Most people use different kinds of curtains for energy and light regulation. But then some people prefer using windows for the same purpose. At times your contractor can even advise you to replace old windows with energy-efficient types. But how cheap is it to do a windows replacement? Because of the high cost of installing new windows, most homeowners opt for thermal curtains.
The question you’re likely to ask is, do thermal curtain work. Studies show that thermal curtains can help your house retain up to 25% heat during winter. During the summer these curtains can save you from excess heat which can make being indoors unbearable.
This article will show you more about thermal curtains, which will help you make the right decisions when choosing the kind to use in your home.
What Are the Thermal Curtains?
Thermal curtains are a specially designed curtain comprising of different layers of materials that are good heat resistant. The thermal resistor is called R-value. The curtain can also stop heat transfer in your home, making it cool during hot days. The thermal conductivity is the U-value.
Thermal curtains have three different layers, but there are those with either two or four layers. The first layer is the decorative material that you place facing the room. It’s always a combination of various attractive materials, which include cotton or wool. The next layer comprises any of the following fabrics; foam, flannel, or thick cotton.
The materials have to be thermal resistant. The thermal curtain’s last layer is the backing, which acts as a protection against sunlight. It can also prevent water and vapor around the window. Note that light-colored backings have a high reflection rate, so they’re good for summer.
The materials composition of backings is vinyl, cotton, or reflective film. If you find thermal curtains with four layers, it’s additional vapor protection.
How Thermal Curtains Work?
Having thermal curtains in your home ensures that it seals all the possible openings between the windows where heat or air can pass through. If you install these curtains during winter, your house will be warm. In the summertime, you won’t have heat problems since it will reflect it.
Remember, the curtain creates a tight seal, which reduces the amount of heat entering through the window. It also affects air circulation in your house. Suitable insulating materials have high R-values. So, if the R-value is high, it means the insulation is also higher. Normal window panes have an R-value of 1 or less.
But the ones with insulation have R-7 or R-2 while walls can have R15. For heat transfer to be successful, it has to follow a path with low resistance. Don’t forget that window is the main point of heat gain or loss. But if you have a thermal curtain with an R-6 value, it will reduce heat loss.
Do Thermal Curtains Work in Summer?
Another question that most homeowners ask is if thermal curtains work during summer. Indeed, they do work, be it during summer or winter. If you want perfect results, though, go for the white ones. Or you can choose the light-colored which is capable of reducing heat up to 33%. However, the position of the window can interfere with energy efficiency.
If your windows are facing west or south, know they’ll receive more sunlight. The windows on the northern side receive minimal amounts of solar energy. So, if you install thermal curtains in summer, you won’t need an air conditioner. In the long run, you’ll have a lower electric bill.
Pros of Thermal Curtains
Thermal curtains have several benefits it brings to your home. The advantages include;
- Makes your home warm during winter.
- Thermal curtains offer you different designs and colors to choose from.
- Capable of reflecting heat during summer, making your home cool.
- It helps save money and energy that you could use to either keep warm or cool.
- Thermal curtains can reduce sound effects
- Protects your wooden floors from fading
- Cheaper to buy and easy to install
Cons of Thermal Curtains
As you know, nothing lacks its negative side, so do thermal curtains. Even though it can insulate your home, they have their disadvantages. Its cons include;
- Thermal curtains are heavy, so they require a strong wall holder.
- Heavyweight makes it hard to sew it yourself.
- Its fabric composition will give you a hard time cleaning.
- The dark-colored types can make your home darker.
- Thermal curtains occupy more space than the normal type of curtains.
Types of Insulated Curtains
If you’re looking for an insulated curtain, ensure it has several layers of insulation. In insulated curtains, the middle layer is responsible for the insulation. The coating comprises foam, thick cotton, or flannel. Ensure the curtain has a high R-value as that’s the insulation measure. The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation rate will be.
There are two main types of insulating curtains. The first one is the white insulating coating, which has a lining at the back. With this kind of curtain, the insulation material is on the lining and not on the main fabric.
The other type is the triple weave fabric that has the decorative layer as the insulator. Or it can use the material as a lining containing the insulation.
Related: Types of window treatments
How Much Do Thermal Curtains Save?
In real life, standard window curtains reduce heat loss by 17% when you close them. According to the US department of energy, if you have thermal curtains, you’ll reduce heat loss by up to 25%. However, with curtains having white plastic backings, the number will be high. It can reduce heat gain by not less than 33%.
Remember, when there’s enough heat in your home, you don’t need an additional source of energy. So, you’ll be saving on cooling costs plus other utility bills.
Where to Use Thermal Curtains in Your House?
Going by the thermal curtains feature, you can install them in a room that receives much sunlight. The room can be where you relax most of the time, like when watching TV. You can also fix them in a room where you don’t want noise like the bedroom. Thermal curtains can also work well in your living room if you like relaxing there with your family.
If you love spending time on your balcony, but it has insulation issues, install thermal curtains.
How Do I Choose the Thermal Curtains?
Choosing the right type of thermal curtain can be tricky since they’re of different designs and fabrics. But if you want the best, don’t go for the aesthetic appeal only. Look at the material composition, like if it’s cotton or polyester. Picking on the right material will ensure your privacy.
At the same time, prevent air from escaping in or out of the room. Remember to also work with the existing décor in your home to avoid mix up. Work with the right curtain length to make it more attractive. Combine your colors well, and don’t forget to work with what makes you comfortable.
How to Install Thermal Curtains?
Installing thermal curtains is not a challenging task that you should look for a professional. It’s something you can do by your step by following the following steps.
Place the rod in the right position. It should be higher so that your window looks longer. Don’t forget the rod’s length since if it’s longer, it will make your window appear long. When the curtain rods are wide, the curtains will hang well.
After placing the rod, check on how to put the brackets. Measure where you want to put them, then mark them using a pencil. Ensure both lines rhyme and if possible, make adjustments where necessary. Afterward, attach the brackets by drilling holes on the pencil marks. Put screws and brackets on both sides in a neat way.
You can then put your thermal curtains on the rod and fix it back to the brackets. Ensure you don’t interfere with anything during the process to avoid damages.
Thermal Vs. Blackout Curtains
There’s a notable difference between thermal and blackout curtains. The blackout curtains have thick woven material that prevents unwanted light in your house. You’ll find that this type of curtains has a thin lining at the back to block sunlight. Blackout curtains fit rooms that don’t need much light, like a bedroom or sitting room.
On the other hand, thermal curtains have multiple layers, which is good for insulation. It best suits the summer or winter season, going by its features. Remember, these curtains can also dampen sound and help you reduce electric bills. Note that thermal curtains can also block sunlight though their main function is insulation.
3 Best Thermal Curtains
We’re going to show you some of the best three thermal curtains according to our selection. The curtains include;
1. Utopia Bedding 2 Panels Grommet Blackout Curtains (Rating: 4 stars)
Suppose you’ve been looking for a well-designed blackout curtain set go for utopia beddings. The curtains will not only fit your windows well because of their size, which measures 52 by 48 inches long. It also covers a wide area measuring 104 by 84 inches.
The set has two panels, eight grommets for each board, and two matching tie-backs.
It also includes a grommet top design, which makes its installation easy and its rust free.
The curtain is a top thermal design making it heat efficient and capable of blocking 99% of light. It can also prevent the noise of up to 66%.
You can machine wash this curtain at cold and tumble dry, and it comes in various colors.
2. RHF Wide Thermal Blackout Patio Door Curtain Panel (Rating: 4 Stars)
- RHF wide thermal blackout door curtain is a pure polyester fabric.
- It comes in a ready to hang form, meaning you won’t worry about installing it.
- It’s thermal insulated, so your house will be free from heat and coldness.
- It can also block light but pick on the dark colors, which does this well.
- The grommets are of bronze, and the rings are of the right size of between 1.6 and 2.4 inches. It’s best overall in terms of cleaning it, which is easy owing to its fabric.
- RFH wide thermal blackout door curtain has a customer rating of 4 and above.
3. Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain (Rating 5 Stars)
- Comes in three different sizes giving you options to pick from.
- It includes six silver grommets for each panel.
- Remember, the darker the color, the higher its capability of blocking light.
- With these curtains, you’ll not bother about heat or coldness since it’s a good insulator.
- Its fabric composition is silky, soft, drapery, and attractive.
- Washing it is also not a challenge since you can machine wash.
With the current rise in technology, there’s no need to replace your windows to meet your energy needs. You can buy thermal curtains which come in various designs and colors. The curtains will not only make your home beautiful but also reduce your energy consumption. It will also keep your home warm during winter and cool in summer. Installing these curtains is a lifetime investment you’ll never regret.