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

Todd Hansen

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got the hard numbers to back up our claims. With the help of some objective research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Orlando, from blinds to shades to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that separates indoors from outdoors, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That value lets you know how good it is at preventing thermal energy from moving through it. A larger r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

white shades in Orlando house 

Why does the R-value of a window treatment matter? Simply put, a more effective insulator lets you keep your house at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep your home cool in summer, you need good insulation. That’s extra crucial for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation due to the material and build between different brands and models, this is what you can expect to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Treatment

Average R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


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

A quick glance at the chart tells you a number of things. The first is the fact that some window coverings barely give you any benefit whatsoever (looking at you, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That big gap in R-value can result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the air conditioning.

The second is that the material of your window treatment makes a big difference. Cellular shades, designed with several insulating layers designed to trap heat, can block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

plantation shutters in Orlando great room 

The same way, 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 cavernous, with random holes and knots that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with strict weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Bring Some Value Into Your Home

The data doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big part in how comfortable your space 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 Orlando by calling 407-630-7011, or use our free appointment request form below.