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Shutters and R-Values: Compare Energy Efficiency of Window Coverings

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got proof for our claims. With the help of some independent research, we can map out the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Bluff City, from shades to blinds to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that contributes to insulation, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number tells you how good it is at stopping thermal energy from going through it. A higher r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

white shades in Bluff City home 

So what difference does the r-value of a window covering make? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your house at the temperature you want. No matter if you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or want to stay cool during the summer months, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s especially crucial for your windows, because they’re a big culprit for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there can be some variation based on the material and thickness between different vendors and models, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone


Mini blinds


Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from and HouseLogic.

A quick glance at the table shows you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that a few certain window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), whereas others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value could result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the air conditioning.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Cellular shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to trap heat, are able to stop temperature flow a lot more effectively than pleated shades.

white shutters in Bluff City living room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, are able to keep out heat a heap better than wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural gaps and knots that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with custom weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that top of the line r-value of more than 6.

Bring Some Value Into Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home can be. Could your home be a little cozier? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters NW Tennessee by calling 276-685-5343, or fill out our free estimate request form below.