Thursday, February 12, 2009

When did curtains get so long?

Last time I cared about curtains -- did I ever care about curtains? -- curtains went from just above the window to just below the window.

Now I'm told that curtains go from a bit above the window ..... to the floor. And they're not called curtains any more -- they're "panels".

We've successfully hung our "panels" in the living room. The bedroom should be done soon. But some of the basement windows seem to invite the shorter curtains -- the foundation wall sticks out and comes up half-way to the window. Floor-to-top-of-window curtains ... panels ... might look weird.

But I've wondered about something else: when curtains fall over the front of baseboard heaters, is that good or bad? Does the heated air just go up behind the curtain, travel up the cold face of the window, where it might condense and not disperse beautifully through the room?

Or are the curtains an overall plus for heat saving, as outlined in this post from Clever Dude?


    • In the winter, keep your curtains open during the day to let the sunlight in and heat the house. Close them at dark to keep the heat from escaping outside.
    • In the summer, keep your curtains closed during the day to block the hot sun and keep the house cool. Open them at night (along with your windows if you're not using A/C) to let the house air out.

What's been your experience?

2 comments:

  1. We would deffinately vote in favour of "above" the baseboard heaters. Try placing you hand directly on the front of the heater--where your fabric would fall. Very hot--very hard on the fabric (fire danger??). The intent is to heat the room air--not the air infront of the window that is segregated from the room at night by the curtain. Damn--rehang the curtains higher!!

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  2. Hi Scott,
    Yep, it's an energy waste to have warm air rise only to be cooled by the window's cold surface. Though curtains are a net plus at night in the winter, just hang'em higher.

    On the point about moisture. It has nothing to do with the heater and everything to do with Relative Humidity (RH) in your home. Higher RH makes the room "feel" warmer, even though absolute temp is constant. Same theory as what they used to call "humidex" in the summer.

    A humidifier is always a plus in our dry Canadian winters, but it should be monitored if you use one.

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