Whether a green paisley swirl or a modern muted linen, curtains are essential for a healthy home. More important than the material is the way they’re installed.
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When warm air hits cold glass, two things happen: the warm air escapes and the newly cooled air forms condensation on the window pane.
The best way of dealing with this is by keeping warm air away from the window with curtains and blinds, which creates a pocket of air between the window and the window covering.
|Type of window covering||Aluminium-frame window[bar; width=large]||Wooden-frame window[bar]|
|Secondary glazing (3M) kit||42%||41%|
|Custom heavy curtains (floor length)||13%||24%|
|Thermal curtains (floor length) and polar fleece||11%||62%|
|Thermal curtains (floor length)||4%||12%|
|Thermal curtains (sill length)||3%||4%|
If you can’t hang curtains because you don’t have tracks, talk to your landlord. You can’t install tracks without the landlord’s permission, they’re not legally obliged to supply them.
Cleaning curtains regularly reduces mould and dust mites. Unhook them, give them a good shake and if they’re made of light material you can run them through a wash on a delicate cycle. If they’re made of heavier fabric, handwashing may be a better option. You can also simply sponge them down with hot water. Hang them in the sun to dry.
Second-hand curtains: Most op shops sell cheap curtains. Before you buy, check for mould – it can be brown, black or yellow.
Cheap, ready-made curtains: Stores such as The Warehouse, Spotlight and Briscoes often sell ready-made curtains, or ready-made detachable lining, for less than $100. Measure your windows before you go shopping to make sure you get a good fit.
Free, upcycled curtains: Curtain banks upcycle donated curtains and give them out for free to low-income households.
Our free guide provides advice and tips on what you can do to make your home warmer, cosier and cheaper to heat.