Should You Use Thermal Curtains?

November 26, 2013

Should you use thermal curtains in your custom home? Using these curtains can help lower your energy bills by providing insulation on the most common place where you can lose energy: your windows.


No matter how good your windows are, you’re likely to experience the most heat loss there even though they have a significant R-value for windows. The R-value is the resistance the window has to losing heat; the higher the R-value, the less heat is lost. You can reduce the amount of heat loss, thereby increasing the R-value by adding more insulation. With windows, that means thermal curtains, insulated shades, and blinds, or window quilts.

Thermal Curtains

So do thermal curtains work? To a certain extent, yes. Thermal curtains are easily available on the web and are a simple choice for those who have custom homes. However, some thermal curtains aren’t the most efficient at reducing the amount of heat loss as other window treatments. Window quilts, insulated shades, and blinds may be more efficient at reducing your energy costs and preventing heat loss. The important thing to keep in mind is to follow the directions on how to install thermal curtains. The actual R-value is hard to predict because of the distance between the curtain and the window often varies. Adding insulated blinds or other insulated window coverings will help increase the R-values and lower your energy bills.

Other Options

Other options for the custom homeowner includes both interior and exterior blinds, insulated panels, and interior and exterior shutters. These options can reduce the amount of heat loss and can increase your R-value, but may affect your ability to see out at appropriate times and may be inconvenient or undesirable to homeowners who have built their homes in places where the view is the primary reason they moved there.

Let the Sun Shine in

One easy option is to open the curtains or shades while it is sunny. With the sunshine comes heat and thus you have passive solar gains and free heat — courtesy of our sun! When it is night or a cloudy day, you simply close the curtains or whatever window covering you have to keep the heat in.