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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we have the hard data to back us up. With the help of some independent research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Gainesville, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that separates the inside from the outside, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That number lets you know how effective it is at preventing heat from going through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

white shades in Gainesville space 

So what difference can the r-value of a window treatment make? Well, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. No matter if you want to keep the heat inside during the winter or keep your home cool during the summer months, you need good insulation. That’s extra important for your windows, as they’re one of the most common areas of heat loss throughout your entire house.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

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

Type of Window Covering

Average R-Value

Window alone




Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A quick glance at the chart shows you a couple of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that some window coverings barely give you any benefit at all (ahem, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That difference in R-value might result in a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you dial up your air conditioning and spend more money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Cellular shades, which are made with multiple engineered layers designed to repel heat, are able to stop temperature flow a lot better than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Gainesville living room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a completely solid faux wood compound, are able to block heat a lot more effectively than hardwood shutters. Natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and knots that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with seamless weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when shut, giving them that best in class r-value of more than 6.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The science doesn’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your house is. Could your home be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Gainesville by calling 813-602-5966, or use our free appointment request form below.