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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we have proof for our claims. With the help of some objective research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Indianapolis, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that contributes to insulation, from the walls to your windows, has an R-value. That number lets you know how good it is at preventing thermal energy from going through it. A higher r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

white shades in Indianapolis house 

So what difference can the r-value of a window covering make? Basically, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your home at your preferred temperature. No matter if you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or keep your home cool in summer, you need good insulation. That’s especially crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the most common areas of heat loss throughout the whole house.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in insulation. Though there can be some variation due to the material and build between different companies and models, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment


Mini blinds






Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A short look at the table tells you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that some window treatments barely give you any benefit whatsoever (looking at you, blinds), whereas 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 dial up your AC and waste money.

The second is that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, which are made with a number of engineered layers designed to trap heat, can block temperature flow a lot more effectively than pleated shades.

plantation shutters in Indianapolis sunroom 

Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a completely solid faux wood polymer, can repel heat a to a much greater degree than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural gaps and knots that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, fit with seamless weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when shut, which is why they have that best in class r-value of more than 6.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The science doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your space can be. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit cozier? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Indianapolis by calling 317-558-9066, or use our free appointment request form below.