We all know that having a baby is one of the best experiences you can have in your life. It’s hard to think of something more rewarding! What’s not so wonderful is the overall increase in expenses in your life once your bundle of joy arrives. One of these expenses is usually your energy bill. It takes a lot of physical and electrical energy to keep that baby content!
Between the lights, swings, crib toys, humidifiers and everything else we feel is necessary to soothe them, it all adds up resulting in an increase of energy usage in the nursery. So, here are some tips to make a nursery more energy efficient while still keeping you and your little one happy and comfortable.
- Windows. I recommend starting with the windows in the nursery. If the windows are older (and it’s in the budget) I suggest replacing them with energy efficient models such as ENERGY STAR®-qualified windows. If that isn’t an option, check to see if there are any gaps or cracks where outside air can be leaking in and the air conditioned or heated inside air can be escaping. If outside air is coming through, it’s going to make the nursery that much hotter or colder (depending on the seasons), which will make your A/C or heater work even harder to bring the temperature to the desired setting. If you do find leaks, seal them with caulk to fill in any gaps. A second option is to put clear plastic film cover over the windows to seal them to reduce drafts. Lastly, add curtains. Not only can they be decorative, but they are energy efficient too if they are kept closed during the hotter months, which will block out the heat from the sun. In the winter months, keep them open during the day to let in warm sunlight and close them at night to protect against cold drafts.
- Ceiling fan. Using a ceiling fan is not only great for keeping air moving, but it can make the room feel cooler without lowering the temperature of the A/C. During the winter, switch the direction of the fan blades to provide an updraft and force warm air down into the room.
- Cool mist. If your little one unfortunately comes across a cold, rather than using a humidifier or vaporizer, use a cool mist. It can be better for the baby’s health and safety and saves energy.
- LED night lights. Since parents are up many times a night those first few months, use an LED night light rather than flipping on the main lights. They are energy efficient, last longer, inexpensive and easy to use. While you’re at it, try switching more than just the night light to an LED bulb you’ll see a difference in your bill and be more earth friendly at the same time!
- Use products with timers. If your little one needs music, a mobile, white noise, etc. to fall asleep, choose ones with timers. You’ll be able to soothe your little one for as long as you set it without wasting the extra energy and money.
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