Shutters and R-Values: Comparing Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

Collins Jones

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard numbers to back it up. With the help of some outside research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Dallas, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

What Is R-Value And Why Does It Matter For Window Treatments?

Everything in your house that insulates, from the roof to your window treatments, has an R-value. That number indicates how effective it is at stopping thermal energy from going through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

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Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment makes it easier to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep the heat out in summer, you need good insulation. That’s extra crucial for your windows, because they’re a big culprit for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not all window treatments are made equal, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there can be some difference based on the material and thickness between different vendors and makes, this is what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

No window treatment

0.75-1

Mini blinds

1.5-2

Pleated shades

2.5

Drapes

2-3

Wood Shutters

3-4

Cellular shades

4.5

Polywood plantation shutters

>6

R-value averages sourced from Energy.gov and HouseLogic.

A quick study of the table tells you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that some window coverings offer almost no benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value can mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you dial up your AC and lose money.

Something else you might notice is that what the window treatment is made out of makes a big difference. Cellular shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to trap heat, can put a stop to energy flow a lot better than pleated shades.

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The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, can keep out heat a to a much greater degree than hardwood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random knots and holes that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when closed, which is why they have that best in class r-value of 6 and up.

Add More Value To Your Home

The data doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your house can be. Could your home be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Dallas by calling 214-301-5066, or fill out our free estimate request form below.