This article comes from SF Gate.
What Kind of Curtains Keep Cold Air Out?
Keep the winter chill outside of your home by covering the windows with energy-efficient curtains. Whether you prefer a designer-savvy layered look or the simple appeal of a single heavyweight textile, there are several thermal curtain options you can choose from. Regardless of which energy-saving curtains you select, they’ll help you block more cold air from coming inside when you close the drapes at night and before you leave for vacation.
Choose Your Fabric Wisely
Not all curtain fabrics are suitable for preventing cold air from entering your interior spaces. For example, lightweight materials, such as linen, lace, and sheer cotton, are loosely woven and allow chilly air to penetrate your rooms. Choose thick curtains in heavyweight, tightly woven textiles — velvet, tapestry, tweed, denim, suede — to provide a dense barrier against chilly outdoor air. Medium-weight fabrics, such as cotton blends and canvas, offer limited protection for your windows against wintry air.
Turn Up the Heat With Insulation
Insulated curtains are designed to effectively block the cold outside air from seeping inside your home. Created with four separate layers, insulated curtains are constructed with a core layer of high-density foam to stop frosty air from coming indoors, as well as preventing heated inside air from being cooled or escaping outside. Insulated curtains also contain a vapor barrier coating, a decorative outer covering, and a reflective film layer, which also helps to deflect heat back into the room.
Create a Layered Effect
You can marry designer panache with energy efficiency by hanging two curtains together to create a stylish layered look. For example, hang a patterned curtain with an attached fabric lining in front of a solid-color curtain to fashion a decorative and functional window treatment that consists of three insulating layers. The layered curtains create a tighter air space to keep cool outside air from coming indoors, which allows the protected inside curtain to maintain the cozy room temperature.
Curtain Installation Basics 101
The U.S. Department of Energy says curtains can reduce your heat loss by up to 25 percent if you install them properly. One option is to add a cornice over the top of your draperies to help block cold outside air from coming inside through the gap between the top of your curtains and the ceiling. In addition, you can hang your curtains wider than the window frame; let them cascade to the floor, and install them as close to the windows as possible to seal up small spaces around the edges.
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