Can You Install A Smart Thermostat In An Apartment?

Smart Homes are becoming the next big wave of the future, and are on par to bring a lot of technology to people homes in the next few years, and people are getting excited. It is not just technology that people are getting excited for, it’s saving people money every single month. One of the primary focuses for people, especially in states that are requiring us to use less electricity or be forced to pay astronomical prices is MONEY. Smart thermostats have helped people save a ton of money by learning peoples patterns and having schedules that people can count on the AC or heater being turned on before they get home. Having your heating and air get turned off for the 8 to 10 hours or more a day that you are commuting and working is saving people a ton on electricity costs, and helping their electric companies from having to do rolling blackouts. The best thing is, it is not just for homeowners anymore, so people living in apartments can now take advantage of all the features of having a smart home.

Can You Install A Smart Thermostat In An Apartment? Yes, You can most definitely install a smart thermostat in your apartment, and it is relatively easy depending on which model of thermostat you get. There are some factors that you want to look into before buying a new thermostat though, so you do not get in trouble with your landlord for making changes to your apartment. Always look at your lease first and see if there is anything in it stating you cannot make changes to your existing devices. The next is to call your landlord and talk with them and make sure that they have no problem with you making any small changes like adding a smart thermostat. Always keep the old thermostat that you remove in a safe place, so when you move out, you can take your smart thermostat with you. The level of DIY knowledge varies from device to device, so make sure you read the instructions, and if it is too much for you to handle yourself, call an expert to help you install it. Crossing wires can make it so your heat and air will not work, and you do not want to get stuck for days without it.

Types Of Thermostats

There are a TON of thermostats out on the market, but we have created a list of the most popular ones for you to look at. Some of these are very quick to install, while others may take extra wiring knowledge like the Nest. We have put links to the products as well as prices and ratings for you to look at.

  • Ecobee
  • Honeywell Lyric T5
  • Honeywell Lyric
  • Nest
  • Emerson Sensi
  • Google Nest
  • iDevices
  • Lux Geo

As you can see, making a decision is going to be your first hurdle to get over after getting the okay from your landlord. Pick something that has everything you want, and possibly features that you might want to add in the future. Since they are all similar in cost, find the one that has all the features that you want now and in the future if you decide to add more to your smart home.


Depending on the device, and your knowledge with DIY, installation can take you 20 to 30 minutes, up to hours, or needing to call out a technician to help you finish it. Remember that the smart thermostat controls your heat and air, so a crossed wire can cause permanent damage to your units. Usually, all that is needed is a screwdriver, or drill, and some needle nose pliers. There may be a need for wire strippers and black tape, but that is only if you are needing to strip more wire than what came off the old unit. Make sure that you follow the instructions very closely because not all thermostats are the same, and will require different wiring setups, but the tools for mounting should all be the same. After you have installed and turned your new thermostat on, you will be directed to download and install a mobile app for your phone or tablet and will have a step by step walkthrough on how to set up your new device, and all the extra added functions and activities it might come with. Each thermostat manufacturer will have a customer support line if you get stuck, so do not call your phone provider if something goes wrong.

Mobile Controls

Since we live in a modern world, most new thermostats have apps that will be downloaded to your mobile device or tablet. These mobile applications can control your thermostat from anywhere you have a cell signal and can get a connection. This is the huge benefit for them because you can always log in and check your status from work, school, or even the grocery store. If you launch your app and it cannot connect to your smart thermostat, it is most likely an issue with your apartment wifi or your cell service signal. Some thermostats even have mobile apps for smartwatches now, so you do not even need a phone or tablet anymore. A key feature is that if you are running late, or early, you can override the activity and turn your smart thermostat on or off to save even more money.

Can You Take Them With You

It is a good idea to keep the old thermostat that you take out and replace with your smart thermostat so you can take it with you when you go. It is completely within your right as a tenant to take things that you brought with you when you leave the apartment. Since most leases are one and two years, keep the old device and re-install it before your final walk through when you leave. The only time that it is not suggested that you take something, is when you have it in writing that the landlord has reimbursed you for something that you bought. If you had a technician come out and install your smart thermostat, make sure to call a company to come out and replace it back to the old one, and do not just leave exposed wires hanging. Always check with a legal counsel if you have any questions, or do not know the law in your state about moving out because each state is different and they can help you better than us. In our experience, as long as you leave the apartment in the same condition (minus normal wear and tear) you were rented, you should be fine to take it with you.

What Areas In A Apartment Can You Make Smart

After completing a thermostat change, you may be wondering what other areas of your apartment you can make smarter. Here is a brief list of the most common areas people tend to change after having success with their smart thermostats.

  • Smart Lighting
  • Smart Climate Control
  • Smart Security
  • Smart Kitchen

There is a lot more that you can do, and new technology is being made available to us every day, so as this list grows, we will add to it. Please leave us a comment if you have an area that is not on 

this list that was your favorite to do.

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