A/C control abuse by guests


I am new to this forum, and I had a question regarding guests the A/C thermostat.

I have a house in Palm Desert, which is naturally hot, and equipped with a smart thermostat. Even though guests are informed not to set the temperature lower than 74 degrees, when I check remotely, the temp’ is often 64 or 68 degrees! This is so wasteful, not to mention expensive. I thought perhaps to install a lockable cover to the thermostat (to prevent guest tampering) and set the temp’ at 74 degrees.

What are people’s thoughts on that? Do you think guests would be angry they have no control, or understand the need to conserve energy?

I would love to hear opinions.

I’m torn on this. Yes, it is a wasteful level, but people are also on vacation. You could set up a cover to prevent tampering, but you would also need to be willing to lower it if requested and let guests know you are willing to adjust. You could have verbiage in your house rules that to conserve energy the temperature is set to 74 in the unit and it is controlled remotely. If they need to make adjustments they can contact you.

I’m in El Paso and have a window unit that supplements the central swamp cooler. I’ve asked in the guest guide that they please turn it off when they are not in the room. I’ve just added it to the rules. Yet people turn it on and go out and it’s not even hot. The room is small and cools down quickly, It simply isn’t necessary to leave it on all the time. I’m also wondering what, if anything, I can or should do.

Can’t your smart thermostat be set in such a way that they can’t lower the temp further? If not then I would get a locking cover. Yes, some guests might not like it so you have to make it absolutely clear in your listing.


This happens with my frequently, but I look at it as the cost of doing business. People are on vacation and want to be comfortable. It’s my job to provide with the most comfortable experience I can. That said, I have my price set to where I make money if they turn my place into an ice box. I would suggest adjusting your price instead of being confrontational about this issue. Just my thoughts.


For some of us it’s the house we live in and most people aren’t on vacation who stay here. I feel a little like, my house, my rules. Choose a different place if you don’t like my set up. And though I raised my summer price $3 to cover the cost, everyone is having to pay for it, not just the energy hogs. (I know you weren’t addressing me and I’m not arguing, just thinking aloud.)

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You’ve already had proof that guests will ignore instructions about the A/C. It affects your pocket so I say yes, definitely install a lockable cover.

I have a seasonable home in Palm Desert and I know what you mean about the heat. I keep it set at a comfortable 76-77, rarely lower. It’s just not necessary.

When just sitting around, 74 can be darn cold.

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To be honest I’ve been places and they said don’t turn the heat up it’s was honestly so cold we turned up to full, maybe you live there so your used to the heat but if it was your first time you could be roasting so naturally you turn down the AC, I don’t think you can stop people

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I too have had the identical situation happen. Not only is it in the online and hard-copy house rules not to lower the temp past 74 degrees, I’ve had people leave their garden doors wide open and set it to 68! But no longer…there is a setting on my Honeywell Smart Thermostat that prevents going above or below whatever values I set; no way to override it from the panel! Read the instructions and do it too!

I’ve only had one person who complained that that is wasn’t “cold” enough, but said the “ceiling fan made up for it”.


I want to invest in something that will turn the air/heat off if windows and doors are open for so long. Then again…I don’t want to deprive someone from wanting to crack a window. But I don’t know if such a thing exists and today the funds aren’t there so I just hope and pray my guests are only leaving some windows open on the last day.

But is it humid there? If not, then that temp. I guess is okay. I am in NC and nowhere like FL humidity and New Orleans but it’s hot and muggy in summer. At least for me. In this area 74 is uncomfortably warm.

I cannot just set a “temp” in my own living place all summer long as 70 degrees A/C feels different if it is hot and muggy outside or just hot an dry, or kind of cool. My guests have access to complete thermostat and main worry is windows and doors open for an entire week and the place is cooling the outside. It’s a separate house.


74 degrees is bloody cold. When the temperature here is 74, you’ll find me wearing socks, a sweater and possibly a wooly scarf.

I’ve had guests who set the AC to 70 (or even lower) and guests who haven’t used the AC at all. Over a year, it balances out. I prefer guests to be comfortable rather than imposing my own ideas about what temperature is right for them.

We don’t even have AC in our apartment but last year we were in a rental (locally) where the thermostat was set to 78 degrees. I was freezing and had to contact the host to change it to at least 80.

As others have said, there are devices that will allow you to set the AC to a tamper-proof temperature but I prefer to let guests choose for themselves - just as I like to do when I’m a guest.


78 degrees A/C?? I really do need to focus on Floridians for the summer months :smile: Except the one coming the week before Memorial Day weekend who begged for firewood for each day. Yikes!! Everyone else is out sweating and jumping into lakes…lol.

As long as it’s made clear in your listing that you don’t permit the air conditioning to be set lower than 74 degrees, it’s fine for you to get a lockable thermostat cover. Personally, I would be angry if I arrived at a vacation house to find out that I couldn’t turn the air conditioning lower than 74 degrees. I am comfortable at about 68 degrees in the daytime and about 64 degrees at night.

On the Gulf coast, we’re like jaquo more or less; we keep the house a/c at 79 or 80; but the rental cabana has its own a/c and folks can set it to what they want. We had guests a week back who had it so cold in there that the glass was frosted! It was 85 outside and 63 inside and the guests were bundled up – go figure!

If guests are sharing your house, it is your house, and you control the a/c; if you don’t want it messed with, put a cover on the controls


I agree with jaquo, 74F is cold. I put mine no lower than 76F, and still sometimes i get cold.

In one of my downstairs bedroom there is no ceiling fan. I had guests who said that it gets very warm during night.
yesterday i slept in that bedroom and had to use very warm comforter to get comfortable with AC blowing right on me. So, for me its a total mystery why and not one of my guests tell me its warm in that bedroom.

In one room there is only window AC. I noticed that it works non stop when the guest is in a room. Once i needed to pick up something from the room, and when i walked in it was freezing in there. AC was on FAN position which means it was working non stop at all times. The guest was laying in bed with his sweatshirt on, and covered with thick comforter. AC was set to 68F.

Now after our short converstaion about his insanity and wastefulness i dont think he even turns AC on anymore, hehehe.

I do not have AC, only ever had it mentioned once and I said the windows open.

74 degrees is cold? Perhaps you’re using the Kelvin scale, if so I’d agree. 74 Fahrenheit is warm and anything above 76F is way too bloody hot for sleeping. I can’t sleep warmer than about 75.

It’s what you are used to. In winter here we let the temps drop to 65F overnight and we wake up dripping in sweat if it’s much warmer. Summer we set the AC to 73 at night.

A lockable cover might be a problem for guests who aren’t used to your climate. Ideally the thermostat would have some sort of short term restricted range, but I don’t know any that can do that. Maybe just threaten to charge extra or guests setting the AC below some level, and see what happens!


The condo I rented in Maui had very specific instructions about how to use the AC and a process of being charged for it whenever it was turned on. Some reviews grumbled about the extra AC charges while others expressed gratitude/relief that AC was available. We didn’t use it, though, so I didn’t see how the set-up actually monitors usage.

As I sit here with my AC on 70F…

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what is AC? Current ?

Ok only joking but this is like my hearing thread just the other way round!

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Which to me is why we should offer our guests the choice. :slight_smile:

Some guests though, who are from cool climates, revel in the heat because it’s a novelty for them. Recent guests from Norway were like that.

I have no idea. I use whatever it is that the weather app uses! It’s 78 here now (just after 7 am) but will be 85 later - if the app is to be believed.