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

Tyler Jorgensen

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 outside research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common 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 separates indoors from outdoors, from the walls to your windows, has an R-value. That value indicates how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from going through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

roller shades in San Antonio home 

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 crucial for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

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’s some difference based on the material and build between different manufacturers 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-value averages sourced from and HouseLogic.

A short glance at the table tells you a few 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 might mean 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 several engineered layers designed to block heat, can put a stop to energy 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 lot more effectively than hardwood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be porous, with natural holes and gaps that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless 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 science doesn’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. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters San Antonio by calling 210-876-0377, or fill out our free appointment request form below.