to blocking heat flow, these curtains can also block out sound and natural light. This makes energy efficient curtains ideal for people who want to sleep soundly when it’s still light outside or who want a little peace and quiet.
Which Are More Energy Efficient: Blinds or Curtains?
Blinds and curtains are two of the most popular types of window treatments. But which window treatment is more energy efficient? In general, curtains are more insulating than blinds. In fact, energy efficient curtains can reduce heat loss by around 37% during the winter, whereas blinds can only reduce heat loss by about 14%.
The reason why curtains are more efficient is because heat can still travel through the slats of blinds. Because curtains are not designed with slats, they are better at preventing heat loss and gain than blinds.
How to Choose the Right Energy Efficient Curtains
Not all energy efficient curtains are created equal. If you plan on purchasing new curtains, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Look for curtains with magnetic strips on the side. Each of these strips pairs with another magnetic strip on the wall or window frame. Using these strips will maximize the energy efficiency of the curtains by sealing air gaps located on the outer edges.
- Pay attention to the fabric. If you are focused primarily on preventing heat gain in the summer, it’s best to choose curtains with a light-colored liner. This liner will reflect sunlight before it has a chance to heat up the inside of your home. If you want to block both heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, choose curtains with a mid- to heavy-weight liner made out of a spongy material.
- Take accurate measurements. The curtains need to cover the entire window to effectively prevent heat loss and gain. Ideally, energy efficient curtains should hang from the ceiling to the floor.
Your new curtains won’t be able to block heat flow if they aren’t used correctly. To maximize your energy efficiency, make sure you keep your new curtains closed during the day in the summer. Keeping your curtains closed can reduce heat gain in your home by up to 45%.
In the winter, feel free to keep your curtains open on any window that receives direct sunlight during the day. This will allow sunlight to warm up the inside of your home. But if a window doesn’t receive direct sunlight, close your curtains to keep heat inside your home. All curtains should be closed at night in the winter so you can stay warm while you sleep.