Dental offices use a lot of energy. But using the correct methods can reduce energy usage and lower costs.
Let’s explore ways you can reduce your carbon footprint without too much effort.
Replace Incandescent Lights with LEDs
Have you considered replacing your incandescent lights with LEDs? Here are some of the benefits:
- LEDs use 80% less energy than incandescent lights, making them more efficient.
- They also last much longer, so you won’t have to replace them often.
- Because they don’t contain mercury and have a lower chance of breaking down, LEDs are more durable than other types of bulbs.
- With their low failure rate, LEDs are more reliable than other kinds of bulbs.
- Finally, because LEDs don’t contain mercury or emit UV rays the way fluorescent lights do (which could potentially harm patients’ eyes), they’re safer for both you and your patients.
If this all sounds like gibberish, you’re not alone; you can learn more here.
Eliminate Phantom Load
Phantom load is the amount of power consumed by devices in your practice, even when they are off. It’s usually caused by appliances plugged into the wall but not turned on, such as cell phone chargers or remote controls.
According to one estimate, yearly phantom loads account for roughly 10% of residential energy consumption.
In addition to eating up electricity and increasing your utility bill, it’s also bad for the environment because it wastes energy resources and contributes greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
You can eliminate phantom load from your practice by measuring how much energy each device uses when it’s on versus when it’s off (you can find this information online).
If an appliance uses more than 1 watt of power when idle, then consider unplugging it from the wall so that only things you use regularly will be drawing from the grid (and make sure to unplug everything but essentials like the fridge before closing for a holiday!).
Going paperless can save you money and help the environment. Here are some ways it can benefit your business:
- Reduce paper use: You’ll need fewer office supplies, which means less waste and fewer expenses.
- Save on printing costs: Instead of paying for printing materials and toner, you can have files saved digitally and sent over e-mail to any networked printer with your system. This also reduces the carbon footprint because no cartridges or transportation is involved when the file is sent electronically (even if someone in another office prints it out).
- Save on storage space: When all dental records are stored digitally, there will be no need for shelves filled with boxes full of patient records to take up valuable space.
- Save time: E-mailing files back and forth cuts down on time spent looking through folders full of papers as well as copying them multiple times when they need to be moved from one place to another during treatment planning sessions or consultations with colleagues outside the practice, such as orthodontists or specialists like endodontists.
Keep Your Office Cool Efficiently
Keep your air conditioning running efficiently. Ensure that the air conditioner is in good working order and cools your office to the right temperature.
If you need to adjust it, there may be a way to do so manually rather than by remote control—check your manual or ask an expert if you’re unsure how.
Close curtains when there’s no sunlight coming in through windows. This will keep rooms cooler and help prevent overheating during afternoons when direct sunlight hits windows for long periods (or during summer months.)
Use fans to circulate the air in a room when possible; this can be done using ceiling fans or pedestal fans scattered throughout an office space, depending upon its layout and needs.
Make the Switch
Most tools, whatever your field now, come in energy-efficient alternatives. While they make be slightly more expensive, they will save you money in the long run.
But you don’t have to do everything at once. A small change can make a difference.
The key to saving energy is to be aware of your actions. By making a few simple changes and thinking about your practice’s energy consumption, you can save money and help the environment.
We hope this article has provided some excellent ideas for reducing your dental office’s carbon footprint. We encourage you to continue learning how dentists can save resources in their practices.