Cold Air in Light Switches and Electrical Outlets


We recently purchased a new home (new construction). As the weather has gotten colder, I've started to notice cold air coming in through my electrical outlets and light switches. (The light switches are actually cold to the touch.) This is only occurring on the first floor of my home and only along the northern exterior wall. Outlets on all other exterior walls, and even the northern exterior wall on the second floor, are fine.
The one thing that has me concerned is that the home is an "Energy Star" home, so the cold air in the outlets and light switches was very unexpected. I know that they used Tyvek wrap along with several other insulating features when building the home. (If you're interested in reading more about their insulating technique, it can be found on their web site here... http://www.finelinehomes.com/features.asp ).
I've read some tips here about the insulating gaskets for the outlets. I've also read the tips about placing the child safety caps in the outlets. I'm going to look into this, but my question is... Is this an issue I should raise with the builder, or is this normal for a home, even one that's supposed to be energy efficient?
Thanks in advance for any and all responses!
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We recently purchased a new home (new construction). As the weather has gotten colder, I've started to notice cold air coming in through my electrical outlets and light switches. (The light switches are actually cold to the touch.) This is only occurring on the first floor of my home and only along the northern exterior wall. Outlets on all other exterior walls, and even the northern exterior wall on the second floor, are fine.
The one thing that has me concerned is that the home is an "Energy Star" home, so the cold air in the outlets and light switches was very unexpected. I know that they used Tyvek wrap along with several other insulating features when building the home. (If you're interested in reading more about their insulating technique, it can be found on their web site here... http://www.finelinehomes.com/features.asp ).
I've read some tips here about the insulating gaskets for the outlets. I've also read the tips about placing the child safety caps in the outlets. I'm going to look into this, but my question is... Is this an issue I should raise with the builder, or is this normal for a home, even one that's supposed to be energy efficient?
Thanks in advance for any and all responses!
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On Jan 29, 5:41 pm, snipped-for-privacy@myway.com wrote:

It could be that the insulation inspector missed some things.
There should be insulation behind the outlet boxes and foam insulation or caulk plugging the holes where the wires came into the box.
Taking off the cover plate on one of the boxes and maybe looking with a flashlight should tell you if foam or caulk was used.
If you see none some can be added but be careful not to use too much-- just enough to plug the holes.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That solves the air flow from the wall, but it doesn't address the fact that cold air if flowing into the wall which means poor construction. Either holes to the outside or holes for pipe or electrical cables that weren't sealed.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Do you know if the wiring is in conduit with an exterior outlet in the run? If so, you may have only one outlet to insulate.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

If you have cold air flowing from the switches and outlets you have cold air in the walls which means holes weren't sealed and their is a lack of proper insulation installed. That should not happen in an Energy Star home. Talk to the builder, but are you willing to have the walls torn up and replaced?
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On 29 Jan 2007 14:33:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

I'm afraid the damage they would do would be worse than spending a couple of bucks on a can or two of spray foam.
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On 29 Jan 2007 14:33:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

You are probly noticing a chimney effect occuring. Cold air is enter lower areas of your home, and exiting upper areas. I am a fan of those foam gaskets you put on outlet boxes.
As for energy efficient, it's relative. I've been inside homes that were 'air tight' but had bare minimum insulation.
tom @ www.YourMoneySavingTips.com
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