Shutters and R-Values: Comparing Energy Efficiency of Window Coverings06/13/2017Charlie Cole and Brady Parker We talk a big talk when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. That’s because we’ve got the hard numbers to back it up. With the help of some scientific research, we’ve been able to directly compare the energy efficiency of the most common window treatments in Fort Myers, from shades to drapes to shutters.What’s An R-Value And Why Does It Matter For Window Treatments?Everything in your house that separates the inside from the outside, from the roof to your windows, has an R-value. That value lets you know how good it is at preventing thermal energy from going through it. A bigger r-value indicates a better insulator. So what difference does the r-value of a window covering make? Basically, a more effective insulator lets you keep your house at the temperature you want. No matter if you want to keep in the heat during the winter or want to stay cool in summer, good insulation is crucial to that effort. That’s extra crucial for your windows, as they’re one of the most common culprits in heat loss throughout the entire house.Window Treatment R-value Comparison ChartNot all window treatments are made equal, at least not when it comes to energy efficiency. Though there’s some variation based on the material and construction between different manufacturers and makes, here’s what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.Window CoveringAverage R-ValueWindow alone0.75-1Mini blinds1.5-2Pleated shades2.5Draperies2-3Hardwood Shutters3-4Cellular shades4.5Polywood plantation shutters>6R-value averages sourced from Energy.gov and HouseLogic.A quick study of the table tells you a number of things. Perhaps the first thing you notice is that some window treatments offer almost no benefit at all (ahem, blinds), while others are insulating powerhouses. That big gap in R-value could make for a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether or not you turn on the air conditioning.You might also notice the fact that the material of your window treatment can have a big impact. Cellular shades, which are made with several insulating layers designed to trap heat, are able to block energy flow a lot better than pleated shades. Likewise, Polywood® plantation shutters, made from a solid-body faux wood compound, can repel heat a heap better than wood shutters. That’s because natural wood can be permeable, with natural gaps and holes that let heat flow through them easily. Polywood shutters, fit with strict weatherstripping, can create a solid seal on your window when closed, giving them that best in class r-value of more than 6.Up Your Home’s R-valueThe 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 can help. Get in touch with the team at Sunburst Shutters Fort Myers by calling 239-208-6577, or fill out our free estimate request form below.