We all love to relax in a warm and cozy home whilst the worst of winter is kept at bay outside. Unfortunately this year the cost of energy has exploded beyond belief. Whether you use gas, electricity or even wood in a log burner, energy bills this winter could be astronomic.
Curtains to the rescue
Windows are one of the “leakiest” parts of your home letting heat out and draughts in. Outside doors can be even worse, especially in older buildings. Many homes have opted for modern double-glazed windows which are a huge improvement on older windows, but the trend for massive bi-fold doors opening into gardens has increased the amount of heat loss due to the large expanse of glass.
Research by the University of Salford shows that closing curtains at dusk can reduce heat loss from typical British terraced house by 15-17%. If you have draughty or single-glazed windows the saving could be greater. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using curtains with thermal lining can reduce heat loss by up to 25 percent.
Your existing curtains should help but there is probably room for improvement.
What can I do?
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Are your curtains big? Short curtains will leak the cold air from the bottom, so curtains to the floor are better at trapping cold air behind them. Even better are curtains that pool/puddle on the floor as these will trap a stationary wall of air between the curtain and the window and reduce the flow of draughts.
- Are your curtains thick? The more layers of fabric your curtains have the more layers of air are trapped and the better the curtain acts as an insulation barrier between your window and the room. Interlined curtains are good. Even better if your curtains have a dedicated thermal lining. Sturdy woollen curtains (for example with Abraham Moon fabric) will keep more heat in than thin cotton ones.
- Two is better than one. Why not double up with curtains and blinds at your window for both a stylish and energy efficient solution? Like these made in fabric from Sanderson.
- Don’t have space for big chunky curtains? Or they don’t suit the style of your room? You’ll be surprised that even voile curtains can be made with special thermal fabrics by Ado to help reduce heat loss.
- Want to keep your existing curtains? Most tracks or poles will let you hang another thermal lining curtain behind your existing curtain. That builds up the layers of air trapped between your window & room. Specialist quilted liners are also available. These can be taken down when Spring arrives. Double poles will let you run two sets of curtains independently one behind the other. Again giving you great thermal insulation.
- Talking of poles, why not consider French Poles (sometimes called room darkening poles) because the curtain finishes flat against your wall. That traps even more air behind the curtain. So it darkens your room by stopping light coming in but it also stops heat getting out.
- Check every window for draughts. Ideally every window should have curtains but blinds are better than nothing. If you have a large patio door or bi-fold garden windows these need attention due to the large area of glass conducting heat out of your room unless you have triple glazed or low emissivity glass.
- Don’t cover your radiators behind thermal curtains as they’ll trap the warmth behind them. Older houses originally with single glazed windows tended to place radiators under windows. If you still have such radiators your best option may be thermally lined Roman blinds at the window above the radiator.
- Got a problem outside door? Add a single door curtain which you can remove in Spring. Pooling the curtain fabric on the floor might be a problem due to dirt from the door mat so instead consider a stuffed draft excluder to be laid on the floor across the bottom of the door. You can buy ready made or have one made to match the curtain fabric.
One added benefit of thermal curtains is that they tend to be sound deadening. They can reduce outdoor noise and annoying echoing sounds indoors.
With the nights drawing in and the inevitable energy price increases now is the time to review your curtains. The right curtains will definitely save you energy and reduce your bills. And importantly make your home feel cozy and welcoming this winter.
Find out more about energy-efficient curtains
If you need help making your home cozy now is the time to get expert help at Fabric Gallery & Interiors. Please contact us to arrange an appointment at our Design Studio with Bronia, our Chief Designer, to discuss your requirements. Please call 01904 481101.
We look forward to seeing you soon.