Smart Thermostats for Renters

Assessing smart thermostat options for renters.


September 21, 2020

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Are you considering making your home a smart home? If you’re a renter, you may be thinking this is not an option for you. But if you have a property that you love renting, and you’re considering a smart thermostat, you should know there are upgrades available that you can take with you to your next home of choice. A smart thermostat is a good choice, however, you need to know that it has to be wired-in, which can be tricky if you rent.

Check your lease before you do any work

Before you begin installing anything, you need to check your lease. Some leases make it impossible to even put holes in your walls; you can’t put up pictures, let alone install a thermostat. Other leases are more lenient. When in doubt, ask your landlord for permission. Your landlord may even be excited about the idea of installing a smart thermostat. Additionally, many apartments will have either communal or controlled heating and air conditioning, and a smart thermostat may not work in those spaces.

Why would you want a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat will automatically adjust your temperature based on the time of day, if you program it properly. You can schedule the thermostat to be more dormant while you’re at work, or let the home get warmer when you’re asleep. A smart thermostat tracks your energy usage and analyzes your data to find the appropriate ways to adjust your temperature and keep you comfortable while also saving you money. Smart thermostats can:

  • Reduce your energy costs.

  • Make you more comfortable.

  • Improve your environmental impact.

What are your options?

Once you’ve determined how your heating and cooling works (and gotten permission from your landlord), an option such as the Nest Smart Thermostat requires only a few screws, but  they also require the threading of a few wires

However, even if you get permission from your landlord, you still might not be able to install a smart thermostat. Older buildings that use high-voltage systems aren’t compatible with devices like the Nest.

Most landlords will be fine with this if you’re paying for the cost of the thermostat. They might even be willing to reduce your rent to compensate for it if they plan to keep the system after you leave. But you need to be confident with the installation, and the home needs to have fairly new wiring.

For most renters, the Nest thermostat is  going to be the best bet  because it is mostly controlled wirelessly and requires very little in the way of tools or preparation. But again, more advanced systems can be installed if you have permission from your landlord.

Ultimately, you can install any type of smart thermostat with the help of your landlord. Smart thermostats are easy to install, and landlords approve of them because they boost the value of their rental property. For more information about smart home technology — and whether it can fit into your home — contact the experts at Brinks Home Security™.

Krista Bruton is a DFW-based writer who covers smart home security and consumer protection.

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