Have you ever stayed in a hotel and wondered how the business could keep the drafts out of the rooms? Many times, it is because of the curtains used. They might look generic or utilitarian, but they’re highly sophisticated devices that save the hotel money because they’re more energy-efficient.
You can have that same energy-efficiency in your home while also improving the comfort of your house and having curtains that look beautiful!
What Are Insulated Curtains?
Primarily, insulated curtains include a full system that helps to block light, prevent heat transfer, and reduce noise. They usually have four layers:
- Vapor barrier to keep the foam from absorbing any moisture
- Core layer of foam (high-density) to insulate windows for sound and heat
- Reflective film layer to reflect heat into your room
- Outer layer, usually decorative fabric
You’ll find a variety of insulated curtains, sometimes called hobbled shades, Roman shades, curtains, and side-draw shades or curtains. You can also find valances and draperies that also have the blackout-curtain sophistication.
Since the outermost layer is made of decorative fabric, you can match your home’s overall décor without fear. You can also choose various styles and colors for each room of the house.
What Is the Difference Between Light and Energy?
For us to know if blackout curtains can save energy, let us first understand the difference between light and energy since most people get sunlight and energy confused.
The light that streams into your home can help you see without turning on the artificial lights in the house, but that light comes at a price.
Sunlight is very hot; it can heat the room quickly. Therefore, you can save a little money by using natural light, but you’re likely to pay more to keep the house comfortable.
In winter, the effects aren’t as bad; you can leave the curtains open and get the heat to warm the place during the day.
Energy is what heats or cools your home, powers your appliances, and helps you see with artificial lighting or lamps. You pay for it, and the costs can be extremely high.
Most people spend more than half of the energy bill just cooling or heating their homes. The rest goes to the appliances, lights, and everything else.
Thus, you can easily see that the light is what causes the energy bill to rise; killing that light and keeping unwanted heat outside is what lowers the energy bill.
Do Blackout Curtains Save Energy?
Blackout curtains are primarily known for blocking out light, and they do this excellently. Your home’s windows are like a membrane to let in sunlight, keep outdoor smells or air outside, and more.
However, they can also let the outside temperature get into the house (heat gain), which is usually not good.
Without some kind of barrier, you can lose up to 25 percent of the cooled or heated air in your home, forcing your air conditioner or furnace to work harder to keep the temperature regulated.
So, do blackout curtains save energy? It’s still the question on everyone’s mind. In short, yes, they do.
Insulated curtains can help you protect your home from the four primary heat loss types (infiltration, conduction, convection, and radiation).
The heat loss happens around and through the windows, but insulated curtains can prevent the heat from getting into your house (summer) and keep it from leaving the house (winter).
In winter, this can mean that the insulated curtains keep your heated air from getting too cool or escaping through the cracks in the window. In summer, the cooled air in your home doesn’t get warmed up from outside temperatures or escape to the outside where it does you no good.
Insulated curtains might also reduce outside noises, which can help you relax or sleep better because you’re not hearing the traffic noises or neighbor’s kids playing or yelling.
Insulated curtains might also help you lower the furnace during the colder months and set your AC higher during the warmer months. Instead of keeping the temperature at 76 in the summer, you might be able to bump it up to 78 or 80 degrees and still be comfortable.
During winter, you can also leave the insulated curtains open so that sunlight can warm the room, closing it at night to keep warm air inside.
Curtains vs. Windows
While energy-efficient windows can help prevent heat transfer and might save you some money on your energy bills, they are incredibly costly when compared to insulated curtains. The curtains are usually inexpensive (though you can find more expensive brands). Hence, if you’re on a tight budget, blackout curtain might be better for you.
They are also highly stylish and practical, so you can make the room more beautiful, add your personal style, and help them be more efficient.
Some blackout curtains are of such high quality that they can produce an “R” rating, which can be better than or similar to energy-efficient double-pane windows, even if the second pane is added to an already-present single pane. “R” ratings indicate energy efficiency and are determined by the federal government.
Every homeowner and renter knows that it is vital to save money on electricity. You probably use your air conditioning and furnace throughout the year, but you can stay comfortable and lower your energy bill. Blackout curtains block out almost 99 percent of light, making them highly useful for this and other purposes.