Window shutters are always a valuable addition to a home, and add a unique style that is very durable and long lasting. When it comes to determining which shutters will best suit a home or project, homeowners and designers have a wide assortment of choices to select from when it comes to colours, materials and styles.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, shutters also play an essential role in keeping a home comfortable. The amount of heat, air and light that is allowed both in and out of the home can be significantly affected by the kind of shutter that is used.

One type of shutter that has great thermal qualities is plantation shutters. Plantation shutters can be made from Basswood or synthetic materials like Polymer Foam – both offer exceptional thermal performance. Not only do these shutters offer great thermal qualities, but they look amazing as well.

With electricity costs running at all-time highs in Australia, and sustainability being a critical modern design element, a shutter’s thermal performance is one of the most important aspects to consider during the decision making process.

Glass windows possess practically no insulation qualities whatsoever, which means in the summer heat radiates inwards and in the winter easily escapes, which causes homeowners to overly rely on air conditioners and heaters. When shutters are added it basically creates a barrier which results in significantly improved insulation – to produce that often quoted mantra of “cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter” that window covering companies like to remind you of.


However, all materials are not created equal, so not every window shutter offers the identical level of insulation.

Although debate over style begins and ends with an individual’s personal preferences and beauty is indeed win the eye of the beholder, there has been a very contentious debate over the thermal properties possessed by different shutter materials, with everyone claiming their shutters are the best.

The University of Newcastle School of Engineer conducted a recent study that compared the most popular kinds of window covering when it came to thermal performance, and were performance was measured in terms of temperature difference percentage that each achieved.

The study testing a range of different types of window blinds, including curtains, blinds and shutters, and a wide range of various material including western red cedar, thermo PVS, basswood, aluminum and polystyrene.

Although some results were a foregone conclusion already (curtains shouldn’t be relied up on for insulation), you might be surprised by how some of the other popular materials performed.