How Winter Curtains can Insulate your Home

What do you think when we talk about windows? The beautiful view, natural lighting, improving ambience of the room, and others. However, have you often considered that during winter, windows are potential weak spots in our homes that can neutralize the warm and comfortable atmosphere inside? How do you address this problem?

The Window Pane

Before we address the problem, it is important to understand the anatomy of our window. Regardless what type of window you have in your home, the common problem with them is the thermal envelope. Did you know that windows are such a weak spot that even uninsulated walls have higher insulating capacity than your double-glazed windows?

Surprised? The reality is that windows provide a natural exit for heat allowing it to escape every time. The best solution to prevent this from happening is to have properly fitted curtains fixed on your windows. Does this solve the problem? Partly, because many curtains are not properly fitted to maximize the insulation capacity. Did you know this?

The Curtain Problem

Have you noticed how curtain tracks are usually about 1 to 2 inches away from the wall of your window? This is an open-top style that is often used in many homes. What many people do not know is that no matter how small the gap is, it will still diminish the thermal performance of the entire window area.

If the window is cold, the heat will radiate out of the window through the glass. This means that the cold air will fall to the floor and result in a negative pressure. The warm air will then be pulled down from your ceiling and through the gap of the open-top style curtain track. This cycle creates a situation wherein heat is lost in the room.

The heat loss cycle will continue for as long as the temperature in the room is different from the temperature outside. During winter, the nights can be so long that significant amounts of heat will be lost despite what you think is an adequately insulated home.

Solving the Problem

With a better understanding of the problem, the best way to stop or at least reduce heat loss is to install a pelmet. This will cover the top portion of the curtain track to prevent the warm air from coming down and out the window.

The pelmet can come down from the ceiling or be attached to the wall above the window. The sides of the pelmet should be closed as well. The covering of the top of the curtain should not be smaller than 2 inches.

Movement of air can also be slowed down by replacing a free-hanging curtain with a floor-length one. The effect would be similar to the pelmet that blocks airflow from the top of the curtain. The floor-length fabric will also prevent free air movement of the bottom. This breaks the air movement cycle.

Increasing Insulation

What happens now after you have installed a pelmet box or replaced your free-hanging curtains with floor-length curtains? You have now created a room where the curtains are essentially draft-proof. But you are not done yet.

The next step is to increase the insulation capacity of your curtains. How do you do this? Make sure that you are using at least two layers of curtains. Keep in mind that insulation is simply creating dead air spare; the more layers you have, the more dead air is produced. With the additional of fabric layers between the curtain and its lining, you now have a high performance insulation system for your windows.

Would you believe that using this method to increase insulation is far cheaper than having a double-glazed window installed?

Simple yet effective solutions do not have to be expensive all the time. Following these suggestions will help generate savings during winter and prevent your home heating system from getting overworked.

For more information, contact Scott English Plumbing.