4 Tips For Managing Heating and Cooling Costs at Your Vacation Rental

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Reduce heating and cooling costs and keep your renters happy.

Like most landlords, you want to keep your vacation rental comfortable for your guests while also keeping costs down. Heating and cooling can be an enormous expense, but there are some things you can do to manage those costs. Here are 4 tips:

1. Educate Your Guests

Help your guests help you by educating them on how to use the heating and cooling system in your vacation rental. Make sure they know how to adjust the thermostat and, if possible, provide them with information on what temperature is comfortable for different weather. For complex systems, make a video tutorial or provide written instructions. It may sound standoffish, but you can also include a section outlining the proper heating and cooling system used in your rental agreement.

2. Change the HVAC’s Filters Regularly

Regularly changing your heating and cooling system’s filters can improve efficiency and prevent it from working harder (and using more energy) than needed. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to manage heating and cooling costs. If you’re unsure how often to change the filters, check with the system’s manufacturer.

Regular upkeep of your HVAC unit can help it last longer and operate more efficiently. Schedule an annual check-up with a professional to ensure that your unit is in good shape and to identify any potential problems before they become expensive repairs.

3. Keep the Chimney Closed

An open chimney is essentially a hole in your roof through which heat can escape. In the winter, make sure the flue is closed when the fireplace is not in use. In the summer, keep the damper closed to prevent cool air from escaping.

You can also purchase a fireplace plug to seal off the chimney when it’s not in use. Set up a reminder for tenants in units with fireplaces to close the flue before they leave. Consider adding a fee for leaving the fireplace open for short-term or vacation rentals.

The simple reminder in the agreement often encourages guests to be mindful.

4. Use a Tamper Proof Thermostat With an Automatic SetBack Feature

landlord thermostat

Add a landlord thermostat to control heating and cooling costs in your rental.

If you don’t already have a tamper-proof thermostat, now is the time to invest in one. This type of thermostat will prevent guests from accidentally or deliberately changing the temperature, which can help you avoid costly heating and cooling bills.


Chicago Controls Thermostats, for example, have an automatic setback feature that resets the temperature to a pre-determined setting when the unit is unoccupied for a certain period. This is a great way to conserve energy when your vacation rental is empty.

5. Use Curtains or Blinds

Curtains and blinds can help keep the heat in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer. In the winter, close the curtains at night to help keep the heat in and open them during the day to let the sun warm the unit. In the summer, do the opposite—close the curtains during the day to keep the unit cooler and open them at night to let the cool air in.


By following these tips, you can manage your vacation rental’s heating and cooling costs and keep your guests comfortable all year round. To reduce energy use by at least 10%, check out the full line of Chicago Controls Thermostats with automatic setback features.