Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Make Your Own Energy-Saving Thermal Curtains

Make Your Own Energy-Saving Thermal Curtains

thermal curtains
Windows are very frequently a source of lost heat in your home. Older homes may suffer from only having single-paned windows, which lose a large amount of heat, and even newer double-paned insulated windows lack enough insulation against cold winter temperatures and wind. However, you can save home heating costs and easily bulk up the insulation around your windows by making your own inexpensive thermal curtains.
Thermal curtains are energy-efficient window shades that insulate against the cold around your windows. They are a thick and heavy buffer and can significantly decrease the money you spend on energy to heat your house. If you are handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, there’s not much more you need than some old blankets or comforters, fabric, and a fair amount of time.

How to make thermal curtains

Old comforters make for a great filling in thermal curtains, especially since they can be had for very cheap ($5-10) at your local thrift store. Get a few of them. Doubling the comforter will increase the insulative value and add weight to keep your curtains pressed tightly against the wall.
Measure your window and find something strong and solid (imagine a rigid dowel or heavy stick) to span the  bottom of the window to give your curtain some structure (and to make it easy to roll up and down).
You can use just the comforter itself for the curtain if you are looking for a very quick and dirty solution, or you can pick out some fabric to be sewn over the material for a more pleasing aesthetic.
Pinning the thermal curtain fabric
Pinning the thermal curtain fabric
Cut your fabric a couple inches larger than the actual window measurements. To make cutting your fabric easier, place the two pieces of fabric with the fronts facing each other and your comforter layer(s) all in one pile and cut them simultaneously. Be sure to pin them together to keep them from shifting while you cut and then sew the fabric together.
Next, sew the materials together on three sides.  On the final fourth side, sew about 1/3 of the length from each corner, leaving an unsewn portion in the center. Use the hole that you left unsewn to flip the curtain right side out. Then place your dowel or heavy stick between the layer of fabric and comforter at the bottom of the curtain. Finish the curtain by sewing your hole shut.
You can use a variety of methods to actually hang your new thermal curtains. You can sew velcro to the top back side, or sew small fabric loops on the top and hang the curtain from hooks mounted on the window frame. Be creative.
Thermal curtains are a cheap and easy way to save energy costs in your home. They can largely be made with reused and recycled materials.
Roll them down on cold winter nights, or even during a hot summer day to block the sun’s rays and save energy costs!