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

Collins Jones

We make a big deal about energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got 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 space at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside during the winter 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

Every window treatment is not 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

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. The first is the fact that some window treatments offer almost no benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That difference 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, are able to put a stop to energy flow much better than pleated shades.

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The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made 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 let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, build 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 coverings play a big role in how comfortable your house can be. Ever feel like your house could stand to 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.