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

Eric Ramsey

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got the hard data to back us up. With the help of some independent research, we can map out the energy efficiency of the most common window coverings in Tampa, from blinds to shades to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that insulates, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at stopping heat from going through it. A larger r-value means a more effective insulator.

cellular shades in Tampa house 

So what difference can the r-value of a window treatment make? Basically, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your space at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or want to stay cool in summer, you need good insulation. That’s extra necessary for your windows, because they’re a big reason for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not every window treatment offers the same benefits, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation based on the material and build between different manufacturers and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Window Treatment

Typical R-Value

Window alone








Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-values from HouseLogic & Energy.gov.

A short study of the table shows you a few things. The first is the fact that a few certain window treatments barely give you any benefit at all (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are total workhorses in insulating. That difference in R-value can 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 what the window treatment is made out of can have a big impact. Cellular shades, which are made with multiple engineered layers designed to trap heat, are able to block heat flow much more effectively than pleated shades.

white shutters in Tampa living room 

Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a completely solid faux wood polymer, are able to repel heat a lot more effectively than hardwood shutters. Natural wood can be cavernous, with natural holes and gaps that allow heat to move 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 science doesn’t lie. Your window treatments play a big part in how comfortable your home is. Ever feel like your house could stand to be a bit more comfortable? We can help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Tampa by calling 813-580-7288, or fill out our free estimate request form below.