A/c and heat not controlled in rental unit

Our Airbnb will be in our basement. It’s a 2 bed 1 bath. Our thermostat is located upstairs. How much of a problem will this be?
I do plan on providing a portable heater when it gets cold and extra blankets in summer. It’s always colder down there than upstairs.

You ask how much of a problem this will be.

It’s impossible to know without knowing how comfortable your basement will be, which includes temperature, humidity and air flow.

I understand that basements are cooler than upstairs, but here in MA for instance basements can still get hot.

I suggest:

Get a device to track remotely the temperature and humidity. That way you’ll know the conditions there. Don’t wait for guests to complain. Be proactive.

Stay down there yourselves overnight on a typical or even hot summer night, and on a winter day/night. Is it comfortable? Is there a way by opening certain doors and windows to create a breeze?

Ask your guests how comfortable it is.

Evaluate the appropriate bedding and linens given the conditions. For example, if it’s more humid in the basement that might be a factor for cotton sheets or a factor against certain other fabrics. If it’s humid and towels don’t dry, access to a dyer would be appreciated.

You might find yourself deciding that a fan(s), dehumidifier(s), air conditioner(s), space heater (s) are desirable. As an aside, research carefully the space heater you get and document prominently its do’s/don’ts uses as many home fires are the result of improper use of space heaters. Consider putting labels on the space heater itself in case your guest does not read the House Guide.


My STR is located on my second floor and there’s no thermostat so here’s what I write in the check in message. I edit out the heating or cooling depending on the season:

4a ) Cooling in the Summer- Right now there is on Air Condition (AC) installed in the den and bedroom . When leaving the suite, please shut of the AC to help keep consumption of energy down.

4b) Heating in the winter - there are no temperature controls in the suite. We keep the temperature at 70 during the day and 68 at night. We also have extra blankets in the closet. If you are cold and want us to raise the heat (within reason) just send us a message via the Airbnb message app.

Has anyone complained? Do they message you to turn up or down the heat?

There will be guests who don’t mind but I wouldn’t stay in a place where I couldn’t regulate the temperature.

Are there any laws in your area about minimum and maximum temperatures in STRs?

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I’ve been running an airbnb since 2016 and in all the time only a few people asked me to turn up the heat. One guy asked it to be raise to 80 degrees F. I went upstairs to check the STR and discovered he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the winter. I explained that I’m happy to raise heat but not that high.

I’ve had no complaints from guests. I do disclose this in the listing.

As far as I know there’s no specific regulations but in the winter I pay attention to where my guests are traveling from. If Northern states then I keep it cooler. Folks from Florida I set higher.

Also, my house is very well insulated and it’s the 2nd floor so it’s usually quite warm.

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Unfortunately, most people aren’t complainers. Of course, there are those who find fault with everything but the majority of people tend not to complain at the time.

I have had several guests who have complained like crazy about the last place they stayed because it was too hot or too cold. Everyone is different.

Even in the old days when I was hosting in-home, guests could always regulate the heat in their rooms via the radiators.

For most hosts, making sure that your accounts allow for the occasional guest who will go bonkers with heating or cooling can add a lot to a guest’s experience.

That’s me. Almost everywhere is too cold for me. :slight_smile:

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These little units, if you can find them, are awesome. Infrared heater, not a fire hazard. Outside of them doesn’t even get hot, and they are actually attractive.

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I think the trick to a situation like this is to just to stay ahead of it. Make sure that you disclose it in your listing and then let your guests know that you’re willing to adjust it for them and then send them a message after their first night and ask if they are comfortable temperature-wise or not.

The land mines to watch for with guests not being able to control the thermostat is that you don’t want them to be uncomfortable and not tell you and you don’t want to come off as stingy, so you stay ahead of those two things.

My guests have full control over their thermostats and I follow the same procedure. Instead of saying that I will adjust, I make a point of telling them to make themselves comfortable and I check in about the temperature the first morning too.

I wondered what they did with all of those TV cabinets from the 60s :wink: A buddy of mine made an aquarium out of his grandparent’s TV.

Yes, infrared heaters are a great choice. I’ve read that they don’t heat you up as fast as some other kinds of heaters, but it’s also a more even heat. As you point out it’s not a fire hazard, which is a big deal given that you have guests who might leave it on unattended, place within three feet of flammable objects, or do something else dangerous.

That was a photo of one that my friend had in her Airbnb suite. I stayed in that suite, and just loved that heater. It has a remote, so you could turn down the temp before going to sleep, and then turn it up from bed 5 minutes before emerging from under the covers.

I would be opening windows in that heat!


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My experience with that heater at my friend’s place was that it heated up the room quite quickly. However, they work best if there are soft objects in the room, i.e. curtains rather than blinds, some throw rugs, etc., rather than a lot of wide open empty space and hard surfaces, as they heat the objects and people in the room, as opposed to the air. Those objects then radiate the heat they absorb into the room.

It’s way too hot for me too. When I don’t have guests I keep it at about 63 in the winter.

Also, I have an app on my phone so I can adjust the heat no matter where I am If I get a message.

And I do send them a welcome message and remind them that if they need the heat adjusted I’m happy to do it. It is also disclosed in my listing and when I send them the check in info.

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@Cyndyrr327 – as you can tell from the above responses, “it all depends”. Part of it is where you live and who your guests are. If you’re in Florida and it’s summer, and your visitors are from Europe (or Maine), then 78F is too hot. If you’re in Europe and your guests are American, then anything below 21C is too cold any time of year.

Exactly. Canadians are truly bizarre about temperature and when I take my annual trip back to Canada in the summer I am always struck by this. When the winters drag on into late spring, which they often do, Canadians are all complaining, asking when is it ever going to be summer. Then, the first “hot” day (which for me is a perfectly lovely temperature), they all have their AC on, turned down to Arctic temps and complain that it’s too hot outside. You go in a grocery store in the summer in Canada and the employees are all wearing long sleeves. Why chill a place in the summer to the point that you have to dress like it’s winter? It boggles my mind.

One reason I would never want to holiday in Great Britain in the winter is that it seems, from my reading, that Brits keep their heat turned down in the winter (I get it that heat there is quite expensive), even sometimes turning it off entirely overnight, and consider that, and wearing bulky sweaters indoors, to be totally normal.
While I don’t expect to be able to prance around in a bikini indoors in the winter, I also think that if more clothing than a long sleeved top and long pants and socks aren’t adequate to be comfortable, it’s way too cold.

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For those of u who state in your listing that heat and a/c are controlled upstairs, would you mind sharing your wording?

Thermostat for heat is limited to 73* AC limited to 68*


Not this Brit. The winter is exactly the time when the heating is ramped right up. I used to set mine to at least 85. Mind you, utilities weren’t as costly in those days.

It seems that Canadians are the same as the English in that as soon as the weather gets warm, people start complaining that it’s ‘too hot’.