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Opinions on heating use

#1

i live in a place where heat is super expensive and i rent one of the lower priced rooms in my town… that being said i tell guests i dont heat the house to more than 60 in the winter before they book and they can decide if thats ok with them or not… but i had a guest who agreed to that, and i was out of town 5 days and came home to the heat cranked up to 70 and left like that all day. i would like to charge her more without having to get airbnb involved… suggestions on raising the topic in a friendly and hostlike way?

#2

Hello Tara,
I am so glad you brought up this topic because I’m dealing with the same issue. All of a sudden I’m faced with record low temps here in Long Beach, CA. I live alone and can hole up in my bedroom and use a little space heater, but the rest of my place stays cold. Utility costs to heat the rest of the house are substantial and would pretty much eat up any profit from renting out my sofa in the living room. Airbnb hammers at us to keep rates low, but they don’t take into consideration this issue.

My answer? Pad the cost of utilities into the rental of your place and ignore their suggested prices. I’m amazed at their price suggestions for me. $28 a night? Come on. Wash sheets, sanitize, vacuum, heat the house? My yardstick is the Motel 6 just up the road that charges $80/night where you get 2 sandpaper towels, extreme road noise, no amenities like most of us offer, and barking dogs to make sure you get no restful sleep.

#3

Thank you J for responding… its the first time for me on this forum. i brought it up with the guest but she didnt want to pay anything( i had suggested $10 a day extra) so i didnt feel i could make a fuss while she was here… so i think ill have to eat it. although her review from me may mention it…she is new to airbnb so she may not realize it would be worth it to cough up the $50 and get a great review.

#4

I would mention it in the review of her that’s really rude first time guest or not. Is there someway you can stop guests changing the temperature? (lock cover or something?)

#5

I think it’s too late and you have no recourse. For future I would increase the nightly rental and invest in a nest thermostat if budget permits. If u don’t own your place, replace it and keep the old thermostat so when u move up can swap out. You don’t need to be an electrician to set up. This way you can monitor consumption when you are away.

#7

NEST helps, you can control it on your mobile device and also choose to lock it (this way, guests can not crank up heat beyond the temperature range you set).
However, we decided not to lock the NEST thermometer in our place, because some guests might find it annoying and thus leave a bad or just-so-so review. There was one time some guests left at 78F all day. The good thing is that you can dial down when you find out on your NEST app.
In our house rules, we would mention that we normally keep the temperature at 68-70F as a guideline.

#8

I wouldn’t try to charge her extra, even if you told her in advance since guests will expect to be comfortable and comfort is quite relative. But I second the recommendation to increase your price because 60 is pretty chilly–I’m accustomed to cold and keep my house at 63 when the kids aren’t here. So even if guests agree they are going to want the heat turned up.
I also agree with the Nest recommendation. In an airbnb unit, it will pay for itself in the first month. I also don’t lock mine but check the temp when guests are there, and I can set it to “away” (50 degrees) when the place is vacant and turn the heat on a few hours before guests arrive, even if I’m away.

#9

Put a nice smiley face note on the thermostat control.

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