Electrical outlets fitted to an outside wall can allow cold air to leak into your home so you need to stop it. If you want to see just how much cold air is entering your house through an electrical outlet, hold a paper tissue over one to check. If the tissue flaps or moves around, it is because there is a draft coming through the outlet. However, there is now a very simple DIY solution to this problem – foam gaskets. These gaskets are available nationwide and are designed for various types of outlets and switches. Here is how to install them.
Step1 – Turn Off the Power
Turn off the circuit breaker that provides power to the outlet you want to insulate. If you have a circuit breaker that will isolate one room at a time, make use of it so the family doesn’t get left in the dark.
Step 2 – Test the Power
Make sure the power is off by using a circuit tester on the electrical outlet you will repair.
Step 3 – Pre cut the Gasket
Select the correct gasket for the outlet and punch out the pre-cut sections.
Step 4 – Remove Outlet Face Plate
Remove the face plate from the outlet.
Step 5 – Insert the Foam Gasket
Fit the gasket to the electric outlet by simply inserting it and pressing it in to the open areas of the outlet so that sockets occupy the holes that are prepared for them in the gasket.
Step 6 – Replace the Outlet Face Plate
Replace the face plate. You might need to screw through the gasket to do this.
For Non Standard Outlets
It really is that simple to stop your electric outlets from allowing air to pass in and out of your house. If you cannot use the above method because you have non standard electrical outlets, there is an alternative method which might be able to help you plug up the air leaks caused by your outlets.
Step 1 – Remove the Outlet Face Plate
Remove the face plate from the electric outlet.
Step 2 – Spray in the Aerosol Sealant Foam
Using an extension pipe or straw attached to the nozzle of the aerosol can; spray the foam behind the electric fitting. Be sure to spray in the foam carefully and slowly because the foam will expand and set very quickly. The insulation or sealant foam will create a seal that will prohibit air from passing in and out of your house by way of the outlet.
Step 3 – Replace the Outlet Cover Plate
Reattach the outlet cover plate and secure it with the screws.
Step 4 – Consider Other Alternatives
While this is an alternative, it would be just as easy to use a small sheet of rubber and create your own gasket to fit the non standard socket.