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If you’re responsible for managing real estate properties, the importance of automating your work cannot be understated. Recent developments in the use of smart devices within smaller rental properties has allowed many property managers to save time and better scale their operations. Whether the buildings are used for long-term rental or Airbnbs, the use smart thermostat technology can be very helpful.

What Does a Smart Thermostat Do?

You might start by asking what is the difference between a smart thermostat and a regular thermostat. The main features of a smart thermostat is the ability to control the temperature of a building using a mobile device. Other features that are interesting to property managers include customizing temperature preferences to save energy and setting up alerts that tell you when temperatures have hit a certain level.

Some of the most practical features of smart thermostats are the following:
-The ability to control your building’s temperature from anywhere
-Customize temperature preferences to save energy and turn off heaters during certain parts of the day
-Receive alerts when the temperatures have hit a certain level that you set
-Set up custom alerts so you know when your thermostats are broken and need to be repaired or replaced

Energy Efficiency

The primary function of a smart thermostat in regards to energy efficiency is its ability to control temperatures within a building without having to manually adjust the temperature settings on a regular basis. Beyond saving your organization money, this feature also allows you to save a lot of time by reducing the number of times someone needs to go to the property and reduce the number of complaints related to the temperature in the building.

Heating Shared Spaces of a Building
In many building, the heating and cooling system has to be shared among several units. This is often the case in buildings with four or more apartments. You can use a thermostat device to manage the temperature of the shared space by placing the temperature sensor in areas of the building that seem to be problematic. Because smart sensors are wireless it is very easy to move them around.

For instance, if tenants complain that a specific area is too cold, placing a sensor in this room will allow you to track the temperature throughout the week. If you notice that the temperature does tend to drop you can set specific limits on the devices to ensure temperature in this specific area never drops below your limit.

Heating Different Units at Different Temperatures
If you manage an Airbnb or vacation rental you will want to control the temperature within the different rooms of each apartment. One way to do this is by installing smart thermostats on each of the units. You can set up a separate schedule for each tenant so you can keep the temperature consistent within that apartment.

Airbnb and vacation rental owners will often set the thermostat to between 70 and 73 degrees so that the guests are comfortable. At night, many owners will temporarily turn off the heat all together to save money and reduce energy consumption. All these decisions are not possible without the use of a smart thermostat.

Scheduling and Notifications

Heating and cooling systems in buildings are often very complicated. Even if you have a plan to manage heating in a building, it could be helpful to receive notifications when temperatures reaches levels that are too high or too low levels within your property. This could be an indication that someone has left a door or window open. If you do detect this it becomes very easy to alert the people renting the room about this before it causes further problems.

How Much Money Can You Save Using an Energy Efficient Smart Thermostat?

By having more control on the temperature of the building using a thermostat device you can save on energy costs. It is in fact because of this benefit that smart thermostats have become a favorite among property managers because they allow them to save money by controlling heating and cooling from anywhere in the world, without requiring physical access to the building.

According to manufacturers home owners can save between 15% and 35% when installing a smart thermostat compared to their old systems. Ecobee, a manufacturer that specifically focuses on the energy efficiency of their device claims that home owners can save around 23% on current costs. Based on our experience, the amount saved in rental properties can be even higher since most property managers usually have less control on the temperature of the building than home owners, so the ability to have remote access to the thermostat has a even greater impact.

How to Install a Smart Thermostat?

You might think that setting up these devices requires a professional team, but this is far from the truth. The steps required to setup a thermostat can be summarized as such:
1) Plug the smart thermostat into a power outlet.
2) Reconnect the circuit from the old thermostat to the clearly indicated wires coming from your new smart thermostat.
3) Connect the C-wire or common wire to power the thermostat itself. Once you have hooked up all of the wires, place it back on its original location and turn it on.

Can I Install any Smart Thermostat in My Building?

No you cannot install just any smart thermostat in your building. There are many differences between systems and it’s important to make sure that each of the heating/cooling appliances within your building or apartments can be controlled by the device you purchase. For more information on compatibility we have written a full article on the C-wire.

Final Thoughts

As real estate prices increase all over the US and Canada, real estate managers need to make sure they are up to date with the newest energy efficient technology. We recommend that all property owners look into smart thermostats and thoroughly evaluate the cost-benefit of installing them in their buildings.

For a more specific article on the best smart thermostats available in 2021 click here.

If your property management company does install a smart thermostat do not hesitate to reach out to smartbrainyhomes@gmail.com, we would love to write a case study on your business and the impact this technology has had on your heating and cooling costs.

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