R-Values of Shutters: Compare Energy-Efficient Window Coverings

Mike Horn

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some independent research, we’ve been able to map out the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in New Brunswick, from shades to drapes to shutters.

What’s An 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 window treatments, has an R-value. That number indicates how good it is at preventing thermal energy from moving through it. A bigger r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

honeycomb shades in New Brunswick space 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Simply put, a more effective insulator lets you keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or want to stay cool in summer, you need good insulation. That’s extra crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the biggest areas of heat loss throughout the entire home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in insulation. Though there can be some difference based on the material and thickness between different manufacturers and makes, this is what you can expect to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Average R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from HouseLogic & Energy.gov.

A quick look at the table tells you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that some window treatments barely give you any benefit whatsoever (we’re talking about you, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That difference in R-value can result in a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you dial up your AC and spend more money.

The second is that what the window treatment is made out of is a big deal. Honeycomb shades, designed with multiple engineered layers designed to block heat, can stop heat flow much better than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in New Brunswick sunroom 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can block heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be cavernous, with random holes and knots that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with seamless weatherstripping, can create 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 numbers don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big part in how comfortable your house is. Could your home be a bit cozier? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters New Brunswick by calling 732-301-6168, or fill out our free appointment request form below.