Electrical outlets located on exterior walls can act as a gateway for air leaks and energy loss. In fact, this source is responsible for approximately five percent of all energy loss experienced in the average home. Insulation for this area is useful throughout the year. Installing outlet insulation prevents cold air from coming in during winter, and cool air from leaving during summer. Installing insulation for outlets is a simple task that can be completed in a few steps.
In order to install foam insulation without exchanging the original wall plate:
- Use a screwdriver, remove the existing outlet plate.
- Place the insulating foam gasket behind the wall plate cover.
- Place the newly insulated cover back over the outlet.
In order to install outlet insulation that comes with the wall plate:
- Remove the existing wall plate using a screwdriver.
- Place the outlet cover with the foam gasket already installed over the electrical outlet.
The type of outlet insulation required depends on where it needs to be installed. For single outlets, wall switches, and single decora-style (rocker) switches, the standard foam insulation can be used. For double, triple, or quad outlet and switch sources, the wall plates that come with the foam gaskets pre-installed may be a better option. If you would prefer to not have to get a new wall plate, simply cut the standard foam gaskets into the shape that you need.
Using electrical outlet insulation will effectively seal off air leaks from this area. Insulation can be installed in less than five minutes, and can reduce the amount of energy and heat loss by five percent. For even more detail, check out the video below to see exactly how to install switch gaskets.