R-Values of Shutters: Compare Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

Holly Perron

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some outside research, we can chart the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Hartford, from shades to blinds to shutters.

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

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

cellular shades in Hartford house 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Basically, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your home at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or keep your home cool during the summer months, you need good insulation. That’s extra important for your windows, as they’re one of the most common areas of heat loss throughout the entire house.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not when it comes to energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference due to the material and thickness between different manufacturers and models, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Treatment

Average R-Value

Window alone


Mini blinds


Pleated shades




Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


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

A quick look at the chart shows you a few things. The first is that a few certain window coverings offer almost no benefit at all (ahem, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value might result in a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you crank up the AC.

You might also notice the fact that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, designed with several insulating layers designed to trap heat, are able to put a stop to energy flow much better than pleated shades.

white shutters in Hartford great room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to keep out heat a lot more effectively than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be permeable, with random knots and gaps that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with seamless weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that best in class r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The science doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home is. Could your home be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Hartford by calling 860-266-5459, or fill out our free estimate request form below.