The Best Custom Shutters, Blinds & Shades!
Proudly Serving the Washington DC Metro Area
White and beige living room with white polywood shutters above a white couch.

Energy Efficiency And R-Value Of Window Treatments In Washington DC

June 23, 2022

Energy conservation can be a huge need for your Washington DC window treatments. With the wrong covering, you could feel a draft due to heat loss, which may lead to higher energy bills. To find the most energy-efficient window treatments, you need to look at their R-values.

But which window treatments own the best R-value in Washington DC?

What’s A Window Treatment’s R-Value in Washington DC?

White polywood shutters in a white bedroom.

Everything in your residence that plays a part with insulation -- from siding to your windows -- is assigned an R-value. Those digits lets you know how well an item stops thermal energy from traveling through it. A bigger R-value tells you that the item is a more efficient insulator.

But why should you care about a window treatment’s R-value in Washington DC? Well, because windows are one of the most prevalent heat loss areas in the house. If you need to keep in the hot air during wintertime or keep your home comfortable in the warm times, you will need a window treatment with good insulation. A window covering with a high R-value lets you keep your rooms at the set temperature.

Window Covering R-value Chart

Every window covering is not made equally, and therefore different treatments get different r-values. Though there may be a little variation from the material and quality between different makes and models, the following chart shows what you’re going to find when contrasting window coverings.

Window Covering Average R-Value
Bare window 0.75 - 1
Aluminum blinds 1.5 - 2
Window shades 2.5
Draperies 2 - 3
Hardwood Shutters 3 - 4
Cellular Shades 4.5
Polywood® Plantation Shutters >6
                                                                                                                                                            Source: R-values from and HouseLogic.

Remember, the larger the R-value number the more the window covering insulates your window. It shouldn’t be a shock that store-bought mini-blinds, which are made with inefficient aluminum, give you almost no energy-saving value compared to a more substantial covering, like Polywood plantation shutters. That insurmountable span in R-value can show up in a difference of several degrees – enough to make an influence on if you change the thermostat and increase your energy use.

What Raises A Window Treatment’s R-Value In Washington DC?

Light gray cellular shades inside a white and rustic styled living room.

Two things affect a window covering's R-value: construction and materials. To start with, treatments that have lots of ways for heat loss won’t have a large R-value. For example, blinds and curtains dangle down, letting hot air to flow around the sides of the covering itself. However, interior shutters are custom-crafted around the window opening, keeping air against the window’s glass when the louvers are completely shut.

Secondly, what the covering is constructed with can have a significant bump in R-value. Take honeycomb shades, which are made with precisely positioned layers of fabric designed to trap hot air. As a result, they should block air loss more efficiently than products like roller shades. Likewise, Polywood plantation shutters, made from a impenetrable faux wood polymer, can trap heat loss more than natural wood shutters. Polywood shutters also use weatherstripping, which makes a tight seal on your window when the panels and louvers are snapped shut.

Improve Your Home's R-value In Washington DC

Do you feel like your house could be a little cozier? How about installing quality faux-wood shutters to increase your R-value? Contact us at Sunburst Shutters DC by calling 240-339-2588 or submitting the form below to get a free in-home consultation.