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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we have proof to back up our claims. With the help of some third party research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Fort Lauderdale, from blinds to shades to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why What Does It Mean For Window Treatments?

Everything in your home that insulates, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at preventing thermal energy from going through it. A larger r-value indicates a better insulator.

white shades in Fort Lauderdale house 

So what difference can the r-value of a window covering make? Basically, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your home at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or want to stay cool in summer, great insulation is a requirement. That’s extra 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 terms of insulation. Though there’s some variation based on the material and build between different companies and makes, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment








Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A short glance at the chart shows you a couple of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that a few certain window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (we’re talking about you, blinds), while others are total workhorses in insulating. That big gap in R-value could result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the AC.

You might also notice the fact that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Cellular shades, designed with multiple insulating layers designed to repel heat, are able to block temperature flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

faux wood shutters in Fort Lauderdale sunroom 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to keep out heat a to a much greater degree than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random knots and gaps that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when shut, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The data doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your house is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Fort Lauderdale by calling 561-440-8535, or use our free estimate request form below.