When summer and winter show up to make it too hot or too cold, the windows go down and heating/cooling bills go up.

The windows are shut. But are they really closed?

Here at¬†Universal Windows we can tell you that it’s estimated up to 30% of a home’s energy cost is lost through doors and windows. That’s a lot of money disappearing into thin air. One estimate is that if all the homes in America are losing 30% of their energy costs this way, it’s the equivalent of losing every drop of oil we receive through the Alaska Pipeline every year.

While homeowners look first to proper insulation in the walls and attic, an often overlooked method of reducing home energy costs is the installation of plantation shutters. Highly efficient and aesthetically pleasing, they add an attractive barrier to heat loss in the winter and cooling cost in the summer.

Quality plantation shutters increase the energy efficiency in a home. While shutters can be made with a variety of materials like vinyl or composites, real wood shutters from O’Hair are the best. Real wood is a natural insulator and have the best strength-to-weight ratio.

What kind of energy savings can a homeowner expect? “Quality wood plantation shutters have an R-value between 2.77 and 3.17. R-value measures the degree to which a material can resist heat flow. It’s estimated that plantation shutters can cut your energy costs by $200 per year or more. That may not sound like much, but everyone can use an extra $200. Especially when that money is in their pocket instead of disappearing in to thin air.

Homeowners appreciate the multiple benefits of O’Hair plantation shutters. Lisa is a professional artist in Phoenix, Arizona. She purchased her home with plantation shutters in the downstairs living areas. “At first I liked them for the architectural element they added to my home. Then I realized how practical they were in helping lower my energy costs. Phoenix summers are brutal. We have triple digit heat for months on end. The shutters are very effective at blocking the sun and keeping cool air inside the house.”

The custom shutters worked so well, Lisa had them installed in the rest of the house. “Aside from significant energy savings, I love my plantation shutters because they are beautiful to look at and easy to clean. Maybe it’s the artist in me, but I like the shadows they cast in my home when the sunlight streams in. And that they open on hinges. It’s nostalgic to me and reminds me of vintage homes of the past.”

Controlling the amount of light and breeze during more temperate seasons while still maintaining privacy is an advantage of plantation shutters. Lisa laughs, “Even my dog and cat like the shutters. They both know how to open them when they want to look outside and survey the neighborhood.”