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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard numbers to back up our claims. With the help of some independent research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in Hartford, from shades to blinds to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why What Does It Mean For Window Coverings?

Everything in your house that contributes to insulation, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number indicates how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from passing through it. A bigger r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

cellular shades in Hartford house 

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

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation due to the material and construction between different vendors and models, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Typical R-Value

Window alone








Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A quick look at the chart shows you a couple of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that some window coverings offer almost no benefit whatsoever (we’re talking about you, blinds), while others are total workhorses in insulating. That big gap in R-value might mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you dial up your air conditioning and waste money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment is a big deal. Honeycomb shades, designed with several engineered layers designed to trap heat, can block temperature flow a lot better than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Hartford sunroom 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can keep out heat a heap better than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural holes and gaps that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, fit with seamless weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when closed, which is the reason for their best in class r-value of more than 6.

Add More Value To Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big role in how comfortable your house can be. Think your home could be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Connecticut by calling 860-266-5459, or use our free appointment request form below.