Best Thermostats for Airbnb and Vacation Rental: Optimizing Comfort and Efficiency
Remotely monitor and adjust temperatures in your unit, saving energy while keeping your guests comfortable with these four smart thermostats for Airbnbs.
November 8, 2023
While it could seem like a small factor in the grand scheme of managing a growing vacation rental portfolio, the temperature of your units has an immediate impact on the guest experience.
A guest showing up to a cozy cabin in the woods for a winter getaway just to find out it’s a crisp 50ºF (10ºC) inside their rental is not going to walk away with a positive first impression. And that same guest leaving the heat cranked up when they check out and head home can mean exorbitant energy bills for you.
Of course, there’s a manual solution to all of this—having someone visit each of your properties before check-in to ensure the unit’s properly heated or cooled and after check-out to turn down the heat or AC. But you need scalable processes that are easy to replicate as you take on more and more properties.
Smart thermostats are a convenient way to remotely monitor and adjust temperatures at all your units, helping you save money while giving every guest comfort on arrival.
In this article, we explain why you need a smart thermostat for your properties, what to look out for when choosing one, and the four best thermostats for Airbnbs and short-term rentals.
Why you need a smart thermostat for your Airbnb or vacation rental
Even if you lived within walking distance of all your units, stopping by all your properties to adjust the thermostat before each guest arrives and after they check out just isn’t practical. Smart thermostats are a more convenient alternative to traditional thermostats, and they come with a range of benefits.
Ensure comfort for every guest
While you can set a reminder for your cleaners to adjust the thermostat during their turnover clean, forgetting to do so could mean your guests arrive at a unit that isn’t properly heated or cooled. With smart thermostats, though, you can turn on the heat or the AC right from your phone, so every guest checks into a unit that’s at the perfect temperature.
Boost your energy savings
Even if you include a note for your guests to turn down the AC before they check out, not everyone will do so, and a unit that’s set at a comfortable 72ºF (22ºC) for a few weeks between bookings in the middle of January could mean a hefty energy bill.
Smart thermostats help you save on heating and cooling expenses because you can remotely adjust the temperature to lower costs when your units are vacant—or have your thermostat do this automatically for you.
Get protection for your properties
If your units are located in an area that experiences extreme cold, you can use a smart thermostat to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Additionally, if your properties are in an especially humid climate, these devices let you monitor humidity levels and even track mold risk, keeping your properties safe and protecting their value.
What to look for when choosing a smart thermostat
At first glance, short-term rental thermostat solutions can seem pretty homogenous. Sure, they let you adjust the temperature at your unit, but what more can they do? Actually, though, each of these devices comes with unique characteristics and features. So when making a choice, here are a few factors to consider:
Ease of use: Read user reviews about how easy each thermostat you’re considering is to set up and use. Needless to say, you don’t want this device to end up creating more work for you, so it should have a simple installation process and intuitive app interface.
Features: Smart thermostats do much more than read temperature. Some can give you insights on indoor air quality or automatically turn off the AC when your unit is vacant, so pay close attention to all the extra features each device comes with.
Integrations: Some smart thermostats can connect to your other short-term rental tech and smart home systems. So if you already have other software and devices in your tech stack, check if the smart thermostat you’re considering integrates with it, keeping all your systems connected.
The 4 best Airbnb thermostats for your vacation rental properties
Small details can make the difference when it comes to your Airbnb superhost status, and using a smart thermostat helps you ensure maximum comfort for every stay, meaning happier guests and better reviews. For a better guest experience and larger energy savings, here are the four best smart thermostats for Airbnbs and vacation rentals.
1. tado° Smart Thermostat V3+
The tadoº Smart Thermostat works with units that are in independent homes (with gas or oil heating) or apartments with gas boilers (as well as hydronic underfloor heating systems). The device comes with a number of energy-saving features, and the tadoº app lets you monitor and adjust the temperature at your property no matter where you are.
tadoº comes in both a wired and wireless version, and depending on the characteristics of your unit, you may want to consider some of its other products, like its Smart Radiator Thermostat V3+ or Smart AC Control V3+.
Best of all, tadoº integrates with other smart home systems, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, as well as smart home technology for vacation rentals. The thermostat’s integration with Minut, for example, automatically turns off your AC when a guest checks out, and for heating, keeps the temperature at an energy-efficient 15ºC (59ºF) between bookings.
What stands out
Energy-saving features like Geofencing, Open Window Detection, Smart Schedule, and Weather Adaptation
All-in-one app where you can adjust individual room temperature, monitor air quality and humidity levels, and track energy consumption
Simple DIY installation
Compatibility with over 20 heating systems and manufacturers
Integration with smart devices like Alexa and the Minut sensor
tadoº thermostat prices are only listed in euros. The Wireless Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ comes in at €249.99, while the Wired Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+ costs €219.99.
2. Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)
While the Nest Learning Thermostat isn’t necessarily designed specifically for short-term rentals, it’s still a great solution that lets you remotely control temperature levels and maximize energy savings.
This smart thermostat learns how your unit heats and cools, and it takes into account outside weather conditions, helping you maintain comfortable temps for your guests while saving energy.
If your guests leave for the day and forget to turn down the AC, the device is capable of detecting that your unit is empty and automatically adjusting to an energy-saving temperature. You can also track Energy History and access a monthly Nest Report to view your energy savings.
What stands out
Auto-Away feature that automatically sets an energy-saving temperature when your unit is vacant
Alerts you of important events, like an air filter change reminder or dangerously low temperatures
Mobile app where you can control temperatures from wherever you are
Integrations with other Nest products, like Nest Protect or Nest Cam
Easy DIY installation that can be completed in 30 minutes or less
The Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen) is listed at $249/€249.
3. ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
The ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium works with the majority of HVAC systems to give you better control over the temperature at your units. In addition to monitoring and adjusting temperature, it tracks air quality as well, giving you tips on how to improve it.
It’s also equipped with other safety features like built-in smoke alarm detection and freeze detection for preventing pipes from bursting, which is a big bonus for anyone particularly concerned with protecting their vacant rental property. Plus, the thermostat’s occupancy sensor automatically adjusts temperatures to save energy when there aren’t any guests in your unit.
What stands out
Energy-saving features like eco+, Smart Home & Away, Pause when Open, and Time of Use
Air quality monitoring with instant alerts and tips, plus automated safety notifications
Monthly energy reports and Home IQ to compare energy savings to properties in your area
Can remotely be controlled via a smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch
Integrations with smart home systems like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings and IFTTT
The ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium is only listed in USD or CAD and is priced at $249.99 (USD).
4. Honeywell T9 Smart Home Thermostat with Sensor
Honeywell’s T9 Smart Home Thermostat uses sensors to detect whether your unit is full of guests or sitting vacant, helping you maximize your energy savings without having to do any extra work or monitoring. You can also manually adjust and track temperatures via mobile app, adjusting on a room-by-room basis.
This thermostat connects with a number of smart home systems, like Alexa and Google Assistant, so if you use any of these devices, guests get the added convenience of changing the temperature with a simple command. Plus, you’ll receive monthly energy reports so you can compare energy usage to other properties in your area and pinpoint how you can save even more.
What stands out
Motion detection sensor to save energy when your unit goes unoccupied
Smart alerts when it’s time to change a filter or temperatures change drastically
Mobile app to monitor and adjust temperatures
Simple DIY installation
Integrations with other smart home devices like Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Cortana, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit.
The ecobee Honeywell T9 Smart Home Thermostat is only listed in USD and is priced at $209.99.
Get complete visibility over your properties with in-home smart devices
With comfort playing such a big role in the guest experience, and guests increasingly expecting tech-enabled stays, smart thermostats are a must-have vacation rental home amenity. Not only do they help you ensure each guest arrives at a property that’s perfectly heated or cooled, but most also come with energy-saving features like:
Local forecast monitoring to turn down the heat when the sun is heating your unit
Occupancy detection to minimize energy use when your property is vacant
Open window sensing to avoid wasting energy when someone forgets to shut the door
Features like these keep your energy bills low, meaning fewer expenses and more profit, all while maximizing guest comfort. Also, these devices help you protect your units from dangerously cold temperatures or humidity levels that could result in burst pipes or mold growth.
To maximize the benefits of smart technology, connect your thermostat with a home protection solution like the Minut sensor. When paired together, these smart home devices let you remotely monitor, control, and protect your units, giving you peace of mind and helping you provide an exceptional guest experience for every stay.