Plantation shutters in a traditional living room

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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard numbers to back us up. With the help of some scientific research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Clearwater, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why Is It Important For Window Coverings?

Everything in your home that separates indoors from outdoors, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That value lets you know how effective it is at stopping thermal energy from passing through it. A higher r-value indicates a better insulator.

cellular shades in Clearwater house 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a better insulator lets you keep your house at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or keep your home cool during the summer months, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s extra necessary for your windows, as they’re one of the biggest culprits in heat loss throughout the entire house.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference based on the material and build between different companies and makes, here’s what you can expect to find when comparing window treatments.

Window Treatment

Average R-Value

Window alone








Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A short glance at the table tells you a couple of things. The first is the fact 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 make for a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you flip the switch on your air conditioning and waste money.

Something else you might notice is that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to block heat, are able to stop temperature flow a lot more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Clearwater sunroom 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to repel heat a heap better than natural wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be porous, with random gaps and knots that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with custom weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when closed, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Add More Value To Your Home

The science doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home can be. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a little more comfortable? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Clearwater by calling 813-580-7288, or fill out our free consultation request form below.