Energy costs in the summer tend to rise as the air conditioner operates to combat the sweltering heat, but it does not have to break the bank. In fact, easy and inexpensive add-on features in the house can reduce your electricity bill that pay for themselves in a short time, and continue to reap benefits for several years.
One such feature is a thermal curtain, which you can install the same way as a regular curtain, but it can reduce the 10 to 25 percent of energy that is typical lost through a window by about 25 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the insulation level around the windows in a house is responsible for about 25 percent of cooling and heating costs.
The price range for a thermal curtain is between about $20 and $100 each, depending on the size, appearance and quality, and can be purchased at a home improvement and housewares retailer in your area.
Beware of the type made with vinyl material that contains PVC, which can emit toxic gases, also known as off-gassing, which is important to avoid at home. Health risks have been associated with PVC off-gassing and eliminating the material from the home can avoid the harmful exposure.
How a Thermal Curtain Works
A closed thermal curtain during hot weather provides a cool buffer between the glass and home interior, which reduces the amount of warmth entering and cool air exiting the home.
The air near a wall with windows will feel uncomfortably warm unless a thermal curtain or other barrier is installed to improve the temperature stability of the area.
A thermal curtain or drape can also protect the interior of the home from the sun and the direct heat from the rays that often enter windows. The material can also deflect sunlight, which also can improve energy efficiency.
Home decor is usually compatible with a thermal curtain because the style and color is usually neutral, and will appeal to most aesthetic tastes.
If you need a thermal curtain for a large window, a custom curtain retailer or home improvement store can tailor the material to fit the space.
It is also possible to purchase a thermal curtain liner that can be adhered to a current window treatment with Velcro. It can be removed during mild seasons, such as fall and spring to allow your home to circulate fresh air more easily and take advantage of using a temperate climate to regulate the interior temperature.
If you want a simple, inexpensive way to reduce your energy bill by 1 to 2 percent, install thermal curtains or curtain liners to existing window treatments. The thick, insulating material deflects sunlight, and creates a barrier between extreme outdoor weather and the desired modest temperature indoors.
It can be easy to find a thermal curtain option that will meet your functional and stylistic preferences at a home improvement, housewares or decor store in your area.