Curtains and blinds
Well-installed curtains can help to reduce heat loss through your windows, provided they are installed without gaps that allow air movement between the window and the room.
Open curtains and blinds during the day and close them just before it gets dark to allow your house to gain heat from the sun during the day, and better retain it overnight. In summer, close curtains and blinds on the side facing the sun and open windows to help keep your home cool.
How curtains reduce heat loss
The aim is to create a good seal between the curtain and the window, preventing cold air near the window from getting into the room. In cold weather, the air close to the window cools down and gets heavier. Without a good seal curtains do little to reduce heat loss - cold air will simply fall out at the bottom of the curtain or blind, and warm room air will continuously replace it at the top.
Installed well, curtains or blinds can reduce heat loss through both single and double-glazed windows.
Tips for curtains
To provide good insulation your curtains should:
- be floor-length and touch the floor, or have pelmets above them with only a minimal air-gap between the top of the curtain and the pelmet (sill-length curtains are ineffective)
- fit tightly against the wall or window frame
- be wider than the window frame
- preferably be double layered with a thick lining.
Net-curtains installed very close to the window, and in contact with the window frame, can be effective too.
Tips for blinds
- It is difficult to install blinds without any gaps around them. Well-fitted curtains are therefore more effective at keeping in heat than blinds.
Curtain banks support low-income households by offering free curtains in certain areas.