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Curtain selection and energy loss

9 January 2009 536 views No Comment
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Am I really asking you to pick out and install some curtains?

There’s a very, very good reason, aside from being fashionable.

Which I’m not.

Curtains, especially the heavier fabric ones, are good insulators. They retain heat very well, and also block a lot of cold air.

Try this. If you have curtains, on a cold day, stand near the window with the curtains drawn. Now feel behind the drawn curtain, between the window and fabric. I guarantee it is much colder. The curtains are stopping the colder air from entering the room and cooling it off.

Now for some more curtain wisdom. The heavier the fabric and more folds, the better it insulates and keeps warmer air in the house.

Neat, huh?

Once you have the curtains installed, it’s time to adopt some best practices.

First, keep the curtains open on the sunny side of the house. When the sun shines, it will warm the room naturally. When the sun goes down, draw the curtains. This will prevent the warmed air from escaping near the window.

Keep the curtains drawn on the shady side of the house. Again, this retains heat.

Curtains do more than just look nice. They can also retain heat, and even block it out when not needed.  Heavy curtains with a lot of creases like these not only liven the room, but lower heating and cooling bills.

Curtains do more than just look nice. They can also retain heat, and even block it out when not needed. Heavy curtains with a lot of creases like these not only liven the room, but lower heating and cooling bills.

Don’t have curtains?

Shades or blinds will help, especially when it comes to the sun heating the room. Keep them open to allow sunshine in but drawn to prevent warmed air from seeping out.

Blinds won’t help as much as curtains, but at least there’s something in the window.

Blinds can help shut out cold air and keep heated air indoors in rooms where you may not want to put curtains up, like in this second floor half  bathroom.

Blinds can help shut out cold air and keep heated air indoors in rooms where you may not want to put curtains up, like in this second floor half bathroom.

And when all else fails, placing heavy blankets or towels will mitigate heat loss through the windows, especially if they are older and are drafty.

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