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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we have the hard numbers to back it up. With the help of some outside research, we can directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Philadelphia, from blinds to shades 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 walls to your window treatments, has an R-value. That number tells you how good it is at preventing heat from passing through it. A bigger r-value means a more effective insulator.

cellular shades in Philadelphia house 

Why does the R-value of a window covering make any difference? Basically, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep the heat out during the summer months, you need good insulation. That’s even more necessary for your windows, because they’re a likely reason for energy loss in your home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in terms of insulation. Though there can be some difference based on the material and build between different companies and models, below is what you can expect to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment








Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A quick study of the chart shows you a number of things. The first is the fact that a few certain window treatments barely give you any benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That difference in R-value can make for a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you crank up the air conditioning.

You might also notice the fact that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Honeycomb shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to block heat, are able to block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Philadelphia sunroom 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a completely solid faux wood compound, are able to keep out heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random gaps and holes that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, giving them that top of the line r-value of more than 6.

Add More Value To Your Home

The science doesn’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Philadelphia by calling 215-874-4897, or fill out our free appointment request form below.