Close your curtains to keep warm (and reduce bills)
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 January 2010 at 1:21 pm
Walking home from a friend's house last night I was surprised to see how many people hadn't closed their curtains, despite sub zero temperatures.
Hanging curtains, and closing them at dusk, can make a significant difference to the warmth of your house, and to how much you spend on heating. Research on heat loss through traditional sash windows carried out by English Heritage found that heavy curtains reduced the heat loss by 41% (and lowered the u-value from 4.3 to 2.5).
This isn't only the case for single glazed windows. Our front door is double glazed, and mostly glass. We keep the doors into the hall tightly shut, as there's a marked drop in temperature as you go past the front door. A solid door, with a good u-value is at the top of my wishlist of home improvements. In the meantime, maybe we should rig up a blanket.
Would it help, I wonder, if we could see the heat escaping out of the windows. I know that some community groups, like Bovey Climate Action and Cambridge Carbon Footprint, have invested in infra red cameras to show people pictures of where the heat is seeping out of their home. I'd be fascinated to have an infra-red photo of our house - I think it would bring it all into a clearer perspective.
While I was gawping in all these curtain-less windows, it also struck me how many houses had empty rooms with all the lights on ... but maybe that's another blog!Cathy Debenham
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