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

Gary Harding

We talk a big talk when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some objective research, we’ve been able to map out the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Colorado Springs, from blinds to shades to shutters.

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

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

cellular shades in Colorado Springs space 

So what difference can the r-value of a window treatment make? Well, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. No matter if you want to keep in the heat during the winter or want to stay cool during the summer months, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s especially important for your windows, because they’re a big culprit for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Every window treatment is not made equal, at least not in insulation. Though there’s some difference based on the material and build between different brands and makes, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Treatment

Average R-Value

No window treatment








Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from and HouseLogic.

A quick look at the table tells you a few things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that some window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value could result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up the AC.

The second is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Cellular shades, which are made with several engineered layers designed to block heat, are able to stop temperature flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Colorado Springs living room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood polymer, can repel heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. Natural wood can be porous, with natural holes and gaps that let heat move easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The science doesn’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your house is. Could your home be a bit cozier? We can help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Colorado Springs by calling 303-625-6431, or use our free appointment request form below.