Heating is not standard where I live. Should I charge extra for it?

Dear fellow hosts,

I am currently listing an entire apartment in a warm humid country where heating is not a standard feature of houses. As locals in winter we are used to resort to wearing warm clothes and blankets when it gets cold.
During our short winter, outdoor temperatures go down to an average of 10°C / 50 °F. Being a tourist destination all my guests come from other countries, many are accustomed to central heating.

Last winter out of 12 guests, I had two guests complain about the apartment being cold. I currently provide a fan heater to my guests to use whenever needed but this was apparently not enough for them and they left a 3 star review. Since then I have become a bit concerned about this and in the interest of managing guest expectations I have made it clear in my listing that in my country central heating does not exist and the apartment may not be as warm as they are used to back home during the winter period. No one of the other hosts in my area discloses this in their description but I skimmed through some of their reviews for winter and noticed some of their guests did complain about the cold in their reviews.

As you can imagine the cost of running the heater is very high especially if left to run 24hrs the cost would be around €10 per night per heater. Rates in my area are ridiculously low (low season) so my rate in winter to be competitive has to be around €40 / night for an entire apartment. After crunching the numbers, my expense per night including taxes totals to around €15. Leaving roughly €25 per night in my pocket.

Do you think it would it make sense to invest in more effective heaters and charge an extra fee of €10 per night for the optional use of the heaters to cover for the extra electricity cost? This would enable me to provide a better service to my guests yet still be competitive price wise. Your input would be much appreciated.


probably no ‘best’ answer for this!
If you put heating in, you should mention it in bold in your listing, and charge extra. Maybe even mention that other local places can’t offer heating.

If you don’t put heating in, you will continue to get 3star reviews…but so will your neighbours


I agree with Barns. I don’t think you can charge extra for heat. It’s a cost of doing business. That said, you could bump up your prices to help offset the extra expense. Maybe you could regulate the heat somehow so guests can’t turn it up too high. Even if you can’t, if you average out the cost over the year, it doesn’t seem like it would be that expensive. Some guests (like me) prefer to sleep in cooler temps so not everyone will use it.

DO NOT charge extra for heating, you will lose more clients than 3-star reviews will. Do you charge extra for Air Conditioning when its hot? I shouldn’t think so! If we did that here in Florida, we’d be out of business in a week!!!

Heating and airconditioning are a cost of doing this AirBnb business and keeping your guests satisfied.

What kind of heater costs €10 per night? Electric? That’s ridiculous! Gas should be more efficient and cheaper. A self-contained heater in each bedroom should be sufficient.


First step is managing expectations, maybe you will do that better this year. If only 16% of your guests were unhappy with the cold then I’d say that it’s a risk worth taking to continue as you have. Or raise your price a tiny bit, say one euro a night to spread the cost over the year.

Maybe lock the extra heaters away when it’s not as cold. During stays when it’s expected to be colder get them out (assuming the upgrade you are talking about it still a portable heater). I for one would be happy to pay more to be comfortable. When traveling in Europe pre internet days I would have loved to see which budget accommodations had AC or even a fan in the room.

I have a window AC in my guest room and after a certain time of year/temp of year I put the covers on inside and out, unplug it and remove the remote to signal that it’s not available for use.

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Thank you all for your valuable feedback. I think I will ditch the idea of adding an extra fee for heating.

If your neighbors all deal with the same issue, then I wouldn’t even be concerned. As long as your replies to those reviews explain it’s normal for the area, then future travelers will understand. Or I guess they go book at an expensive hotel?

There are definitely countries where you have to pay extra for airconditioning. Mostly around $US 10,00 extra per night. This doesn’t bother me at all, some people want airco, some don’t.

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I don’t charge extra for heating even though the cost is very high since my listing is in a ski town that gets really cold. I just keep the cost of heating in mind when choosing my rate.

I understand your problem since we also live in a “hot” country where it can get pretty damn cold in Winter … we overcome it by only opening in Summer, which I guess you don’t want to do! The cheapest solution we have found is this type of electric radiant heat panel
which gives decent background heating. This plus a good winter-weight duvet cover suits our needs. I really don’t think it’s feasible to charge extra for heating.

I have been checking out AirBnB in the Riviera Maya and quite a few hosts state that electricity is expensive and they will charge you if you run the meter passed the allowed numbers! Seems standard practice there

Same here, have a place at SilverStar and the heating bill is up there… and then there is the cost of the hot tub in -20 cel…! Factor it all in to the nightly rates.

I would buy a small oil filled radiator, the ones that have wheels and can be moved about. They are far more efficient than fan heaters as they have a thermostat, and retain heat even when they turn off for a while. You can leave them on the lowest setting all day long for pennies. Not sure where you are, but here in the UK, they are very cheap to buy, 25 quid or so.

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