I Have a house built in 1972. I'm currently 80% finished in installing a ceiling fan into my master bedroom.

I had an energy audit about a month ago, which revealed that I had "pretty good sealing" in my home, but found the classic attic/wall entry points, specifically, wall outlets and holes in the ceiling for light fixtures, were leaking air.

I've already bought and installed all of the foam outlet/switch sealers (like this), but I don't feel as though its sealing very well around the house. I'm also not sure what to do around the hole in the ceiling.

Googling reveals suggestions like this one, but doesnt specifically mention what can be done to seal a hole in the drywall around electrical fixtures (I'm concerned about fires) Any suggestions?


If the gap is small enough, you can just use some general purpose caulk. For bigger gaps, patch it with some mud or spackle, then caulk to finish. Since it's going to be hidden behind a light fixture, it doesn't even have to be that pretty!

(They do make a fire-retardant foam, but I look at the warning labels and get nervous when they say "extremely flammable while curing.“)

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  • I've used caulk around all of the light and power switches in our house to great effect. Just be careful not to stick them to the walls. – Adam J. Forster Oct 23 '10 at 9:53

Be careful when putting any insulation around anything that generates heat - like lights.

The insulation could catch fire or the bulb could break because there's no airflow around it to cool it down.

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