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

Eric Ramsey

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we have the numbers to back it up. With the help of some scientific research, we can directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Destin, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that separates indoors from outdoors, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number indicates how effective it is at stopping heat from going through it. A higher r-value means a more effective insulator.

roller shades in Destin space 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Simply put, a more energy efficient window treatment 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 the heat out during the summer months, great insulation is a requirement. That’s even more crucial for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not when it comes to energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference due to the material and thickness between different brands and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone




Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


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

A quick look at the chart tells you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that a few certain window treatments offer almost no benefit at all (ahem, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That difference in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you turn on the AC.

Something else you might notice is that what the window treatment is made out of makes a big difference. Honeycomb shades, which are made with several engineered layers designed to trap heat, can stop temperature flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

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Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to keep out heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. Natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and holes that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with custom weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when shut, giving them that top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Add More Value To Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big role in how comfortable your space is. Think your home could be a bit cozier? We can help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Destin by calling 850-203-0419, or fill out our free appointment request form below.