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Do Curtains Really Save Energy?

You may have heard that you can save energy by putting curtains on your window. You may be wondering if that’s true or just a way for curtain manufacturers to sell more of their curtains. Let’s pull the curtain back on the rumors and find the truth!

Curtains Save Energy and Money?

The answer is yes, curtains can save energy and save you money. There are, however, some caveats to that answer. You need to use curtains correctly and use the right type of curtain. If you use energy-efficient curtains in your home, including blackout curtains where appropriate, you can save money. The curtains will retain heat from inside your home during the winter. They will reflect heat from the outdoors in the summer. You will see lower heating and cooling bills. You’ll also control the amount of sunlight and heat in your home by adjusting the curtains as you like.

Eclipse Canova Thermaback Blackout Curtain Panel and Valance

 

Fix Your Windows First

Before you rush out and buy energy-efficient curtains, however, you need to take a look at your windows. If you’re like many people, you have no idea if your windows are properly sealed or letting in outside air. Check the caulking around all of your windows. If you’re not sure whether the caulking is in good repair remove it and apply new caulk. This will prevent drafts and allow your curtains to do their job.

Buy the Right Curtains

You should buy sturdy, solid curtains that will block light and heat. While sheers and lace curtains are pretty, they don’t count as curtains when it comes to saving energy. The best type of curtains are either blackout curtains, which you might like to have in a bedroom or other room where you want to block the sun completely, or lined draperies. You might also want to buy a drape and a separate energy-efficient curtain which hangs as close to the window as possible. These curtains prevent air from escaping around the edges of the drapery if the drape hangs farther from the wall.

Waverly Lovely Lattice Curtain Panel and Valance from ShopBedding.

 

Managing Your Curtains for the Season

During the summer you need a drapery with a light-colored backing. The light backing will reflect the sunlight and not absorb heat. You can also use these same curtains during the winter. In the summer you should keep the curtains closed during the heat of the day. This keeps the heat from warming the air in your home and allows you to run the air conditioner less. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a white curtain lining can reduce home heat intake by 33 percent.

In the winter you should open the curtains during the day if the window is in the sun. The more sunlight you use, the less you need to heat your home. Close all of your curtains as soon as the sun sets to keep the heat inside the house. The DOE estimates that closing curtains could reduce heat loss by 10 percent.

Hang Your Curtains High and Close

Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible or mount a cornice over the curtain rod to keep heat from leaking in either direction around the top of the curtain. Consider sealing the curtain to the wall with magnetic tape. Put a strip of tape on the wall and one on the curtain. Use floor-length curtains to trap air and keep it from leaking at the bottom of the curtains.

Just think – not only will using curtains improve the decor and style of your bedroom, using them correctly can also save you money!

What Are The Best Sheets For Sleeping?

When buying sheets, the most important thing to keep in mind is how they will affect your sleep. Sleep is obviously extremely important, and having sleep-friendly sheets and pillowcases is one way to prepare your best for a good night’s sleep.

Softness Matters for Sleep

Having soft sheets is the easiest and most conducive way to ensure a good sleep. When one’s body is comfortable and relaxed, there is simply less of a chance he or she will wake up. The question then becomes, how soft should sheets be to help one’s sleep? And what sort of materials make soft sheets? What thread count do you need for your sheets to feel extra soft? And is thread count all that matters?  Satin sheets are long considered to be the baseline for any truly soft sheets. They have a silk-like feel to them, and have a cool/cold feeling to them upon touch. The feeling they emanate is very smooth, and are often preferred as the go-to material for the hot summer months. It’s also considered to be an affordable sheet for those who desire silk but don’t want to spend the extra money.   Satin is often compared with cotton, though offer very different feels. Cotton is considered sturdier, warmer, and a bit heavier, which is why they are preferred in the cold winter months. It is also more affordable. That is why in terms of sleep, the best advice according to the calendar is simply this: one should use the cool and soft feeling satin in the summer in order to withstand the heat, and the warmer and heavier cotton in the winter. These two options are the most popular when it comes to choosing the best sheets for sleeping. But wait, there’s more.

How Soft Can You Get?

The buck doesn’t stop with satin sheets. The best thing about satin is that it feels like silk. Then why not the real McCoy? Silk represents the softest materials around, and silk sheets are considered to be much stronger than satin, because they are woven from longer threads. Also, the silk material itself is truly as soft as you can get because it is 100% silk. Satin, however, is a combination of silk, cotton, polyester, and other products. That is why, provided you can afford the higher price tag, silk sheets are probably the best product for achieving a good night’s sleep – by having the softest sheets possible, your body will be relaxed and have a higher chance of sleeping peacefully throughout the night.

Thread Count Matters

A sheet’s thread count is the number of threads per one square inch of fabric. It goes without saying that the more threads in the sheet, the softer it is, thereby making for a more pleasant night’s sleep. A sheet with a 200 thread count simply won’t be as soft as one with a 400 thread count. Of course, at a certain point, thread count doesn’t necessarily matter for softness, but maintaining a thread count of at least 400 is ideal for the optimum softness.   Overall, the best sheets for sleeping comes down to softness and timing. Silk and satin are the softest, but better in the hot summer months. Cotton is warm and heavy, and therefore better in the winter. Regardless, make sure that you buy your bedding from a reputable source so that you can be sure that your sheets are made from top materials.

Flu proof your Room

Sneezing in a white hankie. (Mcarlandmo, Wikimedia Commons).

Influenza, also known as the flu virus, can make you feel horrible for days on end. But by regularly disinfecting your bedroom, your odds of catching the flu can drop significantly. Following these simple tips can make a big difference when flu season rolls around:

Scrub All Surfaces

Because flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to two days, it’s important to regularly wipe them down. Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, computer keyboards and screens, tables, chairs, your nightstand and your vanity. And definitely watch out for your desk – experts say that cleaning off a frequently used workspace like your desk can reduce your exposure to the flu by up to 50 percent.

Is Your Phone a Flu Magnet?

You might have never suspected your shiny new iPhone from doing wrong, but in fact, our cell phones can become major breeding grounds for all sorts of microbes. According to a <a href=http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/15/germs-iphone-phones-flu/>2010 Stanford University study,</a> telephones can harbor 18 times more germs than a toilet seat. So be sure to disinfect your phone regularly. If you’re technologically inclined, you can even buy a device that’ll gently clean off the sensitive tech parts with <a href=http://www.geeksugar.com/Clean-Your-Cellphone-UV-11478037>UV light.</a>

Sanitize Your Remote Control

Got a TV in your room? Unfortunately, your remote control is also germ hotspot. Because you and flip through channels on a daily basis, your remote control becomes a carrier of all sorts of tiny fauna. So, as with your phone, make sure to give it a hardy spritz of sanitizer on a regular basis.

Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier on the air in your room can also ward away microbe invaders. Influenza’s ability to replicate is lessened when the humidity level in your room is higher.

Pay attention to both your wardrobe and your bedding. Note that just <a href=http://www.diylife.com/2010/11/25/flu-symptoms-proof-your-home/>one infected sheet</a> or piece of clothing is enough to spread the flu to an entire load of laundry. So to lessen the risk of catching something, turn your washing machine up to 150 degrees and don’t leave your wet laundry to dry on a clothing rack – dry everything in a dryer for 45 minutes minimum. These precautions, especially during flu season, can help keep your wardrobe and your bed virus-free.

Crafty bedroom ideas

Making decorative crafts for your bedroom is a great way not only to hone your crafty side but also to give your space a personal touch. After all, what better shows off your individuality than crafts that you’ve made by hand? The projects below don’t require a lot of steps, or a lot of materials, but look very professional once completed. Armed with these crafty hacks, you’re bedroom will be looking super cute in no time.

Organize by upcycling. Desk drawers get messy; that’s just a fact. If your drawers have a tendency to get out of control, consider making drawer dividers using old cereal boxes. Simply cut the bottoms off of a few from your recycling bin, cover them with wrapping paper or wall paper and then secure the paper with glue or tape on the bottom. Sure, you could just go out and buy dividers too — but they won’t be as cute as these! Moreover, because you’re upcycling boxes, these drawer dividers cost almost nothing to create.

Add some floral notes. Add some indoor flowers to your room with a couple of clever tricks. Fill a glass container about 1/3 of the way with either clear glass marbles or stones. Place a tulip bulb on top of the stones, pointed end up, and add further support to the bulb by adding a few more rocks or marbles around it. Finally, pour water into the container. The water line should be close to the bulb, but shouldn’t touch it. With your tulip in a glass container, you’ll see the roots develop in a fascinating and artistic way.

DIY furniture. Do you want an extra place to sit in your room? Make a custom bench with cute fabric to go at the foot of your bed. Take a trip to Home Depot and buy four legs, a piece of wood, four chair leg plates and some screws. Then go to the craft store to pick out some padding and choose a few yards of fabric. Wrap the padding and the fabric around the piece of wood and staple with an industrial stapler to secure them in place. Drill a hole through the center of each leg, and attach them to the wood using the the chair leg plates and four sturdy screws. When you’re finished, you’ll have an adorable and sturdy extra seat.

Decorate a headboard. Are you thinking about changing your headboard? Consider making one of your own with fabric that matches your bed’s color sheme. You’ll need fabric, mattress toppers, wood and a thin backer board. All of these can be found at Wal Mart or craft stores. Also go to Home Depot for screws and a wood board. Measure your headboard space and cut your wood board to fit. Then cut the wood again into even squares. Cover each square with a piece of mattress topper and then fabric, then staple into place. Finally, secure your fabric squares to the backer board using screws or a hot glue gun. And then — voila, you’re finished! Depending on the type of fabric you choose, you can either totally remake your bedroom’s look, or simply add a little bit of crafty flair with this neat trick.

Make a cute DIY bench. (fabuloushomeblog.com)
A fabric headboard. (allthingsthrifty.com)
Dividers emerge from old cerealboxes. (Oscar Learn, Oscar Teach!)
Indoor tulips (fabuloushomeblog.com

A bedroom made for two

Bunk beds (Miguel Andrade Wikimedia Commons)

Perpendicular bunk beds (nooshloves)

Are your children sharing a bedroom? There are many advantages to lodging siblings in one room: The arrangement teaches them how to share, how to compromise, and also how to be assertive when need be. Moreover, it teaches your children how to be mindful and respectful of each other’s property. When it comes to furnishing and decorating, however, you have to remain mindful of the smaller amount of space you have to work with. While you want your children to learn how to share space, you don’t want them stepping over each other’s toes. Read on for some tips on how to furnish and design a visually appealing shared bedroom while conserving space:

Bunk them. Buy a pair of bunk beds and stand them in one corner of the room. Bunk beds free up a lot of floor room, providing an ample play area for your children. You can add even more compactness by buying a bunk bed with a chest of drawers or a cubbyhole shelf built into the side — extra storage that doesn’t take up any extra square feet. With bunk beds, the interior decor can be as plain or wild as you and your children want — buy elegant wooden bunk beds and decorate with a soft palette, like this room, or go all-out and create a splashy themed room. Bunk beds can lend the structure to some wonderfully whimsical ideas, like this ‘playground’ bunk bed from CedarWorks, which includes detachable slides. Other themed rooms on Pinterest feature two-level mock houses and mock tree forts.

*****A new twist on an old idea ***** Instead of facing the bunk beds in the same direction, you could also try placing them perpendicular to one another. This creates a different design look which opens up new possibilities. You can use the space freed up under the top bunk for a chest of drawers, a small play area, or both. When your children get older, you could also put a desk or a file cabinet in that space for school purposes.

Keep them separate If you and your children aren’t keen on the idea of bunk beds, you can keep the bed separate while still maximizing floor space. Put the two beds on risers and install drawers or cubbies beneath each bed, or buy two beds with bottom storage space already built-in. With the storage space underneath the beds, you don’t need to waste any square feet on an extra chest of drawers. Lastly, consider getting a floor rug that helps serve as a natural dividing line, like in this room featured in Homes and Gardens, to help your children minimize any sibling disagreements over floor space.