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

David White

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof for our claims. With the help of some outside research, we can map out the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Miami, from shades to drapes to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why Does It Matter For Window Coverings?

Everything in your home that contributes to insulation, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from moving through it. A higher r-value corresponds to a better insulator.

honeycomb shades in Miami house 

Why does the R-value of a window treatment matter? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your home at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep the heat out during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s extra necessary for your windows, as they’re one of the most common areas of heat loss throughout the 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 build between different companies and models, here’s what you can expect to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment


Mini blinds






Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A short glance at the chart tells you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that a few certain window coverings offer almost no benefit at all (we’re talking about you, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value might 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. Cellular shades, designed with multiple engineered layers designed to trap heat, are able to put a stop to energy flow a lot more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Miami living room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, can block heat a lot more effectively than natural wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random holes and gaps that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that best in class r-value of more than 6.

Add More Value To Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space can be. Could your home be a bit cozier? We can help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Miami by calling 305-520-7515, or use our free estimate request form below.