Electrical boxes and outlets provide much needed electricity to homeowners, but they also provide an unwanted path for air to leak out of or into a home. Regardless of whether its cooled air or heated air blowing out, or strong drafts of outside air blowing in, air leaks in a home can wreak havoc both on the temperature inside your home as well as your utility bills. This is sometimes because the one area that homeowners often forget to seal is the area around outer-wall electrical boxes.
Things You'll Need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Fire-rated silicone caulk
- Sandpaper (optional)
Switch off power to the electrical box at the main circuit breaker for the building.
Clean the area around the electrical box. Lightly dampen a rag and wipe around the outer edge of the box. Work the rag into any gaps between the box and the surrounding drywall. Dry the area once it's cleaned.
Load a caulking gun with fire-rated silicone caulking. Seal the space between the electrical box and the surrounding drywall, pointing the tip of the nozzle into the crack at a 45-degree angle. Move the nozzle along the crack around the box, sealing the gap in one smooth, continuous motion.
Remove the electrical box's faceplate. Use a flat-head screwdriver to open most electrical boxes. Seal any holes in the body of the electrical box, including the hole the wires travel through.
Allow the caulking to dry, then replace the electrical box's faceplate. Sand down any excess caulk as necessary, using a fine-grit sandpaper. Restore power to the electrical box.
Tips & Warnings
- Gaskets or special air-tight electrical boxes can also be used to seal electrical boxes.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Seal Leaking Air Conditioning Duct
Leaking air conditioning ducts waste energy and cause high utility bills. Rather than spending an excessive amount on utilities or immediately calling...
How to Caulk Electrical Boxes
Airtight electrical boxes that are sealed with caulk complete an air barrier. The pipes where cables pass through also need to be...
How to Seal Electrical Outlets Against Air Leaks
According to an article by Dan Thompson in E Building Envelope Forum, 20 percent of all heat loss occurs around electrical boxes...
How to Insulate Electrical Boxes
According to an article by Dan Thompson, "Reducing Heat Loss in Residential Construction: The Insulated Electrical Outlet Box", posted on the E...
How to Seal an Electrical Conduit
Ceiling electrical conduit helps to reduce drafts in your house in order to save heating and cooling costs, but it also protects...