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

Darik Neilson

We talk a big talk when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have proof for our claims. With the help of some third party research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window treatments in Las Vegas, from shades to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that insulates, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That number lets you know how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from passing through it. A higher r-value corresponds to a better insulator.

cellular shades in Las Vegas space 

Why does the R-value of a window treatment make any difference? Simply put, a more energy efficient window treatment lets you keep your house at the temperature you want. No matter if you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep your home cool in summer, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s even more important for your windows, as they’re one of the biggest areas of heat loss throughout the entire house.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation based on the material and thickness between different vendors and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

No window treatment




Pleated shades




Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from and HouseLogic.

A short look at the chart shows you a few things. The first is that some window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (we’re talking about you, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value could mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the AC.

You might also notice the fact that the material of your window treatment is a big deal. Honeycomb shades, which are made with a number of insulating layers designed to block heat, are able to stop heat flow a lot better than pleated shades.

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Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to block heat a to a much greater degree than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with random holes 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, which is the reason for their best in class r-value of 6 or more.

Add More Value To Your Home

The data doesn’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space can be. Think your home could be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Las Vegas by calling 702-850-6619, or use our free appointment request form below.