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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof for 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 treatments in San Antonio, from blinds to shades to shutters.

What Is R-Value And Why What Does It Mean For Window Treatments?

Everything in your house 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 means a more effective insulator.

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Why does the R-value of a window treatment matter? Basically, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your space at your preferred temperature. No matter if you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or keep the heat out in summer, you need good insulation. That’s especially necessary for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in insulation. Though there’s some difference based on the material and build between different brands and makes, this is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Type of Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone








Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A short glance at the table tells you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that a few certain window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (we’re talking about you, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That big gap in R-value can result in a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you crank up the air conditioning.

You might also notice the fact that the material of your window treatment is a big deal. Cellular shades, designed with a number of engineered layers designed to block heat, can block temperature flow much better than pleated shades.

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Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, can repel heat a heap better than hardwood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be porous, with natural holes and knots that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with strict weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, giving them that best in class r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The numbers don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters San Antonio by calling 210-876-0377, or fill out our free estimate request form below.