How to lower your power bills when you have a new baby
Expanding your family can create extra costs and many households find it tough going down to one income. This means you may wish to discover ways to lower your gas and electricity prices.
Here are some great tips to help you save during this time.
Before you paint your baby's room, make sure you check to see what kind of paint you will be covering up. If you live in a pre 1970s house, there is a chance you may be removing lead-based paint which can be hazardous if disturbed.
However, once you have removed that risk, choose a light colour for the walls as this will allow light to be reflected more easily. This will help you to keep the room temperature comfortable for your baby without the need to rely on expensive heating and cooling units.
Painting the ceiling a light colour can reduce the amount of light needed to illuminate the space. This reflects light, so you can use a lower wattage bulb in the room.
This is a great way to save on your electricity prices as chances are with a newborn you will be up and down a bit throughout the night.
If you are pregnant, be careful with paint as oil-based paints can contain lead and latex paints, mercury. These substances can be harmful to you and your baby.
Curtains and blinds
Make sure you use the curtains or blinds that are installed in your baby's room effectively. Remember, by closing these early in the afternoon in the winter you can trap heat inside.
In the summer you can use curtains and blinds to keep chilled air in so you and your baby will be more comfortable.
Heating and cooling
One of the key ways to lower your electricity and gas bills is to only heat and cool the rooms you are using, rather than controlling the temperature of your whole house.
If you are going to leave your home - whether it be for an hour or an entire day - it is best to switch off your heating and cooling units to save power.
However, it is important to maintain a good temperature for your baby, as over-heating and over-cooling them could have serious repercussions as it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
If you have left your home for a few days, you may have switched off your hot water system. If this is the case, allow plenty of time for it to heat back up again, as it is important that hot water is well heated in order to kill any harmful bacteria.
You may notice you need to do more washing with a new baby, as he or she goes through multiple changes of clothes throughout the day.
Here, you can lower your electricity prices by only running the machine when you have a full load, and using a cold wash, rather than hot.
Remember to only use the right amount of detergent, as any extra will create more suds which will make your machine work harder to complete the same job.
Where possible, it is best to dry your washing outside. The sun and wind are free and renewable resources, and the sun is able to provide natural sterilisation and bleaching, according to the Department of Industry's Living Greener initiative. This is perfect when you have a new baby.
In the winter, you could consider using an indoor drying rack. These can be used to great effect in rooms you are already heating, and may reduce your bills further.
Running an energy comparison
When you have a baby, it's natural that your electricity and gas usage may increase slightly. However, running an electricity comparison could show you how you could save money.
Switching to another electricity supplier could reduce the amount you are charged to draw power to your home, so you pay less for the same service.
Posted by Tim Wolfenden.