Air infiltration into your house is the number one enemy of your home heating
efficiency. 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.
You can get inexpensive foam outlet seals at any home or hardware store. They are simple die cut foam shields which go between your outlet plate and the wire box in the wall. These foam insulators can potentially shut off air leakage entering your home from behind switches and outlets.
The process is simple and goes like this:
- Properly disconnect the power to where you are working.
- Remove the cover from your switch or outlet box.
- Select the proper foam seal and remove the cut outs.
- Place the seal over the open face of the wire box and line up the holes.
- Replace the switch plate or outlet cover.
You can easily insulate
all of your potential air leaking outlets in one day. If you need to insulate multi-switch boxes, you can purchase the appropriate foam seals or you can create your own by duct taping single seals together. When you buy your outlet seals, be sure you get the insulating ones, not the ones for weather proofing exterior outlets. Those weather proofing seals will do the same job, but they'll cost you about three times more than the plain insulating seals. As always, please be careful about disconnecting the power when you should.