With the cooler temperatures rolling in I've been noticing a lot of drafts coming in around the windows. After weeks of freezing floors I decided to do something about it. I headed to the hardware store to pick up weatherstrip and caulk and while there I stumbled across outlet seals.
Intrigued, I grabbed them off the shelf and started reading the package. Apparently, these seals are placed around the outlet and stop the outside air from coming in (as shown on the front of the package). A worker saw me reading the package and chimed in telling me these were an absolute must. They were "magic" and would completely change the temperature of my house. After that glowing review how could I not try them? I grabbed a couple of packs and decided what the heck - I'll give them a try. When I got home I got to work taking off the outlet plates so I could give the seals a try.
The next step was pressing the insulation around the covers. Because the seals come pre-cut, all I had to do was pop out the centers and place them around the outlet.
Next, I popped the cover back on and voila! Success! It is so simple that a two-year-old could have done it (although I would never EVER allow a two-year-old to mess with outlet covers). Immediately I noticed a huge difference. I also noticed a little bit of air still coming in through the prongs so I decided to pop in plug protectors (they aren't the best looking plug protectors, but almost all of my outside wall outlets are behind drapes or furniture).
Once I added them to the outlets the air that was coming in was all but gone.
I haven't been able to caulk or put on the weatherstrip but I'm starting to think I don't need to. Within minutes of adding the insulation and plug protectors the floor around the plugs went from freezing to room temperature. Not only do they work incredibly well but at only $3.97 a package, they are definitely worth purchasing.
UPDATE: These have been in my home for almost three years and yes, they are still working! I was nervous the first year that maybe it was a fluke, but my electric bills dropped 20% and have not increased back to where they were. Even better, the floors aren't freezing near the outlets like they used to. Truly, this was probably some of the best money I've spent in our home.
Over the last couple of years, this post has become one of my most popular. I've heard that they are not as easy to find as I had thought so I did some digging and found these on Amazon:
Hope this helps those of you who haven't been able to find them locally!
Full disclosure: there is still a tad bit of air leaking through but I blame that on the outlet covers. They are the cheap, builder grade covers and barely cover the hole made for the outlet. An easy fix is to buy the decorative outlet covers. Most decorative covers are much bigger and much more substantial. They are also about $5.00/each so they can add up in cost quickly.
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