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

Kasey Udy

We make a big deal about energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some outside research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in St. George, from drapes to blinds to shutters.

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

Everything in your home that insulates, from the roof to your window treatments, has an R-value. That value lets you know how good it is at preventing thermal energy from going through it. A higher r-value indicates a better insulator.

roller shades in St. George home 

So what difference can the r-value of a window treatment make? Basically, a more energy efficient window treatment makes it easier to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. No matter if you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or want to stay cool during the summer months, great insulation is a requirement. That’s even more necessary for your windows, as they’re one of the biggest culprits in heat loss throughout the entire home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation based on the material and construction between different vendors and models, here’s what you can expect to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Treatment

Average R-Value

No window treatment


Mini blinds






Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


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

A short study of the table shows you a few things. The first is the fact that a few certain window treatments barely give you any benefit at all (ahem, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That big gap in R-value might mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the air conditioning.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment is a big deal. Cellular shades, designed with multiple insulating layers designed to repel heat, are able to put a stop to temperature flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in St. George great room 

Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can repel heat a lot more effectively than hardwood shutters. Natural wood can be porous, with natural knots and holes that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when closed, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 and up.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The numbers don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your house is. Think your home could be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters St. George by calling 435-485-9332, or use our free appointment request form below.