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How to Insulate Outlets and Lighting Fixtures

How to Insulate Outlets and Lighting Fixtures

February 14, 2020

how to insulate outlets

Air leaks can be found in the oddest and smallest of places. They can be caused by worn-out weatherstripping under your windows and doors, cracks in your air ducts and even uninsulated outlets and lighting fixtures. If you have read DFW Thermal’s blogs before, you know we have talked a little bit about insulating your windows and sealing ducts. However, we haven’t talked much about insulating outlets and fixtures. So, in this guide, we are going to teach you a bit about how you can seal up your outlets and light fixtures, to prevent more air leaks.

1. Use a Foam Gasket

Adding foam gaskets behind your outlet plate is an easy way to prevent air leaks. You can purchase these “socket sealers” from your nearest home improvement store or online. Here is how you can install the gasket:

  • Turn off power breakers at the breaker box to prevent any electric shock.
  • Unscrew the outlet cover.
  • Take the foam gasket, place it over the back of the cover and align the holes – and make sure the sockets are exposed.
  • Screw the outlet cover (with the gasket underneath) back in place.

You can use the same technique with your light switches as well! Keep in mind that while this is a cheap and easy method, there might still be a chance of air leaks. To really seal up your outlet and switch, try using caulking.

2. Use Caulk and Aerosol Foam

Using a foam gasket might be a cheap, insulation method, but it might not be as effective. If you want to make sure your outlets and light switches are properly insulated, try using caulk, a caulk gun and aerosol foam. Here is a guide on how you can use these materials to insulate your outlets:

  • Turn off the power and use a voltage sniffer to make sure the power is off.
  • Unscrew the outlet cover.
  • Apply foam or caulk into the gap AROUND the electrical box. Wait for the foam or caulk to harden then use a serrated knife to clean off the excess.
  • Seal the cable intrusions—the area where the cables enter the box. To check properly, use a flashlight or pull the receptacle out a little further. Make sure the power is off when you do this! Also, don’t seal the intrusions from inside the outlet or switch box.
  • Add foam in the gap around the box.

If you find that this is difficult to do, make sure to get in touch with a professional insulation contractor, It is better to be safe than sorry.

Pro tip: If you have recessed lights in your attic or in the ceiling, chances are they are losing air as well. You can either cover these fixtures with an airtight box or add caulking around the openings.

Insulate Your Outlets, Switches and Fixtures with DFW Thermal!

If you want to learn more about how you can insulate your outlets, switches or light fixtures, get in touch with DFW Thermal today! Call us 214-731-3115 or schedule an appointment online!