Insulating Your Home: Don't Forget Your Electrical Outlets

31 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog


The cold wind can get into your house in a multitude of ways. One way is through the electrical outlets throughout your house. What happens is the wind and cold travels through the openings in the walls that were made to run the wires throughout the house and the coldness comes out through the electrical outlet. If you are going to insulate your house this winter, you should make sure to insulate around the electrical outlets in your home. Here is how you can insulate an electrical outlet to stop cold air drafts from getting into your house.

Remove Outlet Cover

An electrical outlet cover is usually connected to the electrical box with one or two single-slotted screws. Take a flathead screwdriver and remove the screws. The cover will come right off of the electrical box.

Spray Foam Insulation

You want to look around the exterior spaces of the electrical box that the outlet sits in for gaps in the existing wall insulation. You need to fill the gaps to stop the air flow. Using spray foam insulation is a good way to fill those gaps without taking the electrical box out of the wall and filling the gaps with batt insulation. Batt insulation is the insulation that comes in rolls and is used in the walls and between the joist boards in the attic.

You want to use a latex or polyurethane foam that is resistant

to heat and fire. Sometimes an electrical box can get overheated by a faulty appliance or some other electrical device and you don't want the heat to lead to a fire in your home.

Applying Spray Foam insulation

Switch the power off to the electrical outlet at the circuit breaker. The spray foam will come with a little straw that you attach to the nozzle on the can. Put the straw into the nozzle. Stick the straw into the gaps and spray foam into it. Only fill up the gap about two-thirds of the way full. The foam will expand as it dries and you don't want it to stick out of the sides of the electrical box. If foam does come out of the sides of the electrical box, you can trim it with a utility knife or a razor blade.

Foam Pad

You can cover the inside of the electrical box with a foam pad. The foam pad goes between the cover and the opening in the electrical box. The foam pads come with predrilled holes for the mounting bolts for the cover to pass through it. Make sure you get foam pads that match the screw holes on your electrical outlet. Place the pad up against the electrical outlet and screw the cover back on.

Between the spray foam insulation and the foam pads, you should be able to stop all the air leaks coming through your electrical outlets in your home. For assistance, talk to a professional like Action Electric.