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

June 13, 2017

We talk a big talk when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard data to back it up. With the help of some outside research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Jacksonville, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that separates the inside from the outside, from the walls to your window treatments, has an R-value. That number indicates how good it is at preventing thermal energy from moving through it. A higher r-value means a better insulator.

white shades in Jacksonville home 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside during the winter or want to stay cool during the summer months, you need good insulation. That’s especially important 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’s some variation due to the material and thickness between different vendors and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Typical R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A quick glance at the table shows you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that some window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That big gap in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you dial up your AC and spend more money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, designed with multiple insulating layers designed to trap heat, are able to block heat flow a lot better than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Jacksonville great room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a completely solid faux wood polymer, are able to keep out heat a to a much greater degree than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random knots and holes that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when closed, which is why they have that top of the line r-value of more than 6.

Add More Value To Your Home

The science doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big part in how comfortable your space can be. Could your home be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Jacksonville by calling 904-289-1663, or fill out our free estimate request form below.