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.
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.
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!