R-Values of Shutters: Comparing Energy Efficiency of Window Coverings06/13/2017Kimball Jones We’re big talkers on the subject of energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got proof to back up our claims. With the help of some independent research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Southern California, from blinds to drapes to shutters. What’s An R-Value And Why Does It Matter For Window Coverings? Everything in your house that separates indoors from outdoors, from the roof to your window coverings, has an R-value. That number tells you how good it is at blocking thermal energy from moving through it. A larger r-value indicates a more effective insulator. Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a more effective insulator makes it easier to keep your home at your preferred temperature. Whether you want to keep the heat inside at wintertime or keep your home cool in summer, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s especially important for your windows, because they’re a likely reason for energy loss in your home. Comparing R-values & Energy Efficiency Of Window Treatments You don’t get the same benefits from every window treatment, at least not in terms of energy efficiency. Though there’s some difference based on the material and thickness between different vendors and makes, here’s what you can expect to find when comparing window treatments. Window Treatment Average R-Value Window alone 0.75-1 Blinds 1.5-2 Shades 2.5 Draperies 2-3 Hardwood Shutters 3-4 Honeycomb shades 4.5 Polywood plantation shutters >6 R-value averages sourced from Energy.gov and HouseLogic. A short look at the table tells you a number of things. The first is that a few certain window treatments barely give you any benefit whatsoever (ahem, blinds), whereas others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value might make for a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you dial up your AC and spend more money. Something else you might notice is that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Honeycomb shades, which are made with several insulating layers designed to repel heat, can stop temperature flow much more effectively than pleated shades. The same way, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, are able to block heat a to a much greater degree than hardwood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be porous, with random knots and holes that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, combined with seamless weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when shut, giving them that top of the line r-value of 6 and up. Up Your Home’s R-value The numbers don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your house is. Could your home be a little more comfortable? We’ll help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Southern CA by calling 888-611-2474, or fill out our free appointment request form below.