Saturday, November 6, 2010

Air Sealing Electrical Outlets on Exterior Walls

Have you ever noticed a cold draft when plugging or unplugging something on a bitter cold morning? I have at my house. This is a sure sign that you need you need to air seal and insulate!

Standard 2x6 construction means an electrical box leaves little room for insulation in exterior walls. As soon as you have a hole in the wall, you have a path for air to move, and you are making a hole in the wall for electrical service.

This is a reasonable job that doesn’t require a lot of money, but it does take some time to do correctly. Each outlet only takes 2-3 minutes, but moving furniture to access all of them adds a lot of time to the job and if done right, you can't see the change.

What you’ll need:

Outlet foam insulation,
Damp cloth.

The process is simple, remove faceplate and fit the gasket to the back of the faceplate (trim as needed).Then make a thin line of caulk on the back of the gasket. Place back on wall and press down to get a tight fit. screw down the faceplate and wipe away any excess caulk.

I found this image online:

I am not using the child-proof covers or plug gaskets, but the wall gasket and caulk seem to stop drafts.



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