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Keep your veterinary practice cool this summer without going broke


This summer, follow these energy-saving tips from Ryerson University, and you can cut your veterinary practice's energy bill by 20 to 50 percent.

When the temperatures creep up, so can your veterinary practice's electric bill. Here are some tips to help you keep your practice cool this summer without breaking the bank.

Use off-peak. In some cities, electricity usage is calculated on a time-of-use rate. Go online and determine when your off-peak hours are and run your washing machine and dryer at these times. Often, electricity rates are the lowest early in the morning, at night, and on the weekends.

Draft proof. Drafts in your clinic are big energy wasters. Find out where air is escaping by performing a simple air leak test. Take a piece of tissue and go through your entire facility holding the tissue near windows and door frames, electrical outlets, baseboards, and other possible leakage locations. If the tissue moves, consider sealing in these gaps with caulking and weather stripping. The materials you need are relatively inexpensive and can reduce loss energy loss by up to 10 percent.

Keep the light out. Closing blinds during the day can naturally cool your clinic by blocking heat that otherwise come in through windows.

Improve upon bad habits. Do you or team members keep the break room fridge door open while deciding what to eat? Be aware of these bad habits and try to pick up a few good ones, including turning off the lights when you leave the room and watering the lawn at night.

Reduce your phantom load. Phantom load is the electricity consumed by a device when it is turned off. For example, computer monitors, televisions, laptops, and cell phone chargers all suck up energy when they're not on. Ensure that these devices are unplugged when they're not being used. Alternatively, plug them into a power strip and turn off the strip before you leave for the night.

Wash laundry efficiently. Becoming smarter about how your veterinary practice does laundry not only saves money, but it also protects valuable fresh water resources. Loading the washer to its capacity at all times uses up less energy than washing two medium loads. Also, set the machine to the shortest wash time and forego the extra rinse cycle.

Hang laundry to dry. The dryer is a huge source of energy. During the summer, hang the practice's laundry outside to dry.

Lighten up with energy-efficient bulbs. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs five to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself. Replace regular light bulbs with either light emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and longer lasting.

Get informed about your energy use. Understand the options you have available for managing your energy consumption, such as energy monitors and other applications. And take advantage of the many rebates and incentives available from your government or local utility company.

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