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R-Values of Shutters: Comparing Energy Efficiency of Window Treatments

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got the numbers to back it up. With the help of some independent research, we can chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Sacramento, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why Does It Matter For Window Coverings?

Everything in your house that insulates, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That value indicates how good it is at stopping thermal energy from moving through it. A bigger r-value means a better insulator.

honeycomb shades in Sacramento house 

Why does the R-value of a window covering make any difference? Simply put, a more effective insulator lets you keep your home at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep the heat inside during the winter or want to stay cool during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s especially crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the most common culprits in heat loss throughout the whole home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference due to the material and build between different manufacturers and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A quick study of the chart shows you a couple of things. The first is that some window treatments offer almost no benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value might mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your air conditioning and spend more money.

The second is that what the window treatment is made out of is a big deal. Honeycomb shades, which are made with multiple engineered layers designed to trap heat, are able to block heat flow much better than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Sacramento great room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood polymer, are able to repel heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and knots that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with seamless weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Add More Value To Your Home

The data doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home can be. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a little cozier? We’ll help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Sacramento by calling 916-665-0078, or use our free estimate request form below.