Alaska is a wonderful place to live, but we have very long, cold winters. A few years ago we took advantage of a state program to pay homeowners for improving their households energy efficiency. We could get up to $10,000 back, depending on how many stars we raised our home energy rating to.
When we had our energy audit, we were given a list of things that needed to be done in order to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of our home. Some things on the list were costly and extensive, others were simple fixes. One inexpensive, easy fix was to put socket sealers behind all outlets and switch plates that were on our outside walls.
For only $2.50 I purchased a box of Duck Socket Sealers. The box contained eighteen outlet sealers and six switch plate sealers. It claims that these will insulate, help improve energy efficiency, are easy to install and that they are flame retardant. They are also touted as being “Home Smart” and “Earth Friendly”.
These Duck Socket Sealers are made by the Henkel Corporation, the makers of the famous Duck Tape. The sealers are made from a white colored foam or rubbery type of material. They measure 4 1/4″ by 2 1/2″ and are 18″ thick. They have cut outs for the the two plug ins for the outlets, and one cut out for the switch. There are also small cut outs where the screws go. The Socket Sealers are all hinged together, but they are perforated and tear apart easily.
Putting the Duck Socket Sealers on are very easy. You will need only a screwdriver to remove the cover plate or switch plate. Then place the Socket Sealer on the electrical outlet or switch plate (they will fit snugly and that is what you want in order to seal out the cold air), then replace the cover and switch plate and screw in securely, but they might fit a little tighter, so be sure not to tighten the screws too far or you risk cracking your covers.
On a very cold day, it is amazing to feel how much cold air is actually coming through the outlets and switch plates! Using these Duck Socket Sealers is a fast and easy way to improve our homes energy efficiency. They are inexpensive, last forever, and are so easy to install. A great little invention, and one that I highly recommend to all home owners (or renters).