Smart Ways to Maximize Your Smart Thermostat

Get the most out of your smart thermostat to save on energy bills and lower your cooling and heating costs.

Adding a smart thermostat to your existing heating and air conditioning system is one of the most immediate ways to take control of your energy usage. Smart thermostats are designed to learn from you and your home, making it easier to conserve more and spend less.

Follow these steps to get the most out of your smart thermostat:

1. Program a personalized schedule.
Some thermostat models can learn your preferences and schedule themselves automatically, but if yours doesn’t, program your thermostat to let it know how you organize your day, such as what time you wake up, leave for work, return home or go to sleep.

2. Set your thermostat a few degrees from its normal setting.
According to Energy Saver, you can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. For example, in the summer, you may want to keep your home warmer than normal while you are out and set the thermostat to 78 degrees only when you are at home and need cooling.

3. Download the manufacturer’s mobile app.
Mobile apps give you further control and customization over your comfort and savings. If you forget to program a desired setting, you can quickly make adjustments using the mobile app.

4. Take advantage of SCE’s Demand Response programs.
Demand Response programs provide incentives for reducing your electricity use when demand for electricity is high. You may be eligible for a one-time $75 sign-up bonus plus up to $40 in bill credits yearly by enrolling your qualifying smart thermostat in the Smart Energy Program.

You may also be eligible to receive a $50 bill credit from SCE on an approved energy-efficient smart thermostat purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Check the qualified product list to see if your thermostat is an approved model. Proof of purchase is required to receive this additional rebate.

5. Set your fan’s minimum run time.
Doing so will help circulate the air around your home, creating a more even temperature throughout. This will keep your thermostat from engaging the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system as often to compensate for hot and cold spots.

6. Enable a password or pin lock setting.
If your smart thermostat allows, restrict who can make changes to the temperature and other comfort settings to prevent your system from running unnecessarily to make up for constant adjustments.

7. Place remote room sensors in optimal locations.
To ensure temperature readings are as accurate as possible, place sensors in high traffic areas, approximately five feet off the ground and away from windows, vents and direct sunlight.