#1 ENERGY PROBLEM
We have a new baby arriving
It is such an exciting time preparing for a new baby. There is so much to think about and it’s unchartered territory if it is your first baby.
Many mums go into a strong nesting phase gathering what you need to nurture your baby when he/she arrives home. Nappies, prams, cots and wraps!
To help you prepare effectively, here are 7 things you might consider in order to prepare your home for a new baby.
Cocooning or Whole Home
Define the scope of what you can achieve. If your home is not at all energy efficient, and time or budget is an issue right now, you might want to consider a technique called “Cocooning” the baby’s room. This means making just one room energy efficient so you can achieve the right temperature and conditions for your baby regardless of the weather outside.
But if you have time and budget, by all means, make your entire home energy efficient. After all, your baby will not be confined to one space for long.
Setup a Safe Home
Does your home have safety switches installed? Circuit breakers and fuses only protect appliances and wiring from damage. They don’t stop people from being electrocuted. Installing a safety switch, known as a Residual Current Device, or RCD, in your switchboard is an effective way to minimise the risk to you and your new family from being electrocuted in your home. They have been mandatory since 1991, so if your home is older than that, it would be worthwhile getting a sparky out to check. While they are at your home, here is how to get a great energy efficient result from an electrician’s visit to your home.
If you use gas in your home at all, install a carbon monoxide detector. Gas appliances should be checked by a licensed plumber every two years to ensure they are in good working order. However, it is possible that hairline fractures can appear and cause carbon monoxide gas to escape into a home. This article will explain what they are and where to install them. As carbon monoxide is a heavy gas, if it is present, it will start accumulating at floor level. Children playing on the floor may be the first ones to be affected.
Check that your fire alarms are compliant with current practices and are fully operational. Most fires that result in death start in the lounge or bedroom. So it makes sense to have fire alarms in each bedroom, rather than a hallway and have interconnected smoke alarms so that if one alarm goes off, they all go off.
OUTLET COVERS FOR POWER POINTS:
Whilst it will be while before a new baby is on the floor and crawling around, that time goes quickly when contending with broken sleep and settling your baby and yourself to a new routine. Installing covers for all power outlets is a great way to prevent little ones from harm.
Check your cooling / heating system
Check that your heating and cooling systems are operating efficiently. Clean out the filters on your air conditioning systems and have all gas appliances tested (as you would normally have done every 2 years to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning).
Being able to control the temperature of a room, or the whole home is important for the health of your baby. Nobody wants their baby suffering in a freezing cold, or overheated room. Many new parents run heating 24 x 7 when a new baby arrives and are astonished when they get their first post-baby heating bill.
Draughts versus Ventilation
If your home is draughty, now is the time to address that. Draughts come in many places around a home from chimneys, exhaust fans, walls vents, around doors and windows and cracks around skirting boards, floorboards, architraves and over the tops of windows.
Choosing no or low VOC products is important to maintain safe indoor air quality for your baby. A room that has been draught proofed with a solvent-based silicone will off gas for a while, might not support the best start in life.
Do not draught-proof a room that uses a gas appliance. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is real.
Effective draught-proofing will enable you to take control of the ventilation in a room or your whole home. You decide when to ventilate and how. Otherwise the outside weather conditions will rule your home.
If the room that your baby will sleep in faces east, north or west, you might want to consider what shading is in place at the windows. Avoiding direct sun strike in the summer is critical as it can increase the temperature of a room very quickly.
The best way to eliminate sun strike from a window is with external shading, such as light coloured canvas blinds or shade sails. However, the quickest way to eliminate sun strike from a window would be with effective window coverings and pelmets, or Invisible Pelmets. The cheapest way is to install Renshade on the window.
Check the condition and level of ceiling insulation in your home. Without effective ceiling insulation, your home simply cannot work effectively. If your home has existing insulation, it can be levelled and topped up with effective, people-friendly insulation that is safe for your family. Choose insulation rodents don’t like such as this one.
If your home is on stumps and you can access underneath it, installing underfloor insulation is a great way to moderate the temperature of your home. Without underfloor insulation, the temperature of your floorboards will be pretty close to the temperature outside. With underfloor insulation, your floorboards will be much closer to the temperature inside.
Underfloor insulation will keep your toddler warm and comfortable while they learn how to walk. After all, they spend more time on the floor than most adults.
You have 9 months to get your home ready for your new baby. Please don’t start 2 weeks before the baby is due to arrive. That just makes it much more stressful than it needs to be for everyone.
If this is all too much and you want some hand-holding along the journey, you can start off by getting a deep insight into your home’s overall energy efficiency performance. We conduct a thorough ecoHome Assessment in various areas in Victoria. From there, we will craft a specific home retrofit plan for you which you can perform in increments based on your budget, or all at once, or take the DIY path.
If DIY is your thing, you can discover more energy-efficient draught-proofing solutions that bring in maximum thermal comfort in your home without draining your pockets! Shop for a wide range of excellent home retrofit solutions for greater thermal comfort at www.ecoMasterStore.com.au
To progress your journey towards an energy-efficient home that loves you all year round.
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