Sticking a simple child proof plug into your electrical outlets could save you 5% on your energy bill this year. Who knew that doing something to protect your kids could also protect your bank account!

I discovered this child proofing fact after hiring a certified energy adviser through the Canadian ecoACTION program to evaluate my home. After running a few air leakage tests on my windows, doors, and walls, my energy adviser found that the electrical outlets facing the exterior walls were the biggest leaky culprits, costing me 2% to 5% in energy losses per year! Chances are, YOUR exterior electrical outlets are energy sucking leakers too!

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To plug the energy drain and increase your energy efficiency, try this simple and inexpensive DIY trick using foam insulation gaskets and outlet plugs – you might just get shocked by your savings! I know my dog was stunnified!

5 EASY STEPS: how to install electrical outlet gaskets and child proof plugs!

1. Turn the power off.

Go find your circuit breaker(s) and cut the power to your exterior facing electrical outlets. Be sure to test your outlet by plugging in a lamp to see if the power is really off. Getting zapped is no fun. Seriously.

2. Remove the outlet cover.

Grab a standard flat head screwdriver and remove the electrical outlet cover. Any simple multi-bit screwdriver should have a bit that will work.

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3. Grab a foam gasket.

Standard insulating foam gaskets can be purchased at your local hardware store for about 25 cents each. I got mine in a bulk package and used the whole bag for every exterior facing outlet in my home.

Just pop the center piece and screw holes out.

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And then place the gasket over your outlet for maximum insulating savings.

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Foam gaskets can help prevent heat from leaking outside in the winter and cool air from escaping through the outlets in the hot summer months.

4. Replace outlet cover.

Place the outlet cover over the foam gasket and use your screwdriver to, um, well, screw your cover back in place. Carl likes to line up his screws vertically so they match. He’s insane about the details. He’s insane about most things, actually.

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5. Stick a child proof plug in the socket.

Child proof plugs can be bought in sets or in bulk at any hardware store. I bought a package of 24 plugs for under $4. Just grab a plug and stick it in any unused outlets.

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That’s it! This simple do-it-yourself project took me less than a hour, cost me less than $20, and could save me hundreds in energy bills over the years. My silly dog Pivo is just thrilled with my savings – can’t you tell?

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If you loved this tip then check out my new book – 397 Ways To Save Money and save thousands this year!

Got an energy saving trick that doesn’t break the bank?

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