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

Eric Ramsey

We’re big talkers when it comes to 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 map out 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 moving through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

white shades in Gainesville home 

Why does the R-value of a window treatment matter? 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 especially 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

Not all window treatments are made equal, 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 Energy.gov 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 (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value might mean a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you dial up your air conditioning and lose money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Cellular shades, which are made with multiple engineered layers designed to block 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 wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural knots and gaps that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with seamless weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that best in class r-value of more than 6.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The numbers don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space is. Think your home could 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 estimate request form below.