Switchplate Gaskets.


Old 01-18-09, 07:20 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 32
Switchplate Gaskets.

Are they worth using? Just trying to seal everything up.
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Old 01-18-09, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,959
Take a candle,light it and hold it up near your switches and outlets.If you see movement then you need the gaskets.Often there is a lot of leakage around them especially in older homes and in situations where no insulation blocks air flow through walls etc.
Old 01-18-09, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,990
Hi RIDavid, very much so as they provide access for air to enter and exit your wall cavities. The normal air pressure in a house (stack effect) will cause air to exit above a neutral boundary and enter below. We often feel the cold air entering and donít notice the warm air exiting, but both are important as air that exits must be replaced somewhere by more cold air entering.

The gaskets you mention are one approach, but I have found they do not extend to cover the gap between the electrical box and the sheetrock. A better solution is to cover the switch or receptacle with contact paper and trim to fit over the switch and under the cover plate. The contact paper fix also works well for 2, 3, or 4 gang boxes. Even though it isnít foam, by blocking the air movement, less cold air gets to each box. You can add the foam covers also if you choose. Also, you should seal all of your outlets/receptacles, not just the outside walls, as the ones on the inside walls are leaking air that will ultimately exit the house through your attic. And don't forget the ceiling boxes.

Your air sealing efforts can be continued all over the house, attic to basement, for a substantial energy savings.

Stay warm,

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