I was fortunate last night here in New York’s Hudson River Valley, unlike many neighbors who lost power, and the people in NYC and New Jersey who had to deal with an unprecedented storm surge of 13.88 feet and winds (video) which NYC utility Con Edison says caused the largest power outage in the company’s history.
While the high winds around me last night were causing power outages and worse damage, I was going around with a screwdriver and outlet cover gaskets to stop the air leaks which I could easily feel with my bare hands.
It was also a good way to keep my mind off the storm.
Sealing electrical outlets and switchplates is one of the cheapest and most effective measures you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency, as cost-effective as CFLs, with the added bonus that it makes your house less drafty.
Sure, it’s better to simply have the whole house spray foamed, as I recently did in my basement (see pic) , but that is a big job, and usually requires existing insulation to be removed.
Over time, that foam shrunk and now does little to prevent air movement in the walls, and I can only replace it by tearing the walls open.
Hence, I’m taking smaller steps with air sealing.