Install insulating curtains, blinds and pelmets

curtains.pngWrap up your windows in some thick, warm curtains or Luxaflex blinds and watch your thermostat rise.

Windows are a huge source of heat transference in most homes. You can lose up to 40% of your home’s heat in winter through the windows. Curtains and blinds help stop this. 

How do curtains and blinds help?

By insulating the space next to your windows, curtains and blinds reduce the loss of heat from inside your home. The insulating effect also helps keep heat out on hot summer days.

Heavy curtains with closed pelmets, and insulating blinds like those with a “honeycomb” structure, trap air that then forms a barrier to heat transfer.

What are the best options?

It’s important to use good materials and products and to fit them correctly to minimise air transfer around the window area.  

Honeycomb blinds, fitted snugly within your window frames, are an excellent solution. These blinds trap an insulating layer of air within the blind itself, as well as between the blind and the window.

Heavy curtains of tightly woven fabric with a heavy backing are another good option. Make sure your curtains cover the whole window to below the windowsill (ideally to floor level), and install a pelmet to stop air escaping above the curtain. You can choose between box pelmets, which should have a top as well as sides, and invisible pelmets, which sit behind the curtain and on top of the curtain rod.

Doing it yourself?

You can install curtains and blinds yourself if you like, and if you have basic woodworking skills you can make your own pelmets too. Good quality curtains and linings can often be picked up second-hand but make sure they’re the right size to insulate your windows thoroughly.

For a temporary “pelmet” solution you can even just add a rolled up towel on top of your curtain to block off the air around the window.

Other tips

To get the most out of your curtains and blinds keep these tips in mind:

  • Your curtains can’t insulate your home when they’re not fully drawn, so make sure they close properly.
  • Insulating one window alone won’t help much if there are uninsulated windows in the same area of the house- so make sure all windows have appropriate blinds or curtains.
  • Double-glazing, another form of window insulation, will also make a big difference and there are a variety of double glazing options available to suit different budgets.
  • Awnings and external blinds keep the hot sun off window glass in summer and so reduce the work your internal window insulation needs to do (alternatively, plant deciduous trees or shrubs to do the summer shading)
  • Finally, don’t forget to open the curtains when conditions are right- after all you don’t want to keep the new warmth out on a sunny day!