5 smart home devices for sustainable short-term rentals

Save money and staff resources with these green tech solutions

If you want to create sustainable short-term rentals, there are some key smart home devices which will help you do this easily. At the same time, they will also allow you to show respect to the neighbours in your destinations. Not to mention the savings you will make from better energy consumption and preventative property maintenance.

Here we will focus on our top 5 smart home devices which will all gain you points in the Sustonica criteria for City Apartments and Townhouses, Country Homes and Country Homes with Pools.



1. Smart thermostats for inside the property

One of the most energy intensive aspects of your vacation rentals is likely to be cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. If you include either of these in your rental price, you can get a nasty shock if there is a particularly cold or hot spell. Guests may decide to ramp up the heating thermostats or put the air conditioning on really cold. Plus, if they go out for a day, they may leave the heating or cooling on these extreme levels, creating a big utility bill for you.

By installing a smart thermostat, you will be able to set limits on the temperatures that guests can choose. This will ensure that they cannot set the heating or air conditioning at extreme levels.

Another consideration is when the property is empty between rentals or unoccupied for a longer time, say during the winter months. With a smart thermostat, you can regulate the heating and cooling remotely. This means that you will save energy (and carbon emissions) as well as staff time as they will not need to visit the property in person.


DID YOU KNOW? – Having a smart indoor thermostat can get you up to 2.73% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? This smart home device avoids wasting energy when temperatures are set at extreme levels by guests. It also regulates heating and cooling remotely when the property is empty.



2. Smart thermostats for swimming pools/hot tubs

There are a number of actions you can take to make your pool or hot tub more eco-friendly and installing a smart thermostat is one of the wisest investments. Heating water is highly energy-intensive and can be affected by the weather if your pool or hot tub is outdoors.

Interestingly, a smart thermostat can offer a number of different functions as well as regulating the temperature:

  • Temperature control
  • Energy efficiency
  • Remote control
  • Weather monitoring
  • Maintenance alerts

With the effects of climate change, many destinations across the world are experiencing extreme heat in the summer months. Consequently, your smart thermostat will be able to adjust the heating of your pool automatically during these times. This will save you money and also removes the need for your pool maintenance company to attend in person. Another cost-saving benefit is the ability to create maintenance alerts when your pool or hot tub needs attention. This will make sure that your pool is checked at regular intervals and well-maintained, avoiding costly repairs. Having a swimming pool or hot tub is such an important part of the guest experience, and it is vital to keep it in good working order.


DID YOU KNOW? – Having a smart thermostat for your pool or hot tub can get you up to 2.00% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Heating water can use a lot of electricity and as such can create wasted energy and carbon emissions when not managed efficiently. A smart thermostat offers precise temperature control and reduces the need for manual adjustments.



3. Smart occupancy sensors

Another really innovative smart home device is the occupancy sensor. This smart device can perform actions remotely by detecting when guests are inside your property.

Guests often behave differently when they are on holiday and forget to turn off the lights when they go out, for example. With a smart occupancy sensor, the lights can be turned off automatically after a pre-set time when no movement has been detected. Undoubtedly, this will save you money on your electricity bills and the related carbon emissions.

When connected with a smart thermostat, a smart occupancy sensor can also adjust the temperature of a room when there is no one in it. Consequently, this means that you do not have to send a member of staff to turn off the heating or cooling manually between bookings.

In addition, a smart occupancy sensor will improve security by sending you an alert when there is movement inside a property which is meant to be empty.


DID YOU KNOW? – Having a smart occupancy sensor can get you up to 2.73% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Use of occupancy sensors for lighting can save up to 30% electricity used for lighting and combined with smart thermostats can also turn on/off the air-con and heating systems when guests are not home.


MODO, is offering 10% discount for friends of Sustonica. Mention “Sustonica” when you call sales on +34 871 15 38 51.



4. Noise monitoring devices

Probably one of the most common complaints brought against vacation rentals is about noisy guests. Rent Responsibly have data to suggest that noise accounts for approximately 75% of neighbour nuisance complaints.

Being a good neighbour is a really important part of running a short-term rental with the mounting resistance from local communities and increasing regulation. Of course, you cannot always stop guests playing music or partying late into the night even if you have house rules. The important thing is that you can deal with it promptly and demonstrate to the neighbours that you are a responsible property manager.

Consequently, installing noise monitoring is one of the best smart home devices you can choose if you are managing rentals in a city or residential area. This smart tech will alert you when the noise levels surpass a certain level. This will allow you to contact the guests and remind them politely of your house rules. You can continue to monitor the noise and, if needed, you can make a personal visit. It will also allow you to apologise to the neighbours, rather than them complaining to you first.


DID YOU KNOW? – Having a noise monitoring device can get you up to 2.73% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Real time noise monitoring devices prove that you are respectful of the community, that you are mindful of disturbance or nuisance to your neighbours. They prevent noise pollution, damages and neighbour complaints.



5. Leak detection systems

They always say that prevention is better than cure. This is particularly true for vacation rentals. When something goes wrong, it can severely affect your guests and result in bad reviews.

Having a water leak can be one of the worst of these incidents. It can make your property uninhabitable, resulting in the need to cancel bookings or even having to move out guests during their stay in a severe case of flooding. In addition, there could be water damage to ceilings or floors in addition to the work needed to repair the leak. Not to mention the cost of wasted water, which can go undetected for some time until the problem becomes more serious.

Consequently, a leak detection system could be one of the most important smart home devices you install.


DID YOU KNOW? Having a leak detection system can get you up to 11.93% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? The EPA estimates that fixing easily corrected household leaks can save an average household approximately 37,854 litres (10,000 gallons) of water per year.



Smart home devices make your life easier by taking away the anxiety of high energy bills, whilst allowing you to monitor your properties remotely. They also show to guests that you care about your carbon emissions and manage your rentals in a responsible way.



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