Curtain Length and radiators

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by MissRibena, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. MissRibena

    MissRibena Frequent Poster

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    Hi everyone

    Just wondering what is "best practice" when it comes to curtain length where there is a radiator directly under the window? Should you get them to stop above the radiator, which would look a bit skimpy in my case. Or should you get them longer so that they will be coming half-way (or less) down the radiator? If so, should you tuck them in behind the radiator to keep the heat in or is this pointless (hope so, cos it looks a bit naff).

    Do blinds give any insulation factor? I don't really like them but was thinking they might be good for keeping in a bit more heat. It's an old house and every bit of heat counts.

    Thanks
    Rebecca
     
  2. Miner

    Miner Frequent Poster

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    Its generally best not to have curtains covering the rads even though it can look a bit skimpy. Other option is to have both blinds and curtains so when its dark, pull the blinds but leave the curtains open and as long as you want.
     
  3. ophelia

    ophelia Frequent Poster

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    The other option of course is to move the radiator. Why are they always under windows anyway?
     
  4. MissRibena

    MissRibena Frequent Poster

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    Because it takes up far less wall space to keep the windows and rads on the same wall.

    I think there used to be a theory that it was a better way of circulating heat but as far as I know that is dismissed now.

    Rebecca
     
  5. Carpenter

    Carpenter Frequent Poster

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    I have my curtains overlapping rads by 6-8" and I think they look fine. The best location for rads is under windows, rads work by convection (mostly- very little heat is radiated) and the window location encourages convection currents, warm air rises and is replaced by cold air. If rads are located on other walls (not under windows) you will get dirt staining on the wall, known as "pattern staining" it's unattractive and difficult to remove. I also have venetian blinds behind the curtains and I'd imagine they will contribute somewhat to reduction of heat loss/ elimination of draughts.
     
  6. MissRibena

    MissRibena Frequent Poster

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    Thanks Carpenter but if the warm air rises and your curtains are over the top of your rads, will the warm air not just rise into the window and be lost out through the glass? (Sorry if that's a daft question).

    Rebecca
     
  7. Carpenter

    Carpenter Frequent Poster

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    Rebecca
    It's not a daft question, the hot air will rise as quickly as the cold air comes into replace it. Most heat lost through glass windows is via radiation, so if you have good heavy curtains they will retain the radiated heat from within the room whilst the warm air (generated by the radiator) will convect behind the curtain up to the ceiling and back down as it cools. If there is a gap at the head of the curtain (rail/ tape) then the air is free to convect and causes no problems. I know common sense would dictate differently but it's basic physics and it works, the cool glass actually improves the convection of the heat.
     
  8. MissRibena

    MissRibena Frequent Poster

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    Oh that's great news so. No need to worry about tucking the curtains in behind the rads so and no major panic on getting new blinds. :)

    Rebecca
     
  9. feorais

    feorais Frequent Poster

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    Dear Ms Ribena

    Personal experience prompts me to give the following advice: put in wooden cills about 9inches wide made of 1 inch thick hardwood, over each radiator. Now get your curtains c/w thermal lining and hang them above the cills. The idea is that when the curtains are drawn together, you will contain the radiator heat within the room as the heat will rise on the room side of the curtains and avoid most of the losses through the windows. There is no better way! As to the blinds, they may form a small extra barrier against ingress of cold and egresse of heat but not very much.
     
  10. Carpenter

    Carpenter Frequent Poster

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    But the blinds will certainly cut down on losses by radiation (which are admittedly small anyway.)