Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

Last winter we installed a solar air heater on the south wall of our home.

It was one way we were trying to do our part for the environment and have heat generated in our home without consuming any non-renewable resources like natural gas or home heating oil or electricity (generated from fossil fuels).

And, it would reduce our heating bill to save us money … albeit in the very long run.

However that is not the only way to achieve energy savings. Not by a long shot.

On weekend mornings, I have started to look for air leaks. We have started to write about them and will continue so you can perhaps look in the same areas where we found ours in case they are also in the same place as your home.

On one of these weekend mornings I was about to clean the air filter for our solar air heater. As I was going to unplug the air intake blower I felt cool air coming into the room. It was coming from the electrical outlet into which we had plugged the air intake blower, shown in the picture below:

basement electrical outlet air leak Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

This surprised me. so, I thought that I had simply forgotten to install an insulating gasket behind the electrical outlet cover.

So, I unplugged the outlet cover and was surprised to find that there was already an insulating gasket. However, part of the issue was that it did not cover the entire opening in the wall for the outlet.

air leakage from large outlet opening Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

In the picture above you can see opening on top and on the right of the outlet insulating gasket. So, I proceeded to use some of the left over DAPtex product to insulate the openings on the outside of the electric outlet. The product label even included a picture of this approach.

daptex sealant around electrical outlet box Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

Once done, I then replaced the insulating cover and used a little bit more of the DAPtex sealant foam to cover the opening at the top and right as shown below.

air leak outlet insullation sealed Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

Once done, I replaced the outlet cover and noticed a little cold air still coming in from the  plug openings. So, I simply installed one of those child proof electrical plug covers, as shown below.

child proof electrical outlet cover Basement Electrical Outlet Air Leak

The other electrical plug is used by the solar air heater air intake unit, so it will plugged as soon as we clean it’s air filter. And that is where we pick up things tomorrow.

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  1. bakeapples says:

    Hello Dan,

    Can you guess (range) how many outlets with that size of void around the box could be done with one can?


  2. Dan says:

    Hi Bakeapples,

    The product can’s lable says it will cover 510 ft at a 1/4 inch beed. I can see that based on how much it covered (again, with minimal expansion unlike the typical yellow poly-expanding foam)the large air gaps in our cold cellar’s door frame.

    So, the short answer is ‘oodles’ of outlets. ;)


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