The best smart thermostats for your Airbnb or Vrbo home

Vacation rental thermostats that will keep guests comfortable, save money, and conserve energy—all from your phone or tablet.

Whether it’s sweltering out or snowing heavily, your vacation rental should be a haven guests want to escape to. But, how can you keep your energy bills in check, while also keeping your guests comfortable?

Quick answer: A smart thermostat.

They go way beyond just adjusting the temperature—you can access controls from your phone and pre-program temperature schedules. They’ll even play nice with your HVAC system and other smart home gadgets. While upgrading to a smart thermostat is a no-brainer, figuring out which one to purchase is not. Let’s dive into what features to look for and highlight top-rated options to make your Airbnb or Vrbo home the coziest spot on the block.

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Why you need a smart thermostat for your vacation rental

Smart thermostats offer plenty of perks to vacation homeowners, including:

Remote access

You can monitor and adjust the temperature right from your phone.

Savings on electricity bills

Program the temperature for any range of time, instead of letting it run all day. Plus, you can even set different temperatures for different rooms.

Better air quality

Some models will alert you when it’s time to change filters, come with humidity and mold sensors, and can even schedule maintenance calls.

Better guest reviews

No more fiddling with confusing temperature controls. Smart thermostats make it easy and simple for guests to stay comfortable.

Thermostat features to look for

Today’s models are smarter (and more robust) than ever. And, they continue to get better. Here are some key features to consider when making your purchase.

Remote temperature controls

This is reason enough to purchase a smart thermostat. Being able to adjust your vacation home’s temperature from your smartphone means your guests arrive to a comfortable environment. Plus, you can adjust the temps once guests check out—an ideal option when you’re managing an Airbnb remotely.

Temperature ranges

Some like it hot. But make sure it doesn’t get too hot (or too expensive) by setting a specific temperature range.

Pre-program days and times

Hosts can create a temperature schedule to align with guests' arrivals and departures, as well as optimize energy usage during vacancies.

Motion sensors

Sometimes guests leave the heat or air conditioning running full blast, even when they’re out most of the day. Look for a thermostat that can sense when your Airbnb or Vrbo is unoccupied and can adjust heating and cooling accordingly.

Connectivity with other smart home devices

Imagine telling guests they can walk in and simply say “Alexa, turn on kitchen lights and set the temperature to 65.” Syncing your other smart home devices—such as a smart speaker, smart lighting, or smart security system—will enhance your overall guest experience.

Air filter reminders

Now there’s one less thing to remember. Look for thermostats that will remind you to change your filter after a certain number of hours of usage.

Humidity monitors

Prevent the growth of mold and allergens in your vacation home by monitoring and regulating humidity levels.

Compatibility with HVAC systems

Most smart thermostats are compatible with HVAC systems installed after 1975. Before buying a thermostat, find out which type of equipment your vacation rental relies on for heating and cooling. The more sophisticated your HVAC, the more sophisticated your thermostat should be.

The kitchen of a luxury vacation rental in Edwards, CO.
The living room of a luxury vacation rental in Edwards, CO.

Thermostat costs

Smart thermostat prices can vary depending on the brand and features. Generally, you’re likely to spend $200 to $500 upfront for the thermostat and the installation. However, the potential for long-term energy savings and high guest ratings makes them a worthwhile investment.

Top-rated smart thermostats for Airbnb

Here’s a rundown of highly rated smart thermostats for your vacation home.

  1. tado° Smart Thermostat V3+: This thermostat is known for its energy-saving features and compatibility with homes using gas or oil heating. It offers both wired and wireless versions, allowing for flexibility in installation.
  2. Nest Learning Thermostat: With its sleek design and advanced features, this thermostat has received high ratings for its performance and energy-saving capabilities. It is compatible with various HVAC systems and is popular among Airbnb hosts.
  3. ecobee Smart Thermostat: Known for its versatility and integration with other smart home devices, the ecobee thermostat offers advanced temperature control and energy management features.
  4. Amazon Smart Thermostat: Offering a balance of affordability and functionality, this thermostat is a reliable option for Airbnb hosts looking to enhance guest comfort and energy efficiency.
  5. Honeywell T9 Smart Home Thermostat with Sensor: This 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.

Vacation rental thermostat FAQ

Yes, smart thermostats typically require a WiFi connection to enable remote access and control from your phone or tablet. However, since they are hardwired, you or your guests can manually operate your smart thermostat if the WiFi goes out.

Yes, smart thermostats can be locked to prevent tampering. This feature is particularly useful for Airbnbs and vacation rentals, as it ensures that guests don’t make unauthorized changes to the temperature settings. Hosts can set a PIN or lock the thermostat through its app or control panel, providing an additional layer of control over the property's HVAC system.

Yes, guests can easily operate a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are designed with intuitive interfaces and clear labels, making it simple for even the least tech-savvy guests to adjust the temperature settings. Additionally, these devices often come with easy-to-follow user manuals, ensuring that guests can understand and operate the thermostat quickly and easily.

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