Summertime is here! You know what that means? Longer days, hotter nights, and higher energy bills. To help your physical therapy clinic brave the heat and cut down on your AC costs, we’ve put together five ways your clinic can beat the summer heat heating blues.
Install and Use Light-Colored Shading and Blinds
Sure, it’s nice to look out of the windows at a beautiful sunny skyline, but you know what isn’t nice? Staring at a higher-than-expected power bill! All those sun rays can cause your internal spaces to heat up, which in turn causes your AC to work overtime to keep pace.
Pay attention to what side of your clinic receives the most lighting in the afternoon and focus on those areas to install shades/blinds to significantly reduce air conditioning cost. Opt for light-colored shading options over dark-colored (black) shading options. Light-colored shades reflect and repel direct solar light versus darker colors that absorb the light.
Cut Back on Your Thermostat Setting
Your clinic should never feel like you’re trying to keep ice cream frozen (unless you’re experimenting with a new ice cream therapy, in which case, please sign us up!). When it comes to keeping your clinic cool, every degree of difference can cause an exponential increase in AC expenditure. Going from a room temperature of 74 degrees to 73 may not seem like a lot to you, but to your AC system it could mean all the difference.
Work with your team to define a comfortable setting that helps to limit how hard your AC system must work to maintain an equilibrium. Also, consider adopting a fluid cooling model that adapts to a new temperature as outside temperature rises. For example, at 86, it may be easier to maintain a 75-degree internal temperature, at 96, perhaps consider a 77-degree setting.
Opt for Programmable Thermostats
In keeping with our current conversation topic, when able, opt for programmable thermostats over traditional static-temperature options. Most businesses know that it can often be a waste of money to blast their AC overnight while no one is in the clinic, however, many choose to do so to avoid having any “warm hours” during the first couple hours a clinic is open each day.
By working off a programmable thermostat, you can shut off (or raise the cooling temperature) when the clinic closes at night, then have the system automatically switch on 30 mins or an hour before the first employee arrives. This keeps your staff comfortable throughout their shift while helping you keep your clinic overhead low.
Consider Using Fans to Help Direct Airflow
Sure, they may seem outdated, but there’s a reason why so many people have and continue to use fans. They work. A simple fan or a series of fans can help your clinic eliminate the need for AC in more milder temperatures. They can also help to direct airflow to critical locations in your clinic during the hotter summer months. Cool air, where you need it, without lowering your thermostat setting.
Check Your Ductwork Consider Using Fans to Help Direct Airflow
When was the last time you had your clinic’s ductwork inspected? If the answer is anything more than a year ago, consider having an expert come out to ensure there aren’t any leaks. Whether its holes in the work, leaks at seams, or dust obstructions, a poor performing ductwork can cost you big in terms of energy consumption.
Bonus Tip: Cut Back on Your Summertime Laundry by Switching to A Reusable Pillow Cover
No one wants to spend their summer free time stuck indoors doing laundry. Sadly though, if your clinic is still using cloth pillowcases, that’s exactly what most of your staff (or even yourself) must do. Clinics spend hundreds or even thousands of hours every year doing laundry. All that time running those laundering machines directly translates to running up your power bill.
By making the switch to a reusable pillow cover (like our EcoPro Pillow Cover), your team can significantly cut back on the amount of laundry required to keep your PT Clinic clean and sanity. Simply spray down your pillow cover after every patient, wipe clean, and let dry. You’ll be able to cut back on your utility costs while also giving your staff more time to enjoy those long summer nights.