board and batten shutters green exterior

Do Shutters Improve Home Insulation?

Shutter Man

On average, a home loses a whopping twenty-five percent of its energy every year due to poor insulation. That means maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home could be costing you thousands — that’s money flying right out the window! Interior and exterior shutters can impact your home’s insulation — but only if you use them a certain way. Ahead, we’re exploring the ins and outs of shutter insulation.

Decades ago, functional shutters were utilized for privacy and safety. In modern times, exterior shutters are primarily used for aesthetic purposes. Few people make the effort to open and close them daily as they were originally designed, though doing so will help insulate windows.

Whether your exterior shutters are made of real wood or a composite material, they will add an impenetrable barrier that traps air or heat where it is. The key to effectively keeping heat inside is to ensure a precise fit so that there is no gaping around the edges. Your style of shutter makes a difference, too. A flat panel style traps more air than, say, louvered shutters. 

house with brown flat panel shutters

However, opening the windows each night to reach out and close the shutters is impractical for a lot of people. Unless you are leaving the home for an extended period, opening and closing the windows each day to reach the shutters may actually let air/heat out and negate your efforts. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures or typically “close up shop” during cold winter months, this solution may be well worth it for you — otherwise, it’s kind of like taking one step forward and two steps back. 

On the flip side of things, interior shutters can absolutely make a difference in your energy usage. Primarily, interior shutters are installed to give the homeowner control over how much light floods into a room at any given time of day. Not only can interior shutters let in the light, they can trap in heat or air conditioning! With movable louvers and (typically) easy-to-maneuver hinges, window shutters can be opened to let sunshine heat a room during winter and closed to keep it out during summer. In this category, plantation shutters are widely the favorite for their stylish look and energy efficiency.

Of course, even the most beautiful, sturdy shutters can’t out-work ancient windows. No amount of vintage charm is worth the money that oozes out of poorly insulated windows. Upgrading your old windows to a more modern option is a smart choice if energy efficiency is top of mind. 

replacing window outside

New windows, plus a combination of interior and exterior shutters is probably the most practical solution for air control and energy savings for the majority of homeowners. We can help you with the latter — shop our range of exterior shutters now to find a style that suits your home.