The Best Custom Shutters, Blinds & Shades!
Proudly Serving the Chicago metro area
Plantation shutters in a traditional living room

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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we have proof to back up our claims. With the help of some outside research, we’ve been able to chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Chicago, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

What’s An R-Value And Why What Does It Mean For Window Treatments?

Everything in your home that insulates, from the walls to your windows, has an R-value. That number indicates how good it is at stopping thermal energy from passing through it. A larger r-value indicates a more effective insulator.

cellular shades in Chicago space 

Why does the R-value of a window covering make any difference? Basically, a better insulator makes it easier to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. No matter if you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep the heat out during the summer months, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s even more necessary for your windows, as they’re one of the biggest areas of heat loss throughout your whole house.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference based on the material and construction between different vendors and models, this is what you’re likely to find when comparing window coverings.

Window Covering

Typical R-Value

Window alone








Hardwood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from HouseLogic &

A quick glance at the table tells you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the fact that a few certain window coverings barely give you any benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That difference in R-value could result in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether you flip the switch on your air conditioning and spend more money.

You might also notice the fact that what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, designed with several insulating layers designed to trap heat, can put a stop to energy flow much better than pleated shades.

Polywood shutters in Chicago living room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a completely solid faux wood polymer, are able to repel heat a heap better than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural knots and holes that allow heat to flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, outfitted with strict weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that best in class r-value of 6 or more.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The data doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big part in how comfortable your space can be. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a little cozier? We’ll help. Talk to the team at Sunburst Shutters Chicago by calling 847-250-6544, or use our free estimate request form below.