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Oct 8, 2019
Blackout and insulated window treatments serve important decorative and functional purposes. Selecting curtains or shades that complement the style and color pallet of your home creates a cohesive space that feel homey and welcoming. In addition, choosing window treatments that are blackout or insulated provides privacy, light control, noise reduction, and reduced energy consumption. This guide explains what blackout and insulated window treatments are, the benefits of using them, and the best way to install them, so you can choose the best option for you home and living style.
What are Blackout Curtains? Blackout curtains, when used correctly, completely block out outside light from a room. This effect can be achieved with several different types of curtains. Some curtains are tightly woven with black yarn and are able to block out light on their own. Other curtains must be paired with a liner in order to block out light. There are also curtains available that have a built in liner, which makes installation easy since there is just one piece, and allows for more aesthetic options since the outer layer does not need to block light on its own. Blackout shades are an alternative option to curtains and are available in a variety of styles including: roller, cellular, and roman.How to Select Blackout Curtains Typically, blackout curtains are tested by the vendor to ensure that they effectively block out light, but we have a quick trick you can use while shopping in store. Shine the flashlight on your cell phone or a bright portable flashlight through the curtain. If you can see the light through the material, that means the curtain is simply room darkening, but if you can’t see the light, the curtain is truly blackout.What are Insulated Curtains? Insulated, or thermal, curtains are designed to help maintain the desired temperature in your home and reduce energy consumption. They provide useful insulation in both hot and cold climates and times of year. This means you will depend less on your air conditioner and thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round. Like blackout curtains, insulated curtains are available in several options. Blackout curtains can double as insulating curtains because the material they are made of is typically very thick. In addition, there are lined or multilayer insulated curtain and certain shades that function similarly. Lined curtains, whether a foam backed product or separately lined work in a similar manner to how we dress. When dressing for colder weather to keep warm, 1 layer is good, but when combined with an additional layer it adds twice the insulating power. Using a separately lined product creates a “pocket” between the two layers trapping the air and not allowing it to recirculate, which ultimately will reduce energy regardless of the time of year.How to Mount Blackout and Insulated Curtains In order to completely cover your windows, we recommend installing your curtain rods above the window frame with the ends extending past the frame on either side. To help ensure light does not come in on the sides of the window, between the curtain and the wall, it is best to use "Wrap Around" style rods to accomplish this. Wrap around style rods curve, or "wrap" in on both ends to meet the wall, which allows the grommets to be pulled up against the wall, blocking out light along the sides.
Why Use Blackout or Insulated Curtains? Blackout and insulated curtains are used for a variety of important reasons:Privacy - Typically, blackout or insulated curtains provide the maximum level of privacy since they completely cover your windows. Whether you simply like to draw your curtains at night, or prefer keeping them closed throughout the day, this style of window treatment will create the privacy you desire. Light Control - As their name states, blackout curtains allow you to completely block out light from outside. Since insulated curtains are multilayered, they typically have the same effect. Struggling to get a good night’s sleep because of that annoying street light? Blackout or insulated curtains will do the job. We also find many homes now have a Media Room where family or friends gather to watch their favorite shows or movies. Blackout Curtains ideal for these areas of the home in order to cut down on glare that makes it hard to see the TV screen.Noise Reduction - Because these styles of window treatments are made of thick material or are multilayered, they also help muffle outside noises like traffic or birds. Energy Reduction - Blackout and insulated curtains help reduce energy costs by providing extra insulation around windows, where the most amount of heat typically leaves or enters your home. How do Insulated Curtains Work? Curtains or shades provide insulation by trapping a pocket of air between the treatment and the window. This is most effective when the window treatment completely covers the window and overlaps with the wall. Cellular honeycomb shades are an effective type of insulating shade because they trap dead air in their cells. In winter, insulated window treatments keep the warm air inside from seeping out. It can be beneficial to open your window treatments when it’s sunny, but remember to close them again once the sun passes. In summer, the same curtains or shades will keep the hot air outside from coming into your home. This time of year, it is important to close your window treatments when the sun first hits your windows each day. Shop Blackout and Insulated Curtains We carry a selection of high-quality blackout and insulating curtains and shades in a range of styles. Choose from grommet or tab top curtains in a variety of colors and patterns. Shop roman, roller, and cellular shades in materials ranging from linen to fiberglass. Already have curtains you love but looking to add a little extra light control or insulation? We sell individual liners that are easy to install. When it comes to window treatments, we’ve got you covered.Products Mentioned in this Post