Smart thermostats have seen rapid adoption rates across the globe in the last few years, with many homes and businesses replacing viable traditional thermostats with higher-tech models. What’s causing so many people to shell out money on an improvement that isn’t preceded by a broken component? Perhaps it’s the fact that you can do so much more with a smart thermostat. Here are just three things you can do to increase profits for your rental properties with a smart thermostat.
According to the Department of Energy, HVAC functions — heating and cooling a residence — account for 48 percent of the cost of energy within a home each year. That means HVAC costs could be half of the utility bill for your rental properties, pulling down your profit margins if you cover these costs yourself.
Smart thermostats help you take control of those costs, potentially saving hundreds a year if you’re dealing with vacation homes that aren’t occupied all the time. That’s possible because you can control your thermostat from a smartphone, tablet or computer, ensuring it’s turned down or off at the relevant times and adjusting it to more comfortable temperatures to prepare the space for a renter.
If you manage properties with long-term tenants, they may pay their own utility bills. Equipping their units with smart thermostats allows them to save money and benefit from convenience, which boosts the value of each unit, potentially increasing your profits.
Short-term rental situations can require hands-on attention each time vacationers are done with the property. While you can task a housekeeping company with returning the space to pristine condition for the next renters, you may want to ensure that appliances and lights are off and HVAC controls are returned to normal yourself.
Because vacationers aren’t paying for utilities themselves, they often use their time off in a new location to pamper themselves. It’s common for hotel guests to turn room thermostats down to much lower than most people keep their home thermostat, for example, and that can be true in rental apartments and homes too.
But visiting your rental properties physically after every vacation rental is complete doesn’t always make sense. Whether you’re managing multiple properties in town or handling a single timeshare from afar, a smart thermostat lets you check the status of the system from any location with a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Adjust HVAC settings and ensure that everything seems to be functioning well with just a few minutes and a couple of taps on a mobile device screen.
Finally, a smart thermostat lets you increase comfort for tenants or yourself. You can program an automated HVAC system to adjust temperatures within the residence at certain times of day. For example, you might increase air conditioning during the hottest part of the day and decrease it at night; the benefit is that the rooms stay more comfortable without anyone having to remember to make those changes.
But the best smart thermostats go beyond simple programming. Some of them are programmed to learn preferences and trends, so they begin to adjust automatically to create the most favorable environment in the future. Obviously, this type of smart thermostat would be more useful in a property where long-term residents rented or lived, while the remote control capabilities would be most useful in a vacation rental.
You can upgrade thermostats in properties you manage using stand-alone systems accessed from apps on your mobile devices. Alternatively, you can include a smart thermostat in a wider upgrade that also includes smart locks, lights and other appliances for full automation of your property.
Chris Stasik has more than 20 years’ experience in selling, installing and designing home audio/video and technology systems.