What Makes Curtains a Great Window Covering Option?
Curtains are versatile and available in a variety of designs, fabric options, and colors. This diversity helps make curtains an ideal candidate for dressing up your windows and doors and to accentuate any kind of home décor. Curtains are easy to install and can also be replaced quite conveniently. From sheers to semi-sheer curtains, from room-darkening to blackout curtains, from plain designs to intricate decorative patterns you have no dearth of options to choose from while giving a makeover to your home interiors.
Which Curtains are Great at Blocking Out the Sun?
If you live in a tropical or sub-tropical region that receives more sunlight through the day or the position of your windows is such that they allow the sunlight to enter the house for longer durations, you probably would have thought of getting window coverings that can effectively block out the Sun. Leaving windows uncovered in such cases may lead to heat gain, glare, and UV exposure that can create discomfort and hamper the atmosphere inside the house.
Blackout and Room-Darkening Curtains
Many people tend to overlook the usefulness of curtains in blocking out the heat and light from the Sun. However, curtains are not only a highly effective option but also an elegant and sophisticated way of enhancing the beauty of your windows. While sheer and semi-sheer curtains diffuse the light entering through the window, they don’t provide effective insulation against the outside heat. Room darkening and blackout curtains do a much better job at preventing heat gain and also reduce the glare by blocking out the sunlight.
These curtains are available in different levels of opacity. So, if you want to completely block the Sun and don’t care about having the view of the outside you can opt for blackout and room-darkening curtains. On the other hand, if you don’t want to completely block the light, you can opt for room-darkening curtains with lower opacity. You can try a combination of blackout and sheer curtains with sheers in the center and blackout curtains on either side. You can use different tracks for the sheers and blackout curtains. This way you can have sheers on when you want to enjoy the view of the outside and draw the blackout curtains when you need more privacy or want to block the Sun.
Thermal Curtains are another great option if your primary objective is heat insulation. While the thermal curtains also provide great privacy just like the blackout curtains, these curtains are better at blocking the heat. Blackout curtains rely on their tightly woven fabric to block the Sun. The thermal curtains, on the other hand, are thicker, have multiple layers of fabric and a layer of acrylic foam in between the layers of fabric. This enables the thermal curtains to better insulate the interiors against the heat from the Sun.
The reflective curtains are also great at preventing heat gain inside the room. These curtains are made from the fabric that instead of absorbing the Sun’s rays reflects it back. This helps keep the interiors cool while effectively the sunlight out. These are usually made from plastic and hence prove to be quite durable and fade-resistant.
Light-colored curtains are also a good option if you are looking for curtains that can keep the Sun out. The light-colored fabric reflects the sunlight back unlike the darker shades which absorb the Sun’s ray. This is the reason why light-colored fabrics are favored during the summers for clothes as well as window coverings.
Curtains with Lining
Curtains with lining are a great alternative to blackout curtains and shield the interiors of your room against the sunlight perfectly. These curtains also block out sound. So, if you prefer a quiet room, these curtains are a welcome bonus. Some curtains come with the lining attached but at times you may have to purchase the lining cloth separately. In that case, you should ensure that the lining is of proper length and matches the shade of the curtains for a clean look.
How to Get Curtains That are Great at Blocking Out the Sun
Shopping for curtains is a bit confusing because of so many options at your disposal. However, you can overcome that if you have clarity about your specific needs, the style of décor that you want to achieve, and some knowledge about the specific features and functionalities that different types of curtains offer. If you give proper attention to these aspects before going ahead with the purchase, you can be confident enough to get it right. Here are some of the factors you should look out for if you want to get curtains that can effectively block out the Sun:
The R-value is an indicator of the insulating property of any window treatment product. So when your purchasing curtains for your house, look for curtains with higher R-value. This will ensure that you get good heat insulation. Curtains with high R-value can effectively block out the Sun’s heat and light. Blackout and Room-darkening curtains normally have high R-values and hence, can be a good option.
Curtains that have a higher thread count are thicker and tend to block out the sun better. This makes the curtains with higher thread count ideal for your needs if you want to keep the outside heat and light out. You can ask for this information from the salesperson if you are purchasing the curtains at a store. If you are shopping online for the curtains, the information regarding the thread count is mentioned on the product description page along with other relevant information.
Curtains that have multiple layers also act as great insulators against the heat and light coming from the Sun. The more the layers, the better is the insulation and privacy performance. Thermal curtains also work on the same principle as these have an extra layer of acrylic foam in between multiple layers of fabric.
The sunlight causes both heat gain and glare inside the house. The curtains which provide good heat insulation usually are also good at blocking the light. However, you won’t like it if the interiors get too dull as it can render the home décor looking lackluster and depressing. You can ask the local store or the e-commerce website from where you have decided to purchase the curtains to send you cloth samples which you can put against the windows to ascertain which one will be ideal for your setting. If blackout curtains seem to make the room too dark for your liking, you can opt for less opaque room-darkening curtains.
This factor is important for various reasons. If you want to block out the Sun’s heat and light, you need to cover your windows properly. For that, you need to know the dimensions of your windows. Hence, you should measure your windows beforehand so that you get the curtains of the right length and width. Covering your windows properly is also necessary to ensure that you get good insulation. If the installation of the curtains is not done properly and any part of the window is left exposed, it will reduce the efficiency of the curtains.
If the curtains don’t fit the windows perfectly, it will ruin the look of the windows. The window is the focal point of the décor of the area it is situated in. If the window is not dressed up properly, it ruins the effect of the whole décor. Hence, knowing the exact dimensions of your windows before purchasing the curtains is crucial to avoid such situations.
Other factors such as cost-effectiveness, privacy needs, and suitability to the décor around the windows which you are getting the curtains for are also worth considering. However, these factors are subjective and can work differently for every individual. You can fix your preferences and act accordingly.