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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard data to back it up. With the help of some independent research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Cleveland, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that separates indoors from outdoors, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number tells you how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from passing through it. A higher r-value corresponds to a more effective insulator.

white shades in Cleveland home 

Why does the R-value of a window covering make any difference? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your space at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or want to stay cool in summer, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s even more crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the most common culprits in heat loss throughout your whole home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in terms of insulation. Though there can be some variation based on the material and construction between different manufacturers and makes, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone


Mini blinds






Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A quick study of the chart shows you a few things. The first is the fact that some window coverings barely give you any benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That difference in R-value could make for a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you dial up your air conditioning and lose money.

The second is that what the window treatment is made out of is a big deal. Cellular shades, designed with several engineered layers designed to trap heat, are able to stop temperature flow much better than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Cleveland sunroom 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can block heat a to a much greater degree than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with random gaps and holes that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with custom weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, 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 coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space can be. Could your home be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Cleveland by calling 440-561-6787, or use our free consultation request form below.