The Best Smart Thermostat For An Apartment


There are many smart thermostats out there, and you can find some that are even less expensive options, but getting one that suits your apartment is something different. If you want to invest all your money is a smart thermostat for your apartment, then at least you want it to work right out of the box and also perform everything that you want it to.

The Best Smart Thermostat for Apartment

  • Ecobee 3 Lite smart thermostat
  • Ecobee4 smart thermostat

If you are looking for the best smart thermostat for your apartment, the answer is pretty darn simple. The Ecobee line is the way to go.

Although there are some few caveats that ill get into in this article, the most highly recommended smart thermostat for an apartment is by large the Ecobee. And there are a couple of options that you can choose from in the Ecobee line, including their latest Ecobee 5th generation.

What Makes The Ecobee Great For Apartments?

Remote Room Sensor

Originally when the Ecobee3 lite was released, it did not have support for extra remote sensors. But that changed in 2017 as Ecobee announced that their lite version would now be able to support remote room sensors as well.

This information comes in handy if you have a baby’s room or an office that you want to make sure the temperatures are right when someone is in the room.

Compatibility and Integration

If you already have a home hub, that is good news! Ecobee thermostats can integrate with just any smart home hub that you throw at it. These include IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, wink, amazon Echo, echo dot, and also the Apple HomeKit.

It’s Cheaper!

Ecobee thermostats are some of the least expensive thermostats I’ve ever come across. If you are budget-minded and the price of some of the thermostats scares you off, get these Ecobee models.

They are a phenomenal choice that will fit into your budget, especially the lite version is the cheapest of them all. You can check the current price on Amazon right here.

Why A Smart Thermostat For an Apartment?

There are many reasons why people buy smart thermostats.  The reasons why an apartment dweller and a homeowner would purchase are different.

The reason is if you live in an apartment, there is not much space that you need to be concerned with, nor multiple zones that you need to get heating. This means that energy savings are probably not as important to you as comfort and convenience.

From a convenience standpoint, it is very important that you get to know when the temperature in your apartment suddenly drops or when the room of your baby is properly heat.

When you have a smart home thermostat in your apartment, you are able to control the temperature and be able to do it from the comfort of your room. You can also control it with Alexa or control your smart home thermostat with google home.

I always say that comfort is king! That is why I personally like to have complete control of what the temperature of the room is.

Ecobee 3 Lite: Affordable Comfort

When the Ecobee3 lite debuted, it was the favorite smart thermostat due to the ease of use, interconnectivity with the other smart home devices, ability to monitor the temperature in more than one room in your house.

The Ecobee3 Lite is well priced in the middle of the road and does everything that most people that are living in apartments expect or ould need from a smart home thermostat.

I have actually installed four of them in my house, each of them in every zone. For most apartments, only one of these would cover the whole unit. They are also easy to set up even if you are a beginner techie. I have written an article here on how to set them up.

Though the Ecobee3 lite lacks some of the features of its premium cousin, it is the best choice for small apartments.

I was surprised at how cheap I was able to get the Ecobee3 Lite thermostat from the listing here on Amazon.

Pros of Ecobee3 Lite

  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit
  • Easy installation
  • Attractive interface
  • Works with remote sensors

Cons of Ecobee3 lite

  • Lacks geofencing

Ecobe3 lite Design and Interface

The Ecobee3 lite looks similar to the more expensive ecobee3 such that it also has a rounded all black face and a white back, although the sides of the lite model taper inwards so that the area where it meets the base plate is smaller than the front.

It has a rectangular 3.5-inch color touchscreen on the front that enables you to view and change the temperature. They are also very easy to use and very responsive to touch.

The home screen of the Ecobee displays the current temperature inside of your apartment, the current humidity level, and the current state of the system. There are also icons along the bottom that adjust settings and also view the local weather forecast.

Ecobee 3 lite Features

The biggest difference between the ecobee3 and the lite version is that the latter comes with a separate room sensor. You can also pair it with remote sensors that can be purchased separately; you can get a two-pack that would do good.  That is the most favorite feature of the ecobee3, and the most practical.

However, if you have a small apartment or a studio, you don’t have the need to get the extra sensor with the added cost. 

The Ecobee3 lite lacks a geofencing feature; this means that it will not be able to switch from away to home mode if you get within a certain radius of your apartment.

You can mitigate this by connecting the Ecobee to IFTTT by using a geofencing recipe, but this will be an extra step.

However, the Ecobee3 lite version has motion sensors, and this enables it to turn on if you walk in front of it automatically.

Ecobee 3 Lite Smart Home Integration

Of all the smart thermostats, this Ecobee 3 lite is one of the most connected and works with amazon echo, google home, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Wink, and Control4 systems.

When I compare it with other smart thermostats that are similarly priced like the Honeywell Lyric T5, while compatible with Alexa and Apple HomeKit, do not work with near most of them.

Ecobee 4: Comfort Everywhere

The ecobee4 smart thermostat is the big brother to the Ecobee 3 lite smart thermostat. It comes with sensors that you can have placed throughout your apartment to help you monitor the temperature in different areas. There are some big adjustments to this thermostat.

Features of Ecobee 4

Alexa is Built Right in!

The biggest overhaul is Alexa integration that was made to this ecobee4 thermostat. By adding this feature, the ecobee4 became more than just a smart thermostat. It is now a voice assistant that allows you to control the thermostat with your voice as well as other smart home devices that you may have in the apartment.

LED Light

The LED light is another beautiful addition to this already smart-looking thermostat.  When is even more exciting is that when you say “Alexa,” it lights up and then lets you o say all kind of commands.

Far-field Voice Recognition

The partnership with Amazon was for a reason — the intention was to use the same type of technology in the same thermostat. You don’t have to be next to the thermostat for it to be able to hear from you.

It’s Easy to Schedule.

Every smart thermostat that you will get on the market right now is easier to schedule than the tiny LED screen programmable thermostats of ten years ago. But the Ecobee4 shines in scheduling because you get to have complete control. It does not limit you to a particular number of adjustment periods per day, and you have tight control over the swing range.

Room Sensors are Reliable and Useful

There is one sensor that is included in the box, and you can still add more if you like. It is also a small, unobstructed plastic square that runs for over a year on battery power alone and monitors the temperature in any room you are going to place it.

It also communicates temperature readings back to the main unit that also incorporates the temperature data in the heating and cooling decisions.  These sensors also act as motion sensors.

Excellent HVAC Compatibility

This is possibly the best you can get on the market right now. Each of the Ecobee models you get ships with a power extender kit in the box, and it is very easy to wire in your furnace.

The (free, automatic) HomeIQ

This helps to deliver the report of a summary of the HVAC runtime every month. This is useful in figuring out why your HVAC is running when it is and is also something to browse each month when they come out.

Nice Touches and Extras

Has a clock on the idle screen to help the Echo built in to distinguish the Echo you are talking to in a room that may have more than one. This helps with alerts for maintenance and temperature readings.

Ecobee4 Alerts

Alerts are a great way to help you keep an eye on your apartment hen you are not around. You can set up your ecobee4 to alert you for a variety of conditions that include:

  • Time for HVAC maintenance
  • Furnace filter needs to be cleaned or replaced at the time interval you choose
  • Ventilator filter needs to be cleaned or replaced
  • UV lamp needs to be cleaned or replaced
  • The temperature is below x, where x is between 35 and 86 degrees F
  • Temperatures are higher than Y where Y is between 60 and 104 degrees F
  • Auxiliary heat source has run longer than X, that is between 30 minutes and 8 hours
  • The humidity is too low or too high. The acceptable range is 5-95%
  • Error condition alerts
  • Communication lost with sensors
  • Low sensor battery alerts

These alerts can be displayed on the hardware unit, or they can be emailed. You choose the types of alerts you want and put the rest off.

Ecobee4 Installation and Setup

The app will help you through the installation and diagrams. This is easy to follow, and the process of linking the thermostat to the Ecobee app is easy.

You just have to enter the four-digit code that you are given by the thermostat, and you are connected. 

Setting up Alexa is also easy; you just have to enter the Amazon credentials, and she starts responding.  

You have to add the ecobee4 as a device in your Alexa app. I have written an article here on how you can connect ecobee4 to Google Home.

You cannot get this Ecobee4 any cheaper than from the listing here on Amazon. Have a look at the cheap price and the customer reviews too.

Check With Your Landlord

You should first consider asking your landlord to avoid voiding your lease and potentially having to face some legal action that may be taken against you. It would be much easier if you would go to your landed and explain it to them.

You can mention it to them that this is an improvement to the apartment, and it does not cost them anything.


I stayed in an apartment for quite some time before I finally moved out, and I can tell that it is really hard to live and work with someone’s lifestyle choices made for you.

But that should not limit you and stop you from living a better life. You should live in a better smart and comfortable environment. Hopefully, you have a landlord that is also smart enough and will know when you are upgrading for free.

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