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

Jacob Hayes

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 objective research, we can map out the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Kingsport, from drapes 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 windows, has an R-value. That number indicates how good it is at stopping thermal energy from moving through it. A larger r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

white shades in Kingsport home 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your home at your preferred temperature. 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 extra necessary 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, here’s 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 (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your AC and lose money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. 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.

Polywood shutters in Kingsport sunroom 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, are able to keep out heat a heap better than hardwood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural knots and gaps 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 Kingsport by calling 276-685-5343, or fill out our free estimate request form below.