If you have ever googled images of plantation shutters that are ruined by the heat, you will see the damage that is caused in hot climates like Las Vegas. Plantation shutters are the single best window covering in these types of environment because you can open and close them in order to create a solid barrier. With blinds or curtains, you are always going to have gaps where the heat can escape and enter your living spaces, ultimately creating a situation where your air conditioner has to work far harder than it typically would. Plantation shutters can seal your rooms off from this heat exchange, which can raise the ambient temperatures of your rooms by upwards of 10 degrees. Over the course of about 5 years, unprotected windows will leak enough heat into your rooms to account for thousands of dollars of electrical bills attributed to air conditioning. It is commonly known that an average installation of plantation shutters can pay for itself in savings in about 4 or 5 years. The problems come from excess heat building up behind the shutters on the window side, which will potentially cause a cheap material to split or warp. This ruins the shutters by creating gaps that cannot be repaired without completely replacing them.
So how can you avoid the potential damages that the sun causes to shutters in places like Las Vegas? By purchasing shutters that are constructed from a quality wood called “basswood.” There are shutters that are made from different materials for different reasons, however the poly materials are generally chosen for cost. They can be made cheaper than wood shutters because the plastic can be formed instead of wood being cut and shaped, which takes longer. These shutters may look very much like wooden shutters, but the cheaper materials cannot withstand the extreme environment of the Las Vegas sun. Over time, you will see these products warp more and more, eventually ending up needing to be replaced. Most times they are sold as a superior product by a salesman who is preying on your lack of knowledge of the better materials, saying that it is both cheaper and better because it will not split. This is true, and plastic will not split the way that cheaper woods will, but it will warp. This is why companies like ours will only sell either all basswood shutters, or a combination of wooden louvers and a composite frame. This way we can put the better materials into the places where we know the heat will build up, and yet keep the prices in line with the cheaper products that are on the market. Your shutters will never split or warp the way that the cheaper ones will, and will continue to provide comfort year after year while bringing down your electrical bills. Only basswood shutters can accomplish this, so do not fall for the sales pitches of those who are trying to sell you cheaper products. Basswood is the way to go if you want your shutters to last.