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Stop Drafts Around Outlets

Insulating Outside Wall Outlets

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A photo of an outlet.

Outlet Photo

Timothy Thiele

Your home is full of outlets that provide power points for all types of appliances and cord plug in points. Some outlets are placed on interior walls, while others are located on exterior walls. As you may well know, outside walls are much colder in the winter and transfer cold air through them into the home. Outlets and phone/cable connection junction boxes are cut into these walls and without proper insulation to keep the cold air out, these openings can allow cold drafts into your home. To slow the air penetration or even stop it, some type of barrier must be installed.

One way of insulating around the box is to use a spray insulating foam that will expand in and around the opening of the junction box. This foam comes in a can and comes with a straw that allows you to get the foam into tight crevices.

The second method is to pull the junction box out of the opening and pack the hole, with the exception of where the box will be, with pieces of fiberglass insulation. Although this is the hardest option to perform, it does reduce the air flow around the box. If there is no insulation behind the box, be sure to add some there as well.

The final choice is to install neoprene insulating foam strips. These insulating strips are cut the same size as an outlet cover and have the outlets holes cut out for easy installation. These strips also stop sound transmission by making a tight seal around the entire outlet and opening. Not only are these strips an excellent air barrier, but they also by far the easiest to install. It is as easy as removing the outlet cover, installing the strip, and installing the cover again. So don’t let the cold air drift into your home through one of these outside wall outlet openings, insulate them!

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