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

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers on the subject of energy-efficient window treatments. But that’s because we’ve got proof for our claims. With the help of some third party research, we can directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Honolulu, from shades to drapes to shutters.

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

Everything in your house that contributes to insulation, from the walls to your window coverings, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at stopping heat from passing through it. A higher r-value corresponds to a better insulator.

roller shades in Honolulu home 

Why does the R-value of a window treatment matter? Well, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your space at the temperature you want. Whether you want to keep in the heat during the winter or keep your home cool during the summer months, you’re going to need effective insulation. That’s extra crucial for your windows, because they’re a big culprit for energy loss in your home.

Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments

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

Window Covering

Average R-Value

Window alone


Mini blinds






Wood Shutters


Honeycomb shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A short glance at the chart shows you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that some window treatments offer almost no benefit whatsoever (looking at you, blinds), whereas others are energy-efficient beasts. That big gap in R-value can mean a difference of several degrees – enough to make an impact in whether or not you crank up your AC.

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

Polywood shutters in Honolulu living room 

The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a completely solid faux wood polymer, can repel heat a lot more effectively than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and holes that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with custom weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when closed, which is the reason for their top of the line r-value of 6 and up.

Bring Some Value Into Your Home

The stats don’t lie. Your window treatments play a big role in how comfortable your home can be. Think your home could be a little cozier? We’ll help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Honolulu by calling 808-797-2004, or fill out our free appointment request form below.