As winter approaches, we all try to ensure our homes are heated in the safest and cleanest way possible. But also to ensure that the heat in our home is not wasted.
We've all heard about heat efficiency and the benefits of it - so today we willl discuss how the right type of curtains can help increase heat efficiency in your home and play a vital role in making the home well insulated during the long cold winter nights!
Windows provide us with so many benefits – natural daylight, a quaint view. But during the winter months they become holes in the sides of our homes, letting out all our coveted heat. The best solution for this is curtains.
But unfortunately, the vast majority of curtains do not hold the warmth as well as they should. Here’s what you need to know about best way to have curtains for winter.
Hanging the Curtains correctly
Curtains should be hung closely to the ceiling and stretch all the way to the floor to create as tight a seal as possible.
The illustration below is of a typical open-top, free-hanging curtain. When the window is cold, the warm air between the curtain and the window cools as heat radiates out through the glass. As sure as warm air rises, cool air sinks. In this case, the cooling air falls to the floor, creating negative pressure (a vacuum), which pulls warm air down from the ceiling through the gap at the top of the curtain. This process is cyclical, and your warm room loses heat.
The best way to stop the flow of air behind the curtain is to install a “pelmet”: a cornice or valance that covers the top of a curtain rail. A pelmet can either come down from the ceiling to cover the top of a curtain or be attached to the wall immediately above a window. The latter is often called a “box pelmet” and should have closed sides as the name implies. Either type of pelmet should cover the top of the curtain by about 2 inches.
The second way to slow the movement of air behind the curtain is to replace a free-hanging curtain with one that is floor-length. Just like the pelmet blocks airflow from the top of a curtain, the floor-length fabric blocks the free movement of air out of the bottom. Either way, the idea is to break the cycle of moving air.
Fully lined curtains
Once your curtains are draft-proof, the next crucial factor is their insulation capacity – two layers of fabric at least. Insulation is all about dead air space: the more layers, the more dead air. Adding a fabric layer between the curtain and the lining makes a super high-performance insulation system for windows. Research has shown that having well-fitted layered curtains results in an R-value equal to or greater than double-glazing, yet at a fraction of the cost.