Comparing R-values of Shutters | Sunburst Shutters Boston
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R-Values of Shutters: Comparing Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

June 13, 2017

We talk a big talk when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have proof to back up our claims. With the help of some third party research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Boston, 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 window treatments, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at preventing heat from moving through it. A higher r-value means a better insulator.

white shades in Boston home 

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

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there can be some variation based on the material and build between different vendors and models, below is what you can expect to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

No window treatment








Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from HouseLogic &

A quick glance at the chart tells you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that a few certain window coverings barely give you any benefit whatsoever (looking at you, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That difference in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your AC and spend more 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, are able to block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Boston living room 

Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a completely solid faux wood polymer, can repel heat a heap better than hardwood shutters. Natural wood can be permeable, with random knots and gaps that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that 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 home can be. Could your home be a little cozier? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Boston by calling 781-352-2205, or use our free consultation request form below.