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Air conditioner rules ignored- or am I crazy?


#1

We are hosting our house and it has air conditioning. Problem is- a few times now folks have left it on night and day with the windows open. This is driving me to distraction so we put a tool on that lets us monitor use and control the settings. I am very clear in my listing that if the air is cool outside- to please turn the air conditioner off and use the window fans to cool down the house. We lived there for 7 years and had a system that kept the house at perfect temperature.
We have ceiling fans in each room and window fans as well.
People are leaving all day with it on- and coming home at night and allowing it to continue to run even though it is 64 degrees outside.
How can I make myself clear that this is unacceptable. Am I being crazy? It is really making me feel like I don’t want to host anymore.


#3

I think you’ve established what the normal mode of behavior is. So now to work out how much extra its costing you and put up the price to cover the cost, then forget about it. You will drive yourself crazy if you try and get people to behave differently. If in every other respect they are respecting your place it sounds fine. If you can switch it on and off remotely, you could rent it out in 2 listings one with aircon (at a higher price) and one without. So people can pay a premium for it and can do what they want.


#4

Put a large sign / note on a visible place saying something like “please turn the air conditioner off and use the window fans to cool down the house” and explain why. Many people don’t care to read the instructions you put on the online listing and even less people remember them when they arrive at your place. In my apartment I put signs and notes everywhere to avoid “mistakes”; On the exit door I have a big sign “please turn off the lights before you leave the apartment”, in the entrance hall I have a big sign saying “please take off your outdoor shoes by the entrance to protect the floors” etc. In the flat I’ve put multiple detailed written instructions how to use appliances and how to behave to avoid damage. Some people will ignore your rules anyways, but it certainly helps to put signs and instructions in the flat as a reminder. It’s all about communication.


#5

Did you try to tell them in person when they arrive? Maybe twice, to make them feel its important. Guests usually dont read the guide or the rules.


#6

Leaving the windows open with the AC on is absolutely unacceptable. I would make a section in your house rules addressing the air conditioner. I think it will be very difficult to get people to open windows and use fans, but I would note something like this to help curb the problem:

Air Conditioning use: Unlike many other rentals, we do not have restrictions on thermostat settings, as we want our guests to feel very comfortable during their stay. Guests may adjust the temperature to any degree they wish while staying in the home. However, guests must adjust the temperature when leaving the home. It is also unacceptable to use the air conditioner while windows are open. The A/C is monitored remotely. Ignoring this rule will result in a $50 fee being withheld from the damage deposit. Please let me know in your inquiry that you agree and acknowledge this section of the house rules. We also provide plenty of window fans for your enjoyment when it is cool outside, and you would like to take advantage of the fresh air.

That’s just a rough draft. But I think it will help people to be much more conscious and deter the abuse.


#7

My thought on it that’s it’s pretty hopeless to expect your guests to “behave” when it comes to AC. First, can you just turn off AC if it’s 64f outside? But when I was in Italy this summer they have this system when you open windows, your AC shuts down. I wonder how hard it is to install one.
I put in my house rules " do not open windows at any time before consulting with us", but we live in a house.
I wonder though if it’s 64f outside how does AC turns on. I have AC on 75f usually and if it gets colder than that outside AC just stays still.
My friend who is also hosting put a box with a lock on her thermostat. So guests can’t open it. And temperature always stays the same. She also programmed it a few degrees higher during day time when most guests are out seeing sites,


#8

Hi, Grubcat,
I am having a similar problem. Guest turns AC down to 61 degrees when he is here!! I did not stipulate anything about the AC in my house rules, so I don’t feel like I can do anything about it. I turn it up during the day and then on 68 when I know he is coming back. Personally, I keep the AC at 78. I’m guessing I am going to just break even, financially. So, will increase my rate. Ah, well, live and learn.


#9

Wow, I’d cook at 76 degrees. Just sayin’


#10

Don’t hotels have that also? An auto shut-off when the windows are open? Surely there is a way to control the guest misuse of the AC. When I managed an oceanfront vacation rental here for a dear friend, we always had issues with this. As BBM said, their point of view is that they paid for it and will inevitably feel they can do as they damn well please. We did put some signs by the controls, asking for cooperation and stating that “ocean breezes are best,” but had to admit, even when I used the house myself, i noticed it would get like a hotbox in the summer, and nearly unbearable…even though it was oceanfront! No answers here aside from maybe installing a system you can control remotely and/or one that shuts off when windows or doors are open. Sounds expensive though. :frowning:


#11

That is frustrating. Here’s a possible solution, but I’m not sure how things work in the U.S.
I lived in France for a long time and we often rented holiday places in France and Italy. Power was not generally included in the cost - as you’re either going to be using the heating or the air-conditioning to a greater or lesser degree. So, the meter was always read at the beginning and end of each stay. A certain amount would be included that would include normal operating costs - llights, appliances, hot water etc. Then over that amount you would pay a number of cents per kw.

This worked for us because it meant we weren’t just charged a blanket amount that assumed we would run riot with their power, and also kept us mindful of not having the air/con or heating running when we were out of the house.

If you’ve got access to your meter, then this is a good option. If you are sharing the property with your guests, then you show them your normal useage without guests and they can pay the difference. You will need to give them an estimate when they book. Hope that helps.


#14

I bought a new wall AC for my suite. I give them a remote and let them control the AC. I do have a small sign by the exit door saying"when you leave for the day please turn AC off". I expect the guest to use the AC anytime they are in the room,its the summer, its hot … I believe letting them control the AC helps to get bookings, I mention in my listing that I have AC that YOU control. I know thats important for me when I go to a hotel and I would never stay where someone tells me I cant have AC;Im on vacay! and want to be comfortable. The AC is new from Lowes, not expensive and is very energy efficient and does not raise my electric bill that much…


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