This Pool Noodle Hack Seals A Window Even With An Extension Cord Running Through It

The people who design and build modern homes don't seem to expect you to use much electricity outdoors. The few outdoor receptacles you have are never where you need them; just ask anyone who's ever tried to hang holiday lights outside. The obvious solution is to run an extension cord out a window... assuming you don't mind roving bands of insects inviting themselves in while you heat or air condition the outdoors. YouTube disaster preparedness expert J.R., who runs DIY Prepper TV, has a hack that can help you safely get the extension cord out the window to a backyard, deck, or treehouse without leaving the window wide open. His hack is basically closing the window on a pool noodle that has an extension cord running through it, but the solution is more elegant than that.

He cuts a pool noodle to fit the window, allowing for a little overlap on the sides. Then, he cuts a channel for the extension cord to prevent gaps that might admit mosquitoes in search of a meal. Obviously, it would be better to use an outdoor receptacle if you can, but J.R. is actually running power into his home from a portable gas-powered generator. The pool noodle trick works in either direction. It might not be the right way to connect a generator to your house, but unless your wiring is designed to accept power from a portable generator, the easiest way to let the power in is through a window. 

Thwart burglars, electrical fires, and high power bills

This homemade window baffle solution is well-thought-out, safety-wise. The pool noodle lets the cord through without abrading it. And, being security-conscious, J.R. also touches on how to keep the window secure against intruders. There are a lot of possibilities, but the gist is that you'll want to use a window restrictor, Charley bar, or some other means of allowing the window to close firmly against the pool noodle and stay there. The springiness of the pool noodle's closed-cell foam helps with this, which leads to another advantage of this hack. Because pool noodles are made of a good insulating material, you won't sacrifice your window's ability to keep the air inside cool or warm. Hollow noodles are nearly identical to plumbing pipe insulation, which offers an R-value (insulation rating) of 2.02-8.07, depending on wall thickness. This compares favorably to the R-value of a typical window.

There are a few precautions for using this sort of setup. Technically, the National Electrical Code prohibits running extension cords through windows. Take care not to overload the extension cord; it's very easy to pull more power than you should through an extension cord, which can make it hot and present a fire hazard. Finally, using an extension cord that's not rated for outdoor use is one of the most common mistakes people make with their generators; you should obviously only use an extension cord rated for outdoor use if you're planning to use it outdoors.