Top 7 Best Smart Thermostats for Airbnb and Rental Properties

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Are you a landlord looking for the Best Smart Thermostats for Airbnb and Rental Properties? You’ve come to the right place. 

One of the problems with renting out your property is when your Airbnb guests check out and leave the heating or air conditioning on. That results in higher than necessary energy bills for you, especially if your next renters aren’t for another week.

What happens when the property is empty, but the weather outside is below freezing? You might consider heating the property periodically to keep the cold from freezing pipes and other things. 

But do you want to drive across town or even out of town to adjust the thermostat?

Standard programmable thermostats are limited in what they can offer when it comes to these situations, because you’ll need to be on-site for any temperature changes.

That’s where a smart thermostat can save a lot of time and hassle. I’ll discuss more factors to consider below for landlords and Airbnb property owners. First, here’s an overview of the best smart thermostats for landlords and property managers/owners.

1. Best Overall: ecobee SmartThermostat

ecobee SmartThermostat Features and Benefits

ecobee is one the biggest names in the smart thermostat business. And the ecobee SmartThermostat (aka ecobee5) is their top of the range and latest offering. For those with bigger rental properties or want a full range of features this is a great choice. 

It’s a rectangular shaped thermostat that users can interact with through a touchscreen and through a mobile app. The app and the touchscreen are identical interfaces meaning there is no requirement to learn two settings interfaces.

The SmartThermostat supports multiple wireless protocols: 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, and Bluetooth. 

Setting up the device is simple and walkthrough instructions guide you through the process. In most cases it can be operating within an hour. But if your HVAC system lacks a C-Wire, then an additional adapter will be needed, adding some costs.

The SmartThermostat can also act as a smart speaker and ships with Alexa built-in. So, if you want to offer your guests access to a smart speaker and voice control over the heating system, then this would be a great choice.

This model is shipped complete with a SmartSensor which is useful if you want to set up a separate Zone within your apartment.

Review: ecobee SmartThermostat Is The Best Smart Home Thermostat Yet

ecobee SmartThermostat Cons

A great device but it does have a couple of minor annoyances. A lack of support for any of the low-power wireless protocols like Zigbee or Z-wave is disappointing. Also, the need to install a C-Wire power extender kit adapter if you don’t have a C-wire can be a downside for some people.

2. Runner Up: ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Features and Benefits

This mid-range model from ecobee has Amazon Alexa integrated in it. Like others in the ecobee range, it’s controlled through a touchscreen interface and a mobile app that offers an identical interface.

It also supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but not Bluetooth. 

The setup is also identical to the other ecobee models and it also requires an adapter to be installed on systems lacking a C-Wire.

Full remote control and access is available through the app on your phone. It’s another thermostat that will offer your guest a fully functioning smart speaker to get weather patterns and forecasts if they want.

Setup is straightforward, although as with all ecobee devices an adapter must be installed for it to function on systems lacking a C-Wire.  

The ecobee4 ships with a Room Sensor (Note: not a SmartSensor, which is the latest occupancy and motion sensor in the ecobee range).

ecobee4 Cons

Has the same limitations as the SmartThermostat with lack of Zigbee and Z Wave support.

3. Best Budget-Friendly: ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

ecobee3 Lite Features and Benefits

This is ecobee’s entry-level thermostat, but it may well be the perfect thermostat for those with smaller Airbnb and rental properties. It’s a good start to smart home technology products.

The ecobee3 Lite supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.

The setup is as simple as the others in the ecobee range and can be achieved in around 30 minutes in most instances. It shares the same app and features as the others in the range, although it does lack an occupancy sensor.

Although it would be perfect for many smaller rental properties, it is fully scalable with the addition of sensors. So, for those with properties large enough to require multiple zone support, this can still perform.

ecobee3 Lite Cons

A lack of connectivity options is slightly disappointing and also the lack of an included occupancy sensor. 

4. Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

Nest Learning Thermostat Features and Benefits

The Learning Thermostat is the top-of-the-line thermostat by Nest.

The setup installation is simple and can operate on HVACs lacking a C-Wire, without the need for any additional adapters or wiring.

The thermostat is housed in a circular case with a ‘far visibility’ screen that illuminates when it detects movement within 10 feet.

Menu functions and temperature adjustments are done using a rotating adjustment ring to cycle through the options, adjust temperature etc. then pressing the ring to select. 

The Nest supports a variety of wireless protocols: their own Weave version of the Zigbee protocol, 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, and Bluetooth. 

While it’s a great thermostat and offers all the same functionality as the ecobee models, it also has a smart learning feature to record your habits and patterns.

The smart learning feature creates a schedule from an assumed baseline and adapts it as it learns your habits. The problem with this is that each set of guests will have their own routines, and therefore the learning system is better disabled. Auto scheduling won’t help if the occupants are constantly changing.

Remote access is through the app and voice control is available when paired with Google Home speakers or copmatible Google Assistant devices.

As with the ecobee models, Nest can also control separate zones individually, which is a great feature for rental or Airbnb properties.

Nest Learning Thermostat Cons

The interface with the thermostat feels dated, a touchscreen would be a good addition. 

5. Nest Thermostat E

Nest Thermostat E Features and Benefits 

This is the budget model from Nest but is still a fully functional smart heating system, which may be all is required to control a heating system on a smaller Airbnb or rental property.  

Set up is identical as on the Nest Learning Thermostat, and the Nest Thermostat E can also function without a C-Wire.

The Nest E supports 2.4GHz WiFi and Low Energy Bluetooth.

The Nest Thermostat E only supports heating systems that are up to three stages, so if your rental property has a more complex system you should avoid this choice.

It can be remotely accessed with the companion app and supports full control of the system using remote access.

For smaller rental properties with a relatively simple heating system this is another great product to be considered.

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen Vs. Nest E | REVIEW | COMPARISON

Nest Thermostat E Cons

The lack of support for HVACs with more than three stages rules this out as a choice for Airbnb or rental properties with more advanced systems. 

6. Saswell Alpha Smart Thermostat

Saswell Alpha Thermostat Features and Benefits

Another great choice for smaller Airbnb or rental apartments, the Saswell has Alexa built-in and therefore features voice control as standard. It also has a built-in speaker.

The Saswell is a smart looking thermostat. It has a square design with rounded corners. The touchscreen interface is circular and the display is crisp and clear.

The Saswell Alpha is compatible with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Set up can generally be achieved in 45 minutes or under and walkthrough videos are available to help you install the thermostat. Although it requires a C-Wire, there is an adapter available for HVAC systems that don’t use one.

Full remote control is available through the accompanying app.

Saswell Alpha Cons

The thermostat itself is on the larger side and there is no support for geofencing.

7. Vine Smart WiFi Thermostat TJ-919

Vine Smart WiFi Thermostat Features and Benefits

Featuring a full color 4.5” touchscreen, the Vine TJ-919 has full compatibility with most smart home ecosystems. Installation is straightforward and takes around 30 minutes to complete, but will require a C-Wire.

The Vine WiFi Thermostat works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Once installed, use the mobile app for complete control of the thermostat. Suitable for smaller Airbnb and rental properties as it does not support external sensors.

Vine Smart WiFi Thermostat TJ-919 Cons

A lack of support for sensors makes this unsuitable for larger properties.

Factors to Consider for Landlords and Property Owners

If you’re looking for a smart thermostat for an Airbnb or rental property there are a number of things to consider: 

  • Remote Control and Access
  • Ease of Use
  • Existing Heating System

One aspect that is crucial is remote access to controlling the smart thermostats. 

What you’ll need is a Wi-Fi connection to your property. Without Wi-Fi, remote control and a host of other smart thermostat features are unavailable.

The connection will also give you the opportunity to receive alert notifications from the smart thermostat if anything goes wrong. 

Another big factor is how easy is the smart thermostat to use when on-site for your tenants and Airbnb renters. The Nest thermostat range can take some getting used to. The ecobee thermostats have the more intuitive touchscreen interface that is the same as the mobile app.

With ecobee, if the tenants ever have any issues, you can walk them through how to operate the smart thermostat because you use the ecobee app to see exactly what buttons to press. 

Other considerations are the existing heating system at property units. Does it use a C-Wire? How many stages is it? What size is the property?

You may want to reread the above keeping in mind the factors and see which thermostat is the best for you. 

Final Thoughts

There’s a range of options for property managers and owners who want to rent out their homes, but still have energy savings by controlling the energy usage remotely when needed.

Even though the landlords may not be living there, it can be a good idea to install smart home devices like thermostats. Smart thermostats can help lower energy bills by up to 23% through energy efficient climate control solutions.

The Best Overall Smart Thermostat is the ecobee SmartThermostat

The Runner Up is in the same family, the ecobee4 smart thermostat

The Best Budget-Friendly option is the ecobee3 Lite, but not far behind is the Nest Thermostat E.

If you have other specific scenarios where you want to look for the best smart thermostat options, check out these other articles:

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Written by:

Greg Randall
Greg Randall is deeply immersed in Smart Home Technology, with years of experience in home automation, from smart displays to TVs. He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with like-minded enthusiasts. Beyond smart homes, Greg loves snowboarding and exploring new culinary scenes with friends, bringing a zest for adventure and fine dining to his tech-savvy lifestyle.