Do Curtains Block Radiator Heat

BY |

If you live in a home with a radiator beneath the window, you may have a hard time hanging your curtains. If you have windowsill curtains, the radiator won’t have much of an impact.

Floor-length curtains will have a problem since they will have to go over the radiator. This has had many fancy long curtains and radiators asking the question, do curtains block radiator heat?

Curtain block radiator heat. Despite allowing heat to pass through, they still put a barrier for a significant amount of heat from the radiator. You will notice your home getting cold despite having a radiator. This is because the curtain prevents the flow of heat from the radiator to the entire house.

Long curtains made of heavy materials will block a considerable amount of heat from the radiator compared to the light material curtains.

To minimize the effect, opt for lighter curtains for windows with radiators beneath, use windowsill curtains or use other window covering alternatives.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t sit well for people who prefer having curtains as their window treatments. With that said, let us look at some effects of radiator heat on your curtains and ways to resolve that problem.

 Adhering to these guidelines will ensure you have a warm home while keeping your window coverings in good shape and your home beautiful.

Can A Curtain Touch A Radiator?


Curtains are a great way to enhance the beauty of our rooms are house at large. But when you have a radiator in your home, it will limit you to the type of curtain you should hand on your windows.

 Radiators will dictate the type of curtain, length, and material their material.

Different radiators will work with various curtains. This will mean that you will have to understand your radiator before purchasing a curtain and choosing a particular material that will go well with it.

 A deviation from this may bring many damages to your home since some other curtain material may be burnt or catch fire if they are flammable.

With that in mind, let us look at different radiators and curtain-type and see which ones will go well if they touch

Water radiator

If you have a radiator that uses water or steam to heat the air around the house, you can let your curtains touch it. This doesn’t mean that the water radiator doesn’t pose any risk of burning your curtains.

Despite the water radiator not emitting a lot of heat, they still can burn or damage your curtains. If you have window coverings made of light material, it will be unsafe to let them touch your radiator.

Water radiators will give you much more options for certain types. If you prefer heavy drapes, you can allow them to touch the radiator. This is because chances of the radiator destroying the drapes are minimal; you will, however, prevent the free flow of warm air in the house.

Electric radiators

Newer radiators are powered by electricity, and they aren’t as bulky as the old water and steam radiators. The electric radiators don’t take up much space beneath your window and will thus give you a room to use much bigger curtains than their predecessors.

Conversely, to the water and steam radiators, electric radiators emit a lot of heat that will undoubtedly burn out your curtain if they touch it for a long time.

If you have an electric radiator, it is better that you maintain a short curtain that reaches the windowsill only to avoid any incidence of fire.

Using other window covering to cover up your window will also work well if you have an electric heater. You should always avoid getting your blight window coverings such and sheers next to an electric radiator because the amount of heat produced can damage it from a distance.

Choosing right curtains

After you have figured out what type of radiator you have, the next step should decide the right curtain for your windows. When going for the curtain, put in mind your radiator’s heat emission amount and get the curtain that can withstand it for some time in case they touch.

One thing you should consider when planning to set your curtains near your electric or water radiator is the fabric type used to make the curtain.

The type of curtain fabric will also determine if your curtain can touch the radiator. Heavy curtains are more resilient to heat and can be allowed to touch the radiator.

 They will, however, block a lot of heat from circulating in the room. Despite being heavy, these curtains can be flammable and catch fire.

Cotton fabrics and linen fabrics are the ones known to be most flammable. Other heavier and thicker fabrics can still be flammable, and you should exercise great care and caution when you have them in your home next to a radiator.

However, the good thing is that the heavy curtains aren’t at significant risk of being burnt by the radiator like the thinner curtains.

How Far Should Curtains Hang Above The Radiator?

When hanging curtains, the most typical mistake is to drape heavy floor-length drapes over the window and the radiator below. This keeps heat out of the room by retaining it in the window area.

Curtains should finish just below the windowsill and not cover the top of the radiator.

Curtains hung over radiators should end about an inch above the top of the radiator to prevent heat from escaping under the curtain.

This distance will also ensure safety for your curtains, especially if they are thin ones. A few inches above the window, the heat won’t damage or burn your curtains. You will be confident that your curtains will remain in good shape for a long time.

Ascending hot air from a radiator collides with descending cold air from a window, usually accumulating on the room’s floor. Drapes should not cover the top of the radiator and should end just below the windowsill.

An alternative for long curtains that touch the floor should be a combination of blinds and curtains. Installing blinds is one possibility. This means you may maintain your floor-length curtains as a beautiful element that remains open while the blinds provide the privacy you want.

There are several alternatives available for blinds, including Venetian, roller, wooden, Roman, and even shutters. You may also change your long curtains with shorter ones that end just above the radiator.

If you don’t want to buy new curtains, you may take your present ones to a haberdasher, who can adequately take them up and hem them.

Curtains that reach the window sill are ideal for homes with radiators. They may be the only choice if there is a radiator or if longer curtains would be a hazard next to a heat emitter.

Curtains that are too short or too long for the sill appear sloppy. Measure both sides of the window and make sure the sill is straight – if it is lower on one side than the other. This will show through the curtains if this is the case.

 Somewhat more extended than the sill length may be preferable. Even so, the curtain should not touch the radiator.

Can Curtains Touch Hot Water Baseboard Heaters?

Hot water seldom surpasses 180 degrees, which I don’t believe is hot enough to flash-ignite or even melt the cheapest rayon curtains. If you keep them closed over the baseboards, though, you will waste a lot of energy since the warm air will travel up in front of the windows and cool down rather than circulating.

The base of your curtains should be at least 10 centimeters or four inches above your heaters or at least three centimeters above the floor if they run floor-to-ceiling. Ensure there are at least five centimeters two inches of space between the rear of the drapes and the front of your heaters.

Hot water in the baseboard unit warms the incoming air in forced hot-water baseboard heaters. Because fabric can catch fire, keep your drapes away from a baseboard heater.

 Baseboard heaters that use forced hot water may get extremely hot. The extreme heat from the baseboard heaters will undoubtedly ruin your curtain if not burning it out completely.

As a precaution, you should not let your curtain touch the hot water baseboard heaters. For thin curtains made of linen fabrics, the heat from the baseboard heaters will ruin them and consequently destroy the appearance of your house altogether.

Heavy fabrics curtains can withstand the heat from the hot water, but it is still not recommended to let them touch. This is because the heavy curtains will hold back most of the moist air and prevent air circulation around the house.

Instead of hot air flowing through the house, it will be diverted to the window to meet cold air and cool instantly.

Leave a Comment