Are you thinking about making your home a smart home? If you’re a renter, you may be thinking that this is out of your grasp. But if you have a property that you love renting, you can still upgrade it… you just need to focus on upgrades that you can potentially take with you when you leave. One great choice can be a smart thermostat, but because it has to be wired in, it can be a little more complicated than something like lights.

Stop! Check Your Lease First!

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 favorable. When in doubt, ask your landlord for permission. Your landlord may even be enthused about the idea of installing a smart thermostat. Now that we have that covered…

Why Would You Want a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat will automatically adjust your temperature dependent on the time of day. You can schedule the thermostat to turn down the heating while you’re at work, or to let the home get warmer when you’re already asleep in bed. A smart thermostat tracks your energy usage, to analyze your data and find the appropriate ways to adjust your temperature and keep you comfortable while also saving you money. Because of that, a smart thermostat can save you a lot of money. Smart thermostats:

  • Reduce your energy costs.
  • Make you more comfortable.
  • Are better for the environment.

How Does Your Heating Work?

Before you start looking up smart thermostats, keep in mind that how your heating works matters. If your heating is communal, in an apartment, there’s going to be very few ways a smart thermostat can be wired in. In many apartment situations, the thermostat either doesn’t control temperature at all (some are disconnected!) or the thermostat simply controls whether the vents open or close. And, of course, if you’re not paying for the amount of energy you use, it might not be a good idea.

So What Are Your Options?

Once you’ve determined how your heating and cooling works (and, potentially, gotten permission from your landlord), you may be wondering what your actual options are. Smart thermostats such as the Nest require 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 as long as you’re paying for the cost of the thermostat. They might even be willing to reduce your rent to compensate for it, if they want to keep the system after you leave. But you need to be confident with the installation, and, again, the home needs to have fairly new wiring.

For most people, 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. In the future, more systems will likely be easier to install, modular, and wireless.


Ultimately, you can install any type of smart thermostat with the help of your landlord, and most thermostats are useful enough that a landlord will be on board. Smart thermostat are easy to install, and landlords enjoy them because they boost the value of their rental. For more information about smart home technology — and whether it can fit into your home — contact the experts at Protect America.