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Do curtains save money?

Using curtains to reduce energy costs and save money Curtains can help save money by improving the energy efficiency of your home. Here’s how:

Do curtains save money?

How curtains reduce heating and cooling costs

  • Curtains create an additional layer of insulation. This helps block drafts from windows and doors which reduces heat loss in winter. Thick, layered curtains work best.
  • Curtains manage sunlight and heat from entering your home. Closing curtains on hot sunny days keeps your rooms cooler and reduces air conditioner usage.
  • Proper use of curtains gives you better control over managing temperatures. Open south-facing curtains during winter days to let sunlight naturally warm rooms. Close all curtains to better retain cooled air in summer.

What rooms curtains should be installed in

You’ll maximize energy savings by installing curtains in rooms that:

  • Have many windows
  • Large windows
  • Windows that get direct sunlight for parts of the day
  • Have a temperature difference with outdoors like living rooms

Good rooms for curtains include living rooms, bedrooms, home offices, and kitchens. Prioritize larger windows first when adding curtains. North-facing rooms with smaller windows see less benefit.

How much money could be saved

Most households can save $100 to $250 per year with good window covering use. Savings add up over time. Those in extreme climates (very cold winters or hot summers) save more.

Key factors determining savings:

  • Your climate and weather
  • House layout and total window coverage
  • How well you manage opening and closing curtains

Some studies estimate savings of 10-25% on heating and cooling costs by effectively using curtains and blinds.

Tips for maximizing savings with curtains

Follow these tips:

  • Close curtains at night and on cloudy days to limit heat loss. Open during sunny winter days.
  • Keep curtains closed throughout the day in summer unless outdoor temp drops below indoor.
  • Ensure curtains are properly sealed along edges and overlap at center to block light and maximize insulation.
  • Install room-darkening curtains in bedrooms for cooler sleep in summer.
  • Upgrade to thermal blackout curtains for additional efficiency gains.
  • Supplement with thick curtains layered over sheers which still enable daylight.
  • Frequently adjust openings to balance sunlight, cooling, and privacy needs.

Energy efficient curtain materials

Choose materials with these properties:

  • Thick fabrics like wool, velvet, fleece to create dense insulating air pockets.
  • Thermal fabrics like felt, flannel and plush help prevent convection heat loss.
  • Foam-backed curtains add further insulation value.
  • Room darkening curtains usually have integrated blackout linings to limit daylight and prevent heat entry.

Stay away from lighter fabrics like linen, silk organza unless just for decorative exterior facing layers or privacy.

Smart curtain options

Technology advances make curtains smarter:

  • Motorized curtains: Open/close on schedules or sensors to automate efficiency. Helpful if frequently out.
  • Smart glass: Electric signals make glass opaque to manage glare, heat. Effective but very costly at this point.

Choose sustainable curtains like recycled polyester fleece to save energy while also reducing waste.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding curtains creates an additional protective layer over windows that effectively reduces conductive heat transfer. This saves energy and lowers utility bills.
  • Rooms with large or numerous windows benefit most from curtains. Prioritize living rooms and bedrooms first.
  • Households can expect to save $100-$250 per year with good curtain usage habits. Those is extreme climates save much more.
  • Maximize savings by frequently opening and closing curtains based on sunlight, weather, and seasonal direction the window faces.
  • Specialty thermal curtains and blackout options provide increased efficiency. But even standard curtains help.
  • Motorized and smart glass curtains add convenience but are expensive.

Conclusion

The simple addition of standard curtains over windows provides meaningful utility bill reductions compared to a home with uncovered windows year-round. The key is properly using curtains each day and choosing reasonably insulating fabrics like layered polyester, fleece and thermal inserts. Homes spending excessive amounts on heating fuel or summer air conditioning are likely to benefit the most from managing when curtains open or close. Investment in curtains pays for itself over time with a cooler house in summer, warmer house in winter and every month seeing lower electricity, gas and oil charges thanks to better insulation blocking out weather swings.

FAQS

  1. Do curtains with grommets lose more heat than curtains with standard flat rods?
    Curtains with grommets can potentially lose more heat through the openings in the grommet. Standard flat rods have a continuous surface. If using grommets, overlap panels or consider special plastic/rubber grommets designed to minimize heat loss gaps.

  2. Do blackout curtains need any special cleaning requirements?
    Most blackout curtains have a foil coating on the backing that enables light blocking. Check manufacturer instructions before washing to prevent damaging water resistant coatings that degrade performance. Many recommend spot cleaning only or have special washing guidelines.

  3. Can I install temporary plastic window insulation kits with existing curtains?
    Yes, indoor window plastic film insulation kits are a cheap way to add an additional energy saving barrier. Leave 1-2 inches between film and curtains so condensation does not get trapped leading to mold growth. Proper airflow is still needed.

  4. Are automated smart blinds better than curtains for saving money?
    Smart blinds provide convenience and scheduling but don’t insulate quite as well as most curtain fabrics when fully closed. Side by side curtains paired with blinds can optimize automation and efficiency. But smart blinds alone may save slightly less money compared to heavy curtains alone.

  5. Should curtains be opened or closed at night in winter?
    Fully closing thick insulated curtains at night provides maximum heat savings in winter. Any heat absorbed indoors during the day will have a harder time escaping through closed curtains in the evening. Open south facing curtains if daytime sun can provide passive solar heat gains.

  6. Do I need to wash curtains and liners for them to remain effective?
    Regular washing, especially for thicker fleece or wool curtains, helps maintain insulation performance by eliminating odors, dirt buildup, and dust. Follow any special fabric washing guidelines. Use mild detergent and gentle cycles. Allow to fully air dry before rehanging.

  7. Where is the best place to buy affordable energy efficient curtains?
    Big box stores, online retailers, specialty blind stores, and discount home goods stores carry a wide range of energy saving curtains at various prices. Compare materials and sizes to find the lowest cost option that still provides good efficiency for the climate and window area needing coverage.

  8. Does home insurance provide any rebates or incentives for upgrading to thermal curtains?
    A few insurance carriers provide modest discounts on premiums if you can demonstrate meaningful energy efficiency upgrades like new heating equipment or insulation. Contact your agent to see if window improvements with documented energy savings are covered. But curtains alone likely won’t qualify for rebates which focus more on HVAC, water heaters, etc.

  9. Do I need to factor in cleaning costs when deciding if curtains are cost effective?
    Occasional at-home machine washing and line drying is very affordable for most standard curtain materials like polyester and fleece. Or factor in $20-40 per panel for professional dry cleaning every few years. This low maintenance cost does little to offset long term heating and cooling savings from good curtains.

  10. Do sheer curtains alone save energy?
    Sheer curtains alone provide minimal insulation so energy savings are quite low compared to other options. Still useful for decorative exterior layers for UV or privacy needs.

  11. How much do energy efficient curtains cost?
    Basic layered blackout curtains cost around $40-$100. Higher-end thermal options are $100-$250. Price depends on material, size, and aesthetic quality.

  12. Is there a spreadable thermal liner I can add to existing curtains?
    Yes thermal liners or inserts can be added. This saves money compared to buying a completely new set of curtains. Look for liners made with down alternative or fleece that easily clip or slide onto curtain rods. Prices $20-$50.

  13. Where should curtains fall relative to windows?
    Floor length curtains extending 6-12 inches below the window frame provide best insulation and light blocking. But any additional overlap is beneficial and standard sill height panels still help.

  14. Which side should curtains face – inside or outside?
    For insulation purposes, place the plush thermal side of curtains facing indoors if possible. The layered or decorative side would face outdoors if having both. But interior side alone is perfectly fine.

  15. Do I really need blackout curtains in bedrooms?
    Room darkening curtains that blackout daylight are useful to improve sleep quality and make rooms cooler in summer allowing better daytime temperature control. But if privacy or darkness are not issues, then regular layered curtains can still help insulate.

  16. Can curtains reduce street noise entering rooms?
    In addition to saving energy, thick layered curtains (especially blackout) help absorb and muffle outside noise like street traffic. Pulling curtains fully closed helps limit noise penetration through windows at night. Soundproof curtains with foam or mass loaded vinyl backings specialize in maximum noise reduction if exterior noise is an issue in rooms near busy roads.

  17. How do I calculate the curtain size needed for a given window?
    Choose a rod length 2-3 inches wider than the window frame width. For length, standard floor length panels typically start about 84 inches long. Add 6-12 inches to the window height for optimal floor grazing length. Manufacturers also provide exact sizing guides specific to their products during purchases.

  18. Do thermal curtains lose efficiency over time?
    All fabrics gradually lose some insulation ability as natural fibers breakdown over years of use and washes. But performance doesn’t change suddenly. Proper care and replacing panels past 5 years helps maintain efficiency.

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