I’m having my first and only crisis in two years of hosting. We’re booked solid the next two weeks and a heat wave just started with triple-digit weather (Friday will be 112F), today’s a holiday and my AC is acting up. A friend who has an AC business will be checking it this morning on his way out of town. If he can’t fix it then I’m gonna have a big problem. gulp
Anything can break at any time and it’s usually on a holiday or weekend. It’s also when children and animals get sick.
Once you know if it’s a problem, send a message to all the guests with an option to cancel. The whole country for the most part is having a heat wave.
Where are you located?
Buy a portable refrigerated AC today.
In business, see a problem as an opportunity.
When hosts have problems such as this, then it gives us a chance to show what truly terrific hosts we are. Is your AC bloke the only repairperson in your area? Probably not. Are any stores open today that sell fans, or freestanding AC units? There are loads of articles online about surviving without AC. Give your guests a discount and the opportunity to stay elsewhere if you have to.
We had the AC go out completely last month (June in South Florida) and it was repaired the following day for (gulp) $4500. But it had to be done. The guest was really happy that we absolutely bent over backwards to solve the problem.
My “central air” is a swamp cooler. If that goes out there is a ceiling fan and a refrigerated window AC in both the guest bedroom and my bedroom. In addition I have a portable refrigerated AC that sits on the floor and can be rolled from room to room. It’s not elegant but it is surprisingly effective. It does need to be vented out a window so the area to be cooled needs a an appropriate window.
If there is a heat wave then you may have to check lots of stores to find one in stock. The big box stores (Lowe’s and HomeDespot) you can search online for what’s in store.
I’d suggest having one as a back up regardless of whether your friend can fix yours or not.
i was reading the following article just last night. The readers’ comments at the end have loads of good ideas.
We were just talking about people who can’t sleep when it’s hot, weren’t we? If the AC were to go completely out here, only possible if the power was off, I’d only offer a cancellation and refund I wouldn’t take my chances with anything else.
Our power goes off quite often thanks to antiquated electrical lines which are being replaced by the city soon. It’s not unusual for a relatively small rainstorm to send the power out. Thunderstorms often do it and after a hurricane (or feeder bands or tropical storm) we can be without power for days. After Hurricane Wilma (2005?) we were without electricity for 10 days and without water for 7. It was quite good fun in a pioneer-roughing-it way.
One of the things about living here that I love is the lack of extreme weather. We had some rolling power outages a few years ago due to temps being near zero degrees for several days and our infrastructure couldn’t handle it. Lucky for me I didn’t get my power cut, I speculate it was due to being in the same part of the grid with a hospital. Another time my power was out for about 7 hours because the transformer on the pole behind my house blew out. So in 50+ years of memory those are the only two significant power outages I’ve experienced.
Purchase window units at Home Depot. They’re reasonably priced. It will be cheaper than losing all your guests.
Then there’s the Egyptian trick of sleeping under a damp Hammam towel. Or putting a few drops of peppermint essential oil in some aloe Vera gel and smoothing it on. However none of the cooling tricks work like Aircon. I understand a body temperature drop is needed to release melatonin to sleep, unless of course you are adapted to a hot climate. Do offer a refund and let the guest decide.
For the host the air conditioning breaking can be an extenuating circumstance and Airbnb will re-home your guests. No one wants to lose the revenue but if your home isn’t bearable in the heat, use the support Airbnb offers.
July 4th holiday last year, my air conditioning died & required replacement. 95F degree plus temperatures. Airbnb found a comfortable place for my guests. I submitted a copy of the replacement receipt. I didn’t have a cancellation penalty.
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful replies. My husband’s friend who is an a/c contractor did stop by early this morning. The darned thing took 9 pounds of refrigerant - at $99/pound, it was a pricey fix. Working wonderfully again, though. Just hoping and praying now that it wasn’t low because of a leak. We bought this home last Fall and don’t know the history of the unit so it’s possible that it was just time for a recharge. Here’s to hoping, anyway!!
You are right, stuff seems to happen at the most inconvenient time!
We are in Southern California, near the Temecula Valley. I checked the online news and, you’re absolutely right, the whole country is having a heat wave. Summer is finally here!
I actually bought 2 identical ACs for the airbnb room, so if it tanks, I can just pull out of window and put the new one in within minutes. Run to Lowes or HD and get a potable ac, They will run 250 to 400,comes w a hose you stick the hose out the window,looks a little ghetto but they will appreciate your effort to keep them cool. And you better go now as AC’s tend to sell out with a heat wave!
I lived in an extreme desert climate (Imperial County, California, near the Mexican border) for a time. An elderly lady there told me that when she was young (pre-AC days), that they would wet the top sheet on the bed (eww…) to cool off. She also said that they couldn’t watch TV in the summer because the tubes in the TV would explode. It got up to 122 F at the hottest while I lived there.
One I tend to do (South Florida, no AC) is dampen a pair of socks and a t-shirt and keep them in a ziplock in the freezer. (Assuming I have electricity). Wonderful sleepwear!
What is this heat of which you all speak?
Beautiful 20 degrees here today and we don’t even have the fire on tonight. However last Sunday was wet and only 13, 23 the day before.
28C and sunshine all the way here