Dec 24, 2012 / 5:00 am
Not sure where that draft is coming from? Check your electrical outlets and switches, the ones located on exterior walls can be prime suspect for those chilly drafts. Thankfully there are easy and inexpensive fixes. Foam pad insulation gaskets for outlets and switches can be placed in behind cover plates to help you keep your home warm and save on heating bills.
Electric outlet seals are fire retardant and come pre-shaped to match the shape of electric cover plates. They come as a small sheet with punch-outs that are easy to take out. They fit behind the cover plate and overtop of the receptacle to create an airtight seal around the cover plate. The sheets are pre-formed to fit snugly around the switch or receptacle to create an airtight seal. The size of the foam pad covers standard size cutouts for receptacles. Once the cover plate is reinstalled, you can’t tell that there has been a gasket placed behind it. Once installed, if you put your hand over top of the cover plate you can tell that the draft has been eliminated.
How to install a foam insulation gasket cover at electrical outlets or switches:
- First, turn off the power to the switch or outlet at the circuit breaker
- Next, using a screwdriver, remove the cover plate
- Place the foam pad insulation around the switch or receptacle and reinstall the cover plate.
- Turn the power back on at the breaker and you are finished.
For just a few dollars and a little time, installing foam pad insulation behind the cover plates of your exterior wall receptacles and switches will keep your home warmer, reduce drafts and keep your heating bill in check.
(Photo: Hugh Cairns)
Wall switches and electrical outlets which are located on the exterior walls of your home can serve as ports of entry for outside air. Insulating these potential thermal leaks is simple and cheap to do.
For more tips on insulating light switches and electrical outlets click here.
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