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Shown: Restored original leaded-glass windows at TOH’s Cape Ann project house were fitted with interior storm windows from Indow Windows. The tight-fitting inserts are a cost-effective way to block drafts and conductive heat loss through the single-pane glass. 
Jared Kuzia

This article appeared in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of This Old House MagazineClick here to learn how to subscribe.

Myth #1: Closing forced-air registers in unused rooms saves on heating and cooling costs

In fact, the opposite is true. Shutting down the flow of heated or cooled air to a room increases pressure (known as “back pressure”) in a forced-air system, so the blower has to work harder, using more electricity.

A better move: Ask your HVAC pro to create more zones by adding motorized dampers to your ductwork. Or install smart registers, such as Ecovent. These battery-powered devices automatically open or close as needed to maintain a set room temperature, while monitoring backpressure and communicating with one another wirelessly to balance airflow. Ecovent says a typical system costs about $1,200, delivers average energy savings of 25 percent, and could pay for itself in about three years.

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Posted by: Kate Putnam
Marketing Manager
198 Pickering Road
Rochester, NH  03867 USA
Phone: 603-332-5816  

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