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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got the numbers to back up our claims. With the help of some third party research, we’ve been able to map out the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in Phoenix, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that separates the inside from the outside, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number indicates how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from going through it. A higher r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

roller shades in Phoenix home 

So what difference can the r-value of a window covering make? Simply put, a better insulator lets you keep your home at your preferred temperature. No matter if you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep the heat out during the summer months, great insulation is a requirement. That’s especially crucial for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there can be some variation based on the material and construction between different companies and makes, here’s what you can expect to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Covering

Typical R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from HouseLogic &

A short look 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 big gap in R-value could result in a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you turn on your AC.

The second is that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Honeycomb shades, designed with several engineered layers designed to trap heat, can put a stop to temperature flow much better than pleated shades.

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The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, can keep out heat a to a much greater degree than natural wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural knots and holes that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict 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 numbers don’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 little more comfortable? We’ll help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Phoenix by calling 480-485-7743, or fill out our free consultation request form below.