Thanks for the later posters as well!
I was doing some back of the envelope calculating about the hardship the guests actually were experiencing. Guests arrived Friday afternoon and departed Monday mid-day. Here were outside temps:
Thursday 78/65 Rainy, hot, and oppressive
Friday 64/48 Partly Sunny (guests arrive at 3PM)
Saturday 57/44 Partly Cloudy
Sunday 58/43 Cloudy (this day was right crappy, cold, and miserable)
Monday 65/54 Cloudy (guests depart at 12:30PM)
The heat did not work since the time of their arrival, but they did not attempt to access it until 9AM Saturday morning.
Here were the respective house temps:
Thursday: 74 degrees (known because the A/C set to 74 on a hot day)
Friday: 70 degrees (extrapolated)
Saturday: 66 degrees (extrapolated)
Sunday: 62 degrees (known at 12PM during troubleshooting)
Guests attempted to set t-stat Saturday morning and left for event. They knew by 3PM Sunday (upon return) that heat was not working. Guests notified Sunday morning at 10AM. Space heaters provided (post-troubleshooting around 2PM). Space heaters bring temps up by 5 to 10 degrees, the stated temp in the rules.
Had they notified Saturday at 3PM, service would have happened by Sunday at 3PM (24-hour HVAC backlog), and the inside temp never would have reached 62 degrees (which is right uncomfortable). Therefore, had they notified Saturday at 3PM, the most discomfort they would have experienced is a house at 66 degrees plus 5 to 10 degrees added from 4 space heaters. Another thought, had they notified Satuday at 3PM, we may have snagged a spot earlier in the HVAC queue (they got backed up as more and more people turned on their furnace due to rapidly changing temp from Thursday to Friday).
Also, knowing Saturday would have given us time to find in barn or buy 4 additional space heaters so that all 8 rooms were handled (caretakers were out and about Sunday and there was but one day left of their stay).
So, guests failed to timely report, thereby causing their own discomfort as house temps dropped 4 degrees per day. I refunded 1/3 of one night.
Also, of note, I checked back on my actual short-term lease agreement and it states no refunds…which doesn’t mean anything in the world of customer service…but I can at least state it so that the guest is aware that I am doing it because I want to, not because I legally must.