October 10, 2016

Reduce Heating Costs by Closing Curtains at Night

Winter Heat Loss
Backyard chickens surviving winter's chill.
I want to minimize loss of heat through my windows on cold winter nights.  Last night we had our first frost but we haven't started heating our home yet this fall.  I want to delay starting up the wood stove and definitely not turn on the propane furnace.
We just purchased $400 worth of propane which should last us until spring if we only use it for our hot water heating.  Most days we get sun through the front windows in the morning and sun through the back windows in the afternoon.  I want to maximize the use of the radiation heat from the sun and trap that heat in the house overnight.  One way to do this is block light from shining through your windows at night with curtains or blinds.

One of the ways heat is lost through your windows is by radiant energy.  This energy travels through your windows in the form of invisible light.  The temperature difference between the stuff in your house and the objects outside is what drives the heat loss.

When the sun sets the outside temperature drops and this increases the rate of energy loss through your windows.  If you block visible light from shining through your windows you also block the invisible light.  So closing your curtains and blinds at night reduces the radiative heat loss and will keep your home warmer through the cold winter nights, reducing your heating costs.

A thrifty way to reduce heating costs, simply by hang up curtains on any bare windows and remembering to close them at night.