In the winter, is it better to open curtains when it's light outside... or... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-09-2009, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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keep them closed if the sun isn't shining and warming the room through the window?

Say it's overcast, but light - from a $-saving standpoint, should I open the curtains for the natural light, or close them to keep the heat in and use electricity to light the room?

Merely speculative, since I LIKE-need-want the natural light, but have noticed that the house is definitely cooler with the curtains open (we have thermal/light blocking curtains). FWIW, I always close them when it's dark out.
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#2 of 8 Old 11-09-2009, 10:11 PM
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Our house stays warmer with the blinds (cellular shades) down but I find it so dark and depressing. I try to leave them down in the room we aren't in much (like my bedroom) but I just can't stand it when they are down in the entire house. I think lighting is much much cheaper than the cost of heating....
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#3 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 12:14 AM
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I think open is cheaper if it is full on sunny and the sun shines through that particular window, but closed is cheaper if it is cloudy or the sun is on the other side of the house. If you have incandescent bulbs they add a little heat to the room too.

But it will vary depending on how airtight your windows are, how insulating your curtains are, the outside temperature, your latitude (due to strength of sunlight), time of year, etc.

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#4 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 12:19 AM
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I live pretty far "south" in Canada, and have a south facing living room window and dining room window. I do plastic on ALL my windows, as they are old and drafty. I do open up the blinds in the winter...I have seen the house temp on our main level go up TWO degrees from this especially when it is bright and sunny out.

On the other hand, I have placed room darkening roller blinds on these windows, as I have seen the opposite in the's sweltering in here when I don't close the blinds then!

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#5 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 12:47 AM
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I always feel the temperature of the glass to decide. If the glass is warm to the touch then I open the curtains/blinds, sun or no sun. But if the glass is cold, I leave the curtains closed (again sun or none). Our heating bills definitely got lower when I started using that approach.

ETA- I do tend to only keep to this strategy in rooms I'm not in I really like some natural light, so unless it's totally dark out, I often have the blinds and curtains open at least a little in whatever room I'm in.

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#6 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 10:47 AM
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I would put plastic on the windows and open the curtains wide to let the wonderful sun in! The sun makes me happy!
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#7 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 11:33 AM
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we plastic our windows and use thermal curtains but before dh puts the plastic up we have the miniblinds lowered but opened so on the sunny days I can pull back the curtains and let the sun shine in but the plastic keeps the drafts out We're on a hill so the winds can get high but also being on a hill lets the sun shine in since nothing is blocking us.

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#8 of 8 Old 11-10-2009, 11:36 AM
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Our windows are leaky and the house is colder when I raise the blinds so I leave most of them down. I do raise a few just to get some more natural light in, but I don't open all of them. We've added caulking around the windows, but it hasn't helped. I think they are just cheap windows that leak. Maybe one day we'll try to seal them with plastic, but not anytime soon.

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