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Save Energy With Electrical Outlet and Switch Plate Insulators

Save Energy by Insulating Electrical Outlets

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Electrical Cover Plate

Electrical Cover Plate

Photo © Mifflin
Eliminating cold drafts is an important step in conserving energy and keeping your home comfortable and warm. That includes insulating every exterior crevice of your home, where heat can escape or cold can creep in. While insulating around doors and adding weatherstripping is a great energy-saving start, less common but equally important areas that often lack proper insulation are under the covers of exterior wall electrical outlets and switch plates.

Electrical outlet and wall plate insulators are made of thin dense foam and are designed to provide a snug fit directly under the cover plate. They are available at low cost from most hardware or renovating supply outlets. You can find insulators that are cut to fit receptacle boxes as well as switch covers.

However, most are designed for single electrical boxes, but you can customize two or more of them to fit under double or triple electrical box covers. For example, you can overlap three insulators to provide a tight seal under a triple cover plate, rather than trimming to size which would leave a gap between them. Installing electrical box insulators is easy - simply remove the cover plate, insert the foam insulators and replace the plate.

While insulating electrical plate covers may not seem like a worthwhile energy-saving effort, you'll be surprised at how much cold it can keep out, especially from around double or triple units. This energy conservation step may be small, but every kilowatt hour saved means money in your pocket after a long cold winter season.

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