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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard data 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 often-chosen window treatments in Salt Lake City, from shades to blinds to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why Is It Important For Window Treatments?

Everything in your house that separates indoors from outdoors, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number lets you know how effective it is at stopping thermal energy from moving through it. A bigger r-value corresponds to a more effective insulator.

roller shades in Salt Lake City house 

So what difference can the r-value of a window covering make? Basically, a better insulator makes it easier to keep your home at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside during the winter or keep the heat out during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s even more crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the most common culprits in heat loss throughout your whole house.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in insulation. Though there’s some difference due to the material and thickness between different brands and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Typical R-Value

No window treatment


Mini blinds






Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A quick look at the table tells you a number of things. The first is that some window treatments barely give you any benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), whereas 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 you dial up your AC and waste money.

Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to block heat, can block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Salt Lake City great room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a completely solid faux wood compound, can repel heat a heap better than wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural gaps and knots that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with custom weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that best in class r-value of 6 and up.

Bring Some Value Into Your Home

The numbers don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your house is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Salt Lake City by calling 801-515-3598, or fill out our free appointment request form below.