We have written previously about the energy audit report we received. One of the many general energy conservation tips for the home was to insulate electrical outlets on the exterior walls inside the home.
There were two approaches to this energy conservation tips.
Remember, what causes wasted home heating bills in the winter and home air conditioning bills in the summer includes when air leaks out of the house due to improper sealing of gaps in the home’s exterior walls.
But, what gaps are we talking about around electrical outlets?
It is surprising how much of a gap that is in behind the outlet covers. Out of site, out of mind, right?
So, here is a typical electrical outlet inside the house with the usual face place or cover in tact.
Looks fine, right?
Well, if you take the cover off, here is what you will see. At least, here is what we have in our house.
Wow. Look at the gaps between the drywall and and the electrical outlet itself in the above picture. In the winter when the air is warmer inside the house than out, it will find any leak or gap in a wall to leave the inside. Same during the summer with cooled air leaving for the outside.
So, how does one insulate these gaps?
Well, its known by many different names: insulation gasket; insulation cover; and so on. You see the CSA stamp in the above picture? Make sure any such product you use in your home has such certification.
So, to apply it, simply place it against the uncovered electrical outlet.
Then put the cover back on and you are almost done. Almost? Well, you can see there are still 6 holes, right? The ones that electrical outlets provide for electrical devices like table lamps, vacuums, and so on.
Well, when the electrical outlet is not being used, these are still holes, or gaps if you will, that heated air can escape to the outside. So, simply put the child-proof covers into the outlets to plug them.
Now, how many electrical outlets do you have on the inside of your home that are on an outside wall? Add them up and that is how many electrical outlet covers you need to by on the weekend from your local hardware store.
And, if you OK with the look of the child-proof covers, purchase them as well. Neither of these are that expensive. Both will help seal gaps in your exterior walls and reduce your winter heating / summer air conditioning costs.
To read about the same energy conservation tactic for the light switches on the outside walls in our home, simply select this link to the related home energy conservation article.
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