5 Best Thermostats For a Rental Property in 2024

Last Updated: January 2024

Rental Property Thermostat

Up until the Nest Smart Thermostat emerged, thermostats were generally basic and boring knobs (sometimes digital screens) that you only cared about when too hot or too cold. The advent of the “smart thermostat” product category prompted many manufacturers to start innovating their own versions of smart thermostats. Choosing the right thermostat for your rental property will depend on property type, such as an economical multifamily rental unit or luxury vacation rental.

Best Rental Property Thermostats

Best OverallBest EconomyBest SmartBest PremiumBest Commercial
Honeywell Home - 5-2 Day Programmable Digital Thermostat
Honeywell Home – Programmable Digital Thermostat
Honeywell Home - Non-Programmable Thermostat
Honeywell Home – Non-Programmable Thermostat
ecobee - Smart Thermostat Premium, Air Quality Monitor
ecobee – Smart Thermostat Premium, Air Quality Monitor
Google Nest - Learning Thermostat Smart Programmable
Google Nest – Learning Thermostat Smart Programmable
Honeywell - TC500 Commercial Wireless Smart Thermostat
Honeywell – TC500 Commercial Wireless Smart Thermostat

Below we explore the top 5 thermostats for rental properties based on 5 different factors that landlords and property managers should consider when determining which type of thermostat is best for their rental property.

Best Overall Thermostat

Honeywell Home – 5-2 Day Programmable Digital Thermostat


Digital, Programmable

  • Smart Response Technology ensures timely temperature adjustments for comfort.
  • Real-time clock auto-adjusts for daylight savings, maintaining accurate scheduling.
  • Requires battery changes based on usage frequency.
  • Limited to wifi capability and Day or Week programming options.
Why We Like This Thermostat Overall

Most digital thermostats are either expensive or too complicated. For under $50, this digital thermostat provides the perfect blend of modern features with the ability to easily control heating and cooling.

Best Economy Thermostat

Honeywell Home – CT31A1003 Heat/Cool Non-Programmable Thermostat


Manual, Non-Programmable

  • Affordable price tag with user-friendly installation and operation.
  • Simple functionality ensures tenant durability.
  • Not compatible with multi-stage and certain other systems.
  • Non-programmable, limiting scheduling flexibility.
Why We Like This Economy Thermostat

If you are looking for the most cost efficient thermostat to control heating and cooling, this basic thermostat will get the job done for under $25. Honeywell is a well known brand in consumer electronics so rest assured this thermostat is built with quality.

Best Smart Thermostat

ecobee – Smart Thermostat Premium – Siri & Alexa Compatible, Built in Air Quality Monitor, Smart Sensor


Programmable, Touchscreen, WiFi Control Remotely

  • Included SmartSensor adjusts room temperature, enhancing comfort and energy savings.
  • Comprehensive home monitoring with air quality alerts, break-in detection, and sudden temperature drop notifications.
  • ecobee Smart Security plan required for complete monitoring features.
  • Siri functionality requires an Apple home hub, potentially incurring additional costs.
Why We Like This Smart Thermostat

The amount of advanced features that come with this thermostat is very impressive – air quality monitoring, auto location-based adjusting, and is compatible with almost all major smart home brands. It is reasonably priced for under $250 and has cheaper versions available as well.

Best Premium Thermostat

Google Nest – Learning Thermostat Smart Programmable for Home, Alexa Compatible


Programmable and Self-Learning, Touchscreen, Wifi Control Remotely

  • Learns your schedule for energy-saving temperature adjustments and provides remote control via phone or laptop.
  • HVAC monitoring sends alerts for potential system issues, aiding in maintenance.
  • Requires separate purchase of the Nest Temperature Sensor for specific room temperature control.
  • Wireless access requires setup and connection through Google Home app.
Why We Like This Premium Thermostat

The original Nest thermostat is one of the pioneers of smart thermostats. Its interface is very easy to use and looks amazing on any wall. The build is very durable and can easily be controlled from a distance via WiFi.

Best Commercial Thermostat

Honeywell – TC500 Commercial Wireless Smart Thermostat – Heat Pump and Conventional


Programmable, Touchscreen, WiFi Control Remotely

  • Attractive touch screen design with WiFi and BAS (Building Automation System) connectivity.
  • Offers energy savings with complex scheduling, aligning with ASHRAE healthy building best practices.
  • Might require training due to multiple levels of user privilege access and configurations.
  • Wi-Fi dependency can make system vulnerable to network outages or security risks.
Why We Like This Commercial Thermostat

Since many residential thermostats do not work with commercial heating and cooling systems, commercial thermostats tend to be boring and costly. This Honeywell thermostat is packed with features, wrapped in a modern and elegant touchscreen design, at a reasonable price.

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Rental Property Thermostat FAQ

4 Main Types of Thermostats for Rental Properties

Thermostats play a crucial role in regulating indoor temperature and maintaining a comfortable living environment in rental homes and commercial spaces. As technology has advanced, various types of thermostats have been developed to cater to different needs, preferences, and energy efficiency goals. Below is an explanation of each of the most common type.

Manual Thermostats

Honeywell Home - Non-Programmable Thermostat

Manual thermostats, also known as mechanical thermostats, are the simplest and most basic type of thermostat available. They require users to manually adjust the temperature by turning a dial or sliding a lever. While manual thermostats are generally less expensive, they lack advanced features and can be less energy-efficient, as maintaining a consistent temperature relies on the user’s diligence in adjusting the settings.

Programmable Thermostats

Honeywell Home - 5-2 Day Programmable Digital Thermostat

Programmable thermostats offer convenience and energy efficiency by allowing users to set a schedule for temperature adjustments based on their daily routines. Users can program specific temperature settings for different times of the day or week, reducing energy consumption when the space is unoccupied. Programmable thermostats effectiveness relies on thoughtful scheduling and occasional adjustments to accommodate changes in routine.

Wi-Fi-Enabled Thermostats

Rental Property Thermostat

Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats are a more advanced option that combines the scheduling capabilities of programmable thermostats with wireless connectivity. These devices can be controlled remotely through smartphones, tablets, or computers, allowing users to adjust temperature settings from anywhere with internet access. Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats offer greater flexibility and convenience, as users can make adjustments on-the-go, accommodating unexpected schedule changes or adjusting for weather fluctuations.

Smart Thermostats 

ecobee - Smart Thermostat Premium, Air Quality Monitor

Smart thermostats utilize the latest advancements in thermostat technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize temperature control, energy efficiency, and user comfort. These devices learn from users’ habits and preferences, automatically adjusting temperature settings to achieve the optimal balance between comfort and energy savings. Although typically more expensive than other types of thermostats, the energy savings and convenience can make them a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Thermostat Repair and installation

How to Hire an HVAC Pro

How to Hire a HVAC Pro for a Rental Property

Thermostats are the physical hardware responsible for controlling and maintaining comfortable environments within a rental property. To repair or install one, hiring an HVAC technician for your rental property unit can ensure that the job is done correctly with minimal tenant disruption.

Where to Find Rental Property HVAC Pros

How to Find Rental Property Contractors and Service Professionals

Finding qualified, honest, and reliable HVAC technicians can be easily done via online service directories. These platforms directly connect landlords and property managers, to local service providers who can work on installations and repairs ranging from rental property ceiling fans to door handles.

Can Landlords Lock a Thermostat to Prevent Tenants From Adjusting the Temperature in a Rental Unit?

The legality of locking thermostats largely depends on local regulations and the terms stated in the rental agreement. In many jurisdictions, landlords are required to ensure that rental units meet certain standards of habitability, which includes maintaining a reasonable temperature range. However, landlords might be permitted to set a thermostat within that reasonable range to prevent energy wastage or extreme settings, especially if the landlord covers the rental property’s utility costs. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to be familiar with local building codes and regulations, and always specify any restrictions related to thermostat settings in the lease agreement.

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