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

Blake Jarman

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof for our claims. With the help of some third party research, we can directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Raleigh, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

What’s An 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 treatments, has an R-value. That value indicates how good it is at preventing thermal energy from passing through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

honeycomb shades in Raleigh house 

So what difference does the r-value of a window treatment make? Basically, a more energy efficient window treatment makes it easier to keep your house at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep the heat out during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s especially necessary for your windows, because they’re a likely culprit for energy loss in your home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Not all window treatments are made equal, at least not in insulation. Though there can be some variation based on the material and build between different manufacturers and models, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Average R-Value

Window alone








Wood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


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

A short study of the chart shows you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that a few certain window treatments barely give you any benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That difference in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you crank up your AC.

You might also notice the fact that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Cellular shades, which are made with multiple engineered layers designed to trap heat, are able to block temperature flow much better than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Raleigh great room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, are able to block heat a to a much greater degree than natural wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be porous, with natural gaps and holes that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with strict weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that top of the line r-value of more than 6.

Add More Value To Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your house is. Could your home be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Raleigh by calling 919-887-9198, or use our free consultation request form below.