Running a dental practice is no easy task. Between figuring out all the brand details and hiring a team when you’re first getting started to increasing the number of patients you see and cutting back on basic costs, it’s a lot to handle.
Thankfully, there are some tasks that are easier than others. Take cost-cutting, for example. You don’t have to move to a new office or start letting people go to save on overhead.
Instead, you can stay right where you are and keep growing your team with the money-saving benefits of saving energy. Here are five simple ways to conserve energy you can start using in your dental practice.
1. Research and Monitor Current Energy Use
Just as you need x-rays to assess the health of a patient’s mouth, you need a little bit of extra information before you start figuring out how to lower your energy bill.
All the data you need can be gathered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. This tool helps businesses of all kinds track their energy and water use, and even the emissions they put out which are contributing to their carbon footprint.
Such information allows you to start tackling your energy bill from all angles. It shows you where your biggest energy-saving opportunities are and what you can hold off on for now.
2. Lower Water Consumption
Don’t be surprised if water consumption is a big part of your energy bill. Think about all the teeth cleaning appointments you have each week, the special procedures you do, and all the equipment that needs cleaning.
When you add everything up, it’s no surprise your water bill costs as much as it does. But, a few simple changes can help you get everything back under control – the most valuable of which being energy-saving equipment.
Consider investing in new dental equipment that uses less water and even changing the bathroom utilities in your office to operate on low-flow. These may cost a pretty penny at first, but they save you a significant amount of money in the long-run.
Plus, lowering your water consumption can benefit your electricity bill. Using less water means using less energy to pump and heat the water you do need.
3. Turn Everything Off
Water is only one step in the right direction. The next thing you can do to cut energy costs is to start turning everything off when not in use and at the end of the day.
This goes for every single machine in your facility. From the receptionists’ monitors to the computers in each treatment room and all the chairs that patients sit in, there’s no need to keep everything on all day long.
Make a habit of keeping light switches off in closed areas where no one is. Tell dental assistants to turn off everything in a room when there isn’t another patient coming in, and even unplug the computer in your personal office if you really want to save as much as possible.
Some of these suggestions may sound a bit silly, but they work. Every chord that gets plugged in (and stays plugged in) adds up. A light that’s left on here or an unused, yet active monitor there every day can result in a few extra hundred dollars each month that you could otherwise be saving.
4. Upgrade the Electricity You Use
If you’re not a fan of turning everything off, how about changing the electricity you use as a whole? If you’re the owner of your office building instead of a tenant of where you operate, you may have a few interesting energy-saving opportunities.
Consider using solar panels to run your office instead of traditional energy systems. If you live in a state like Texas or Iowa where wind power is highly available, look into this option, too.
Whether you choose sun or wind, though, you’re still better off than using standard electric systems and fossil fuels to run your office. Renewable energy does wonders for your dental practice in terms of how much you save each month and the tax benefits you can use to your advantage at the end of the year!
If solar sounds like the way to go, you can read more now about a few things you should know before making the switch. It’s not a change that happens overnight but is something you’ll thank yourself for doing sooner rather than later.
5. Check for Air Leaks Around the Office
The final way to conserve energy in the office is arguably the easiest one yet. All you have to do is take a lap around each room and check the insulation of each window.
This seemingly minor detail has a huge effect on the total amount of energy you use. When air is able to escape out of the office and come in, you don’t have as much control of the temperature. This puts a strain on your A/C unit, causing it to work much harder than it has to just to maintain the environment you prefer.
If you find a few windows with small cracks or that just don’t seem to close all the way, look into getting window replacements and updated window treatments as soon as possible. Until then, you can close the doors in certain rooms to try to maintain the airflow you want without paying more than you need to.
Discover the Amazing Benefits of These Ways to Conserve Energy
There are certain overhead costs associated with running a dental practice that you can’t get away from. You know, things like taxes, equipment depreciation, and insurance.
But, sometimes, money-saving opportunities are right in front of your face in the places where you least expect it. Consider how much energy you’re using right now and start using the ways to conserve energy mentioned above.
Before you know it, you’ll have a much more efficient office and all kinds of financial opportunities making themselves available to you! All you have to do is commit to using better energy practices.
For more money management tips and tricks, click here.