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Bring back pelmets...

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 March 2009 at 8:26 am

Pelmets always struck me as a bit old hat; I associate them with big, bold patterns, rich fabrics, swags, tassels and stately homes. But maybe it’s time they were rebranded because pelmets are a key element in making your home more energy efficient. Especially if, like most of us, you haven’t got state of the art, triple glazed windows, and draught proofing of PassivHaus standard.

Windows are responsible for a surprising amount of heat loss from homes. This is bad news on the heating bill front, as well as for carbon emissions. While curtains cut this down considerably, without a pelmet the cold air can still sneak in.

Imagine, an elegant curtain pole, standing proud from the wall, all minimalist and modern. The cold air comes in through the glass, hits the curtain and rises. Then, it seeps out into the room, cooling it down, and making the central heating work harder. However, if there’s a pelmet the air hits the it, circles round again, and remains trapped behind the curtain.

This all seems obvious, now someone’s kindly pointed it out to me. But it wasn’t obvious when we moved into our house and ripped out all the ugly chipboard pelmets our predecessors had left us as part of the renovation.

Call me shallow, but I'm still not keen on swags and tassels. I would be in the market for an eco-chic, twenty first century design for a pelmet though. Let me know if you’ve got any ideas.

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