Babies can be susceptible to hot and cold temperatures. A room that's too hot can lead to dry skin, dry nasal passages, and even an increased risk of SIDS. If the room is too cold, your baby may wake up more frequently due to discomfort. As a parent, you have to figure out how to make your child's room just right from a heating and air conditioning perspective.
1. Consider a Separate Thermostat
If your heating and air conditioning system is set up in zones, you may want to put a separate thermostat in your baby's room. That way, you can set a unique temperature in that area, regardless of the rest of the home. There are also ductless systems that make it easy to heat or cool one room separately from the rest of the house.
2. Use the Temperature in the Nursery to Guide Thermostat Settings
If that's not an option, you may want to heat and cool the entire home based on what temperature seems right for your baby. Take the air temperature in your baby's room (preferably as close to their crib as possible). Then compare that to the reading on the home's thermostat. Then adjust the thermostat accordingly.
For instance, if the baby's room is two degrees warmer than the reading on the thermostat, set the thermostat two degrees higher for heating and two degrees colder for cooling.
To explain, imagine that you want the AC to kick in when the baby's room is 70 degrees, but the baby's room is 2 degrees warmer than the air by the thermostat. As a result, if you set the thermostat on 70, it will kick in when the air around the thermostat is 70, but at that point, the air in the baby's room is already at 72. To make up for the difference, you lower your thermostat at 68 so it kicks in when the baby's room is at 70 degrees.
3. Place the Crib Away From Vents and Fans
Ideally, you don't want the crib directly below fans or vents. That puts a stream of cool air on the baby that can be uncomfortable. Strategically position the crib to avoid this effect.
4. Don't Use Space Heaters
If your baby's room is cooler than the rest of the house, it may be tempting to put in a small heater to boost the temperatures. Don't put in space heaters, oil heaters, or anything that may increase the risk of fires or potentially expose your child to burns.
Instead, either keep the rest of the house cooler as explained above, or take other steps to make your child's room warmer. Make sure the vent to that room is open and unobstructed. If you have uneven cooling or heating in your home, that may be a sign of dirty ductwork, and you may want to call a professional.
Beyond that, put energy efficient window treatments over the windows. Make sure that your child has warm pajamas—that's safer than heavy blankets. There are also small nursery heaters designed to safely warm up a baby's room.
5. Consider a Humidifier
Forced air heating can also make your child's room relatively dry. Once you have the room the right temperature, you may want to consider adding a humidifier. That increases the moisture in the room, which helps to keep your baby more comfortable.
You can buy a standalone humidifier, or you can invest in a humidifier that is embedded into your heating and cooling system. You may need to have a professional handle the installation for that one.
To get more tips and ideas on heating and cooling your baby's room or any other part of your home, contact a heating and cooling professional.