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

June 13, 2017

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 third party 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 windows, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at preventing thermal energy from moving through it. A larger r-value corresponds to a better insulator.

white shades in Miami house 

So what difference does the r-value of a window treatment make? Well, a more effective insulator lets you keep your house at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep the heat out during the summer months, great insulation is a requirement. 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

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there can be some variation due to the material and build between different companies and models, below is 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 result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your air conditioning and waste money.

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 sunroom 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, can block heat a heap better than natural wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random holes and knots 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 6 or more.

Add More Value To Your Home

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