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

Curtis Orton

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof for our claims. With the help of some objective research, we can map out the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Sacramento, from blinds to shades 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 windows, 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 

So what difference can the r-value of a window covering make? Simply put, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your house 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, great insulation is a requirement. That’s extra 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 brands and makes, below is 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 & Energy.gov.

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 (ahem, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value can result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up your air conditioning.

Something else you might notice 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 put a stop to 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 heap better than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and knots that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, fit 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. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Sacramento by calling 916-250-0758, or use our free estimate request form below.