Plantation shutters in a traditional living room

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

June 13, 2017

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some objective research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in Denver, from shades to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that contributes to insulation, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That number tells you how effective it is at preventing thermal energy from going through it. A higher r-value corresponds to a more effective insulator.

white shades in Denver space 

So what difference does the r-value of a window covering make? Basically, a better insulator lets you keep your space at a comfortable temperature. No matter if you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or want to stay cool during the summer months, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s even more important for your windows, as they’re one of the most common culprits in heat loss throughout the entire house.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there can be some difference based on the material and build between different vendors and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone

0.75-1

Blinds

1.5-2

Shades

2.5

Drapes

2-3

Wood Shutters

3-4

Cellular shades

4.5

Polywood plantation shutters

>6

R-values from Energy.gov and HouseLogic.

A quick look at the table tells you a few things. The first is that a few certain window coverings offer almost no benefit at all (we’re talking about you, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That big gap in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up your AC.

The second is that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Cellular shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to block heat, are able to block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Denver great room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, can repel heat a to a much greater degree than wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with random knots and gaps that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict weatherstripping, build a solid seal on your window when closed, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The numbers don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your home is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Denver by calling 720-538-0182, or fill out our free estimate request form below.

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