Are Thermal Curtains Worth The Hype?

With utility bills increasing all across the country (per the New York Times,) it's no wonder that the average homeowner seeks to save money wherever they can when heating or cooling their home. However, while sealing your home's door gaps is a good way to make your home more energy efficient, sometimes a home's windows prove to be its main energy waster. As such, it's not surprising that many people are turning to thermal curtains to help regulate their house's temperature while potentially saving a few bucks on their monthly utility bills. However, are they truly worth the hype?

According to Glass Doctor, thermal curtains are upgraded with a thick layer of insulating material that prevents cold air from entering the room. While most high-quality thermal curtains sport a multi-layer design, homeowners can also choose from a variety of single-layered options, as well as ones that double as blackout curtains. Most thermal curtains also insulate a room from outdoor noise, making them a popular option for those who live in noisy, urban environments.

Benefits of thermal curtains

The first question that skeptics usually want answering is, do thermal curtains really work?  The U.S. Department of Energy notes that conventional curtains and drapes, when used correctly, can have a considerable impact on your home's energy efficiency. Thermal curtains, however, take things a step further by reducing a room's energy loss by up to 25 percent, explains Deconovo, which might not sound like a lot, but it can lead to significant savings on your yearly energy expenditures.

Although most homeowners purchase thermal curtains with their home's winter heating needs in mind, thermal curtains can be just as handy during a hot and humid summer. However, for your thermal curtains to work when it's hot outside, you'll need to completely block the sun from shining into your home. So, in order to maximize your home's energy efficiency with thermal curtains, you won't be able to enjoy natural sunlight in your living room on a beautiful summer day. While some thrifty homeowners will be fine with this arrangement, others are bound to prefer other methods for weatherproofing their windows.

Drawbacks of thermal curtains

While thermal curtains are capable of saving most homeowners some money on their energy bills, they're not an ideal investment for every home. According to Sealed, the benefits of thermal curtains pale in comparison to a full-scale weatherproofing of your home's windows, so homeowners with serious insulation issues are unlikely to have their problems fixed by new thermal curtains. Additionally, thermal curtains only work when fully drawn, so homeowners who enjoy the view of the outside are unlikely to enjoy optimal energy savings.

There are quite a few alternative ways to insulate your home's windows, so purchasing thermal curtains is far from your only option. However, if your windows are already fairly well insulated and you don't mind keeping your curtains drawn throughout the day in certain rooms of your home, then thermal curtains might be a good way to save some cash. Just don't expect them to work wonders on windows in serious need of weatherproofing, since these are likely to require a more permanent solution.