Shutters and R-Values: Compare Energy Efficiency of Window Treatments

Tyler Jorgensen

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got the hard data to back up our claims. With the help of some third party research, we can directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Oklahoma City, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that separates the inside from the outside, from the walls to your windows, has an R-value. That number tells you how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from moving through it. A higher r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

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So what difference does the r-value of a window treatment make? Well, a better insulator lets you keep your home at the temperature you want. No matter if you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep your home cool during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s especially crucial for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in energy efficiency. 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.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone

0.75-1

Mini blinds

1.5-2

Shades

2.5

Drapes

2-3

Hardwood Shutters

3-4

Honeycomb shades

4.5

Polywood plantation shutters

>6

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

A quick look at the chart shows you a number of things. The first is that a few certain window treatments offer almost no benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value can result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your air conditioning and lose money.

The second is that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, designed with several insulating layers designed to repel heat, are able to put a stop to temperature flow a lot more effectively than pleated shades.

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Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can block heat a lot more effectively than hardwood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with natural gaps and holes that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with custom weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that best in class r-value of 6 and up.

Bring Some Value Into Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big role in how comfortable your home is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We’ll help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Oklahoma City by calling 405-300-4664, or fill out our free estimate request form below.