Also known as thermal curtains or drapes, insulated curtains are lined panels that are designed to help block outside light while also helping to make the process of heating and cooling an interior space more cost-effective. Available in wide range of colors and designs, these energy efficient window treatments can be used in home and office settings with equal ease. While more expensive that many other types of curtains or draperies, insulated curtains often save enough on power bills to pay for themselves in very little time.
In structure, insulated curtains are normally a two-ply design that combines a decorative front panel with a back panel that minimizes airflow as well as enhancing the light blocking qualities of the panels. As a result, the curtain panel or panels are especially helpful when there is a desire to create a comfortable setting inside by blocking entry of cold or hot air due to tiny gaps around window sashes or sliding doors. In addition, blocking sunlight can simplify the process of keeping an interior space comfortable by preventing the light from warming the interior space.
Insulated curtains also serve the purpose of increasing privacy. While many window treatment designs will partially obstruct the view of an interior, there is often still the creation of shadows or silhouettes that may be viewed from the outside. With the heavier two-ply design of insulated window treatments, no one can make out the outlines of furniture, the light cast by lamps or television sets, or silhouettes as the inhabitants move back and forth near the window.
People who work nights often find that hanging insulated curtains in the bedroom make it much easier to settle into restful sleep during daylight hours. In addition to effectively blocking outside light, the heavier design of the fabric also helps to muffle sound. This added benefit can minimize many of the sounds that make it hard to achieve deep sleep, such as barking dogs, street noises, or people mowing lawns.
While insulated curtains were once more functional than decorative, the panels today come in a wide range of designs and color schemes. The front panel of the curtain can be created using just about any type of fabric, texture, or color scheme. This makes it possible for the insulated drapes to fit into any décor, from a casual den to a formal dining room.
In terms of cost, insulated curtains are more expensive than may other types of drapes or curtain panels. However, the curtains usually require no additional care and tend to last much longer than other window treatments. Many designs call for nothing more than periodic cleaning with vacuum cleaner to remove dust and an occasional trip to a dry cleaner to maintain a new appearance. While curtains of this type once had a tendency to fade over time, newer fabric blends make it possible to enjoy colorful insulated panels that hold their color even with constant exposure to natural sunlight.