How to make your home more energy efficient

by Yvonne Keal

Product Management specialist

Published: 20/11/2013

Updated: 07/09/2022

We've got lots of wise ways to help reduce heat loss through your windows

Winter-proofing your home will help keep you warm when the temperature dips. Here we show you how to insulate your windows with our most effective blinds, curtains and shutters.

Mustard yellow blackout Pleated blinds dressed on windows in bedroom. Light pink Voile curtains are hanging over the blinds. Matching mustard and grey cushions have been placed on the bed.

Keep your home warmer

There's lots of effective ways to help prevent heat loss in your home, from insulating your loft, installing cavity wall insulation or fitting your chimney with a specially designed draught excluder. But these solutions can be costly, and might not give you the best value for money.

A really easy way to keep that precious warmth inside your room where it belongs is to choose a window dressing that'll help reduce draughts and air leakage. We've got plenty of thermal solutions that do just that, and will stop you reaching for the thermostat. They'll give your home a stylish lift too.

Faso fiesta floor length eyelet curtains paired with white shutters in modern living room

How to prevent heat loss through windows

A single glazed window can account for up to 18% of the heat loss in your home, but our made to measure blinds, curtains and shutters are brilliant insulators to help reduce this.  The extra layer acts as a thermal barrier at your windows and doors, slowing down the transfer of heat between the warm indoor air and the cool air outside. We'll fit them snugly at your windows or doors, helping to reduce draughts that can slip through the gaps in your frames. 

In this guide, we talk you through our top insulators and give you some handy tips to help improve the energy efficiency of your home and keep you warm and cosy.

Wise words from a Hillarys advisor

John, Hillarys advisor
I'll fit your blinds snugly to the window recess to help keep warm air from escaping and prevent cold draughts coming in.
John, Hillarys advisor
Blue curtains hanging over light blue pleated thermashade blinds in a cosy bedroom

How can Thermal blinds help prevent heat loss?

Our innovative range of Thermal blinds including ThermaShade™ and Duette® offer a practical solution, proven by research organisation Fruenhofer IBP to help reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows by up to 55%. They're made up of honeycomb-shaped cells that trap air and create a barrier between your warm room and the cold window to help keep your space at a comfortable temperature. They're suitable for all rooms in the house but are particularly effective in conservatories and garden rooms, which get very cold in the winter months.

Thermal blinds are available in a wide range of colours and styles including in a Perfect Fit frame, providing a streamlined finish that's ideal for uPVC windows and doors.

cley donkey roman blind with collette vixen fringing in a grey living room with an orange sofa and cactii

What other blind types help reduce heat loss?

When fitted properly, a closed blind will fit snugly at your window, stopping draughts entering the room and providing an insulating layer of warm air trapped between the fabric and glazing.

This means made to measure blinds are a really effective solution. A smart choice is a Roman blind. They offer the simplicity of a Roller blind but with the warmth and versatility of soft fabrics. All our Roman blinds are lined as standard, but for maximum heat retention choose a performance lining. The extra layer at your window will help keep things warm and cosy, reducing heat loss by 21%.

A real customer story

Carol, Hillarys customer
Our blinds have really enhanced our experience in the room. It can get really cold in winter as there is so much glass for heat to escape but the Roman blinds help keep it in and make the whole room feel much cosier, warmer and more comfortable.
Carol, Hillarys customer
Henley white tier-on-tier shutters in kitchen

Help stop heat escaping with shutters

Shutters are one of the stars when it comes to energy performance. Fitting snugly at your window, they help reduce heat loss by 36%, and are excellent for reducing the amount of cold air that can slip through the gaps in your window frame.

For maximum heat retention, we recommend solid shutters. They offer the biggest insulation impact of all shutter styles, due to the solid design without louvres. Just like curtains, you can have them open in the day to make the most of the natural sunlight, and close them at night to make things nice and cosy.

Tier-on-tier shutters are another great choice, as they're made up of independently operated top and bottom panels. This gives you real flexibility to make sure your room always feels comfortable.

Wise words from a Hillarys advisor

Mark, Hillary advisor
Shutters are a flexible choice, giving you the option to keep the frames closed and draughts at bay, but still allowing light in by positioning the louvres to suit you.
Mark, Hillary advisor
eyelet curtains in oriel sepia in modern rustic bedroom setting

Are curtains thermally efficient?

Curtains are a great way to bring warmth into a space‚ especially if you have large expanses of glass or sliding doors which can make your room feel chilly in the colder months. On days where it's freezing cold or really hot, keep them closed for maximum impact.

Like our Roman blinds, all of our curtains are lined as standard, but for added cosiness go a step further with a thermal lining. The additional sateen twill layer not only reduces heat loss through your windows but gives your curtains a thicker, luxurious look.

Our blackout linings have thermal properties too. During the winter months, blackout curtains and can help to reduce energy loss through your windows and keep your home cosier. 

Wise words from a Hillarys advisor

Ger, Hillarys advisor
Curtains can also help keep your home cooler in summer by reducing the amount of warm air transferred in.
Ger, Hillarys advisor
Muse Pearl curtains and Daze Silver romans in the dining room

How does layering help to insulate windows?

Another great way to manage heat loss is to layer curtains over blinds or shutters. You’ll not only benefit from the additional insulation, but a luxurious finishing look too. Blend different textures, colours, patterns and plains for a finish that’s as cosy as it is stylish.

If you've a radiator fitted under a window, open the curtains while the blind is closed to keep cooler air out without blocking the heat gain from your radiator.

And for rooms where you want additional light control as well as warmth, team thermal curtains with blackout blinds. They're a great way to minimise light levels in your bedroom to create a restful environment for sleep.

A real customer story

Michelle, Hillarys customer
The doors in my living room are single glazed and the windows are the original Crittal windows so I needed something that would help insulate the room. My curtains do just that, I love the texture, they’re really heavy so are great at keeping out the draughts.
Michelle, Hillarys customer
Traditional conservatory with thermal transition roof and side blinds

Keep your conservatory comfy

Floor to ceiling glazing and roof lights are a key trend in home extensions, and of course, conservatories. But while looking great, it can be difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in these rooms where lots of windows lose heat quickly.

Go for ThermaShade blinds for the side windows and roof blinds from our SolarPleat fabric range to actively reflect heat. So when it’s hot, you stay cool and when it’s cooler, you stay toasty.

Nola camo roman blinds in cosy rustic bedroom

Get the perfect fit

Cold air is sneaky and can easily find its way into your home by moving around the window covering, through gaps at the sides, above and below. A properly fitted product will help eliminate these draughts and help to maximise heat retention.

Your local advisor will take care of this for you. They’ll accurately measure up and fit to make sure your blind sits tightly in the window frame so it can trap the air between the fabric and the window, keeping the chill out and the heat in.

Take a look at more energy saving solutions

We've got lots of wise words all about how made to measure window dressings can help keep your home warm

Anika grey pinch pleat curtains paired with voile roman blinds

Thermal Curtains

Our thermal curtains offer solutions to help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.