With the majority of the US under the grips of a cold front, millions of American’s are struggling to keep their homes warm without breaking their wallets. Wind chills reaching negative 40 are causing energy bills to soar and people to look for cost-effective ways to keep the cold out. It’s estimated that a third of home heating energy loss occurs through a home’s windows. Blackout drapery panels help insulate a home and save money on heating bills.
Blackout draperies originally gained popularity in Europe during World War II. Pilots would follow compasses to their targets, but often verified their position by looking for the lights of known cities along the path. Blackout draperies were used to hide interior lights from Nazi planes. This method was so successful that the British military would require entire towns to black out at night with heavy draperies. They would then use hundreds of lamps to create fake towns in empty fields to throw the bombers off track. After the war ended, the blackout draperies proved so efficient at keeping warmth and light in the home that their popularity continued to soar.
Blackout and other insulated draperies are built as energy-efficient systems. They are usually composed of four layers that are designed to prevent heat transfer, block light, and lessen noise. The four layers are usually made up of the following:
- A base layer of high-density foam to insulate the window from heat and sound
- A vapor barrier to block moisture absorption
- A layer of reflective film that deflects heat back into the home
- An outer layer of fabric to provide a decorative element
These layers work together to prevent heat loss that occurs through and around your windows. In the freezing winter months, this means the draperies help keep heated air from being cooled or escaping outside. According to studies, blackout draperies can reduce thermal loss by up to 25%. If you’re spending hundreds of dollars a month attempting to heat your home, the savings quickly add up.
In addition to trapping heat, blackout draperies also reduce noise. Excessive noise has been shown to have both negative physical and psychological effects on people. While blackout curtains will not soundproof a room, they significantly reduce the noise level. They also block up to 99% of light allowing a homeowner to create perfect sleeping conditions at any hour of the day.
To gain maximum benefits from your blackout curtains, they should gather high about the rod and extend over the sides of the windows to block light from appearing at the top and sides of the window. During the coldest months of the year, it is important to only have the curtains open when the sun is shining into the room or when outside temperatures are warmer than the inside of the home.
Blackout draperies are a great addition to your windows. They come in a variety of styles that are aesthetically pleasing and complement any home decor. Most importantly, they create a warmer more energy-efficient home for your family during these freezing winter months.