To determine the minimum necessary panel length, without including tabs or rings, measure from the floor to just above the window casing. Use this measurement when purchasing panel curtains. After you buy the panels, mount the rod to match the length.

For the best look when a set of curtains is closed, make sure each panel is at least as wide as the window. Mount rod brackets 6 inches outside the window frame so panels can be pushed away from the glass, allowing light to flood the room and the window to be on full display.

When using ready-made panels, measure each panel before hanging. If there is a minor difference hang the panels based on the length of the shortest one. If there’s a noticeable discrepancy, you may need to hem.

Panels outfitted with grommets or rings are easier to slide along rods than those with tabs. A rod-pocket panel is the most difficult style to open and close.

To make curtains more energy-efficient, choose panels that extend well beyond the window frame on all sides to reduce heat from sunlight in the summer and cold air flow in the winter.