Has anyone had bad experiences with guests setting the thermostat too low, which will break the AC.
Low temps don’t hurt our AC. the hassle is when it’s 96F outside and some moron sets the Cabana temp to 62 and puts on a sweater, the humidity condenses on the windows and makes the Cabana look terrible outside.
You might be able to change the upper/lower temperature settings on your thermostat, that’s what we did, and don’t have to worry about it now.
Setting the thermostat “too low” makes the unit run more frequently. Generally, this won’t break the unit unless it’s not in good operating condition. If the unit is undersized for the area it is being used to cool, it could run continuously, but it’s still really just wearing the unit out faster (like putting more miles on a car).
Remember that how much work the A/C does is completely based on the temperature differential between inside and outside. I’m not sure where you are, but I doubt it’s worse than where I’m at (near Phoenix) where the differential regularly exceeds 35F. For example, your guest set the thermostat to 60F and the outside temp was 95F, that is the same as when I set my thermostat to a reasonable 75F and the outside temp is 110F, which is about 30 days per year in Phoenix. I have an A/C unit on my house that is 25 years old and it has seen hundreds of days with temperatures between 110F and 120F, so a bad short-term guest isn’t going to break a properly working A/C unit.
That said, I would agree that if you can get a thermostat that limits the lower temp setting to 72F when the A/C is on and the upper temp setting to about 85F when the heat is on, then you should do it, just for energy conservation.
Tangent - make sure your condenser is clean. Depending on your area and various factors, this may need to be done every 1-5 years.
There is some great spray foaming cleaner that takes all the dust and dirt out of them. A can of it is very reasonable. about $15-20. The increased efficiency can often be worth doing every 1-2 years, at the start of the season.
Yes – keep those coils clean! Even if all you do is use a garden hose, you can get a lot of the dust off there. (Note – I would disconnect the unit from power during the cleaning and afterward for several hours).
But to your original point: a lot of people (most?) misunderstand how thermostats work. They think that if they set the 'stat to 60, its going to magically cool down from 80 to 70 (where they might actually want the room) faster than if they just set the 'stat to 70. “If I set it to 55, it’ll really know I mean business!”
I was considering investing in a few of these last year but haven’t got round to it yet. Let’s you set min/max temps to whatever you want.
I did find a stockist locally, they are €24.95 a time, so I’m sure there’ll be a U.S. stockist somewhere.
I have a smart thermostat, I can adjust the heat/AC remotely and set high and low parameters. If the guests are out and I hear the AC I can change the setting without going inside. I use Ecobee
I did, last summer a group of 4 lowered it to 50! Then used every single quilt and comforter I had stored in the armoire. Luckily, it has only happened once, so far.
@Kathy_Vincent Are you speaking about a window unit or a central AC unit? It’s not clear to me. I’ve never had a central AC break from running it too low and I’m originally from Texas and surely have maxed some out. I am guessing that @KenH and @Brian_R170 must be talking about central AC systems because of where they live.
However, I’m now in the northeast and we don’t have central AC - it’s the norm here. We put window units in for a couple of months in the summer and have had those ice up inside from being run too low for too long. Nothing wrong with the units, brand new and highly rated but have iced up and repair guy said specifically that it was from running it too low.
In the last 2 years I added to my House Rules that the AC cannot be bellow 75 and Heat can’t go above 75. People aren’t complaining because I think they are ashamed to do so. I have a thermostat that I watch with my App (Sensi). If they want to turn it lower they figure out that they can unplug the WiFi. Then I contact them and tell them the WiFi needs to be turned on. It’s a pain but at least I don’t have to replace the Unit’s AC.
Sorry, late to the party, but a pet peeve. I use Nest and can monitor/control via the smartphone app or online. And I’ve had to. Thankfully (knocks wood) no one has unplugged the wifi?!?
An aside, A/C hasn’t been my problem, but the Heat! I had a 3 month stay with heat set at 82ish, which I guess was acceptable due to the guests’ circumstances.
I’m lucky in that there is no heat needed where I live and the outside temps are perfect for about 7 months of the year.
Although it’s mostly hot and humid the other 5 months (although that’s also rainy season, and when it rains hard, it cools things down), that also isn’t tourist season, and I’ve rarely had bookings in the off-season. Those I have had tend to be Mexican nationals, who are quite used to living with fans, even though some may have AC at home.
I do have powerful ceiling fans and have never even wanted AC- I don’t personally like it, except in the car. But most Americans and Canadians seem to be quite unadaptable when it comes to ambient temperature. I don’t know if I could handle hosting in an area where people are so fussy about having the perfect (to them) indoor temperatures.
Add to that the British.
The above three nationalities, out of more than I can be bothered to count, are generally the only ones who hammer the AC, even when it isn’t really needed. I can guarantee that post check out, I’ll find it set to 18C (64F) every time, and during their stay, if they’re in it’s on.
The British, from what I hear, keep their heat turned way down or even completely off at night in the winter, sleeping under heavy bedding and, I assume, not minding getting out of bed in the morning in a frigid room. Stiff upper lip and all that. (Anyone British here is welcome to rake me over the coals and correct that image, if it’s false) . I guess they, like Canadians, are far more used to being cold than hot.
There’s a host from Croatia on the CC, who asked, quite seriously one time, if Americans just always either have the AC or the heat on, regardless of the outside temperature, because all their American guests do that. They said it’ll be a lovely 70 degrees out and the guests never even think to open the windows.
In Canada, when the spring is dreary and rainy and cold and drags on like that through May, people walk around complaining “Is it ever going to be summer?” Then, the first nice hot week, they start complaining, “It’s so hot, I wish it would cool down” and all the stores are ACed to Arctic temps and the employees are wearing sweaters.
That would be me. Single female. Watches too many “my neighbor murdered me” crime shows. Not sleeping with windows open unless even Spiderman finds it difficult to climb to the window
Yesterday I went into my two story listing and every window was locked, including the upstairs windows. Even unlocked they cannot be opened from the outside as you have to crank them open from the inside. This has happened a few times, now I get it. Spiderman
public service reminder: if you have any smart tools in your airbnb, such as a thermostat, lighting control, or locks, it is always suggested to put your wifi stuff under lock and key. A locked closet, for example, will make sure a guest does not turn it off. You can always put a combiner’s lock on where it is in case there is a need to let someone access it.
You’ve challenged me, @Muddy.
I can’t speak for other British people but I use the same bedding here in South Florida as I did in England. (Duvet only - but I’m not sure I want to start duvet debates!)
And if the weather was cold, it was cold. So the heating definitely stayed on at night. Just one English viewpoint.
I missed this topic the first time around but temperatures are something we’ve talked about so many times here. Personally I wouldn’t be happy if I was staying in a place that didn’t allow me to control the temperature so I’ve always assumed that many others will feel the same way.
Over the years I’ve found that it’s a swings and roundabouts situation. Some guests prefer the AC at a low temperature, others hardly use it at all. It balances out over a year. So because nightly prices are set largely using expenses from a full year, it’s not a problem.
Furthermore, because most of us have a certain amount built into our annual expenses for repair plus wear and tear, if the AC does need fixing, it’s allowed for anyway.
As for the original question, I didn’t think that running the AC at a low temperature could break it.
Yes, my guests always put the air lower than I would. I know a lot of people who genuinely like the AC set to under 72, often 68 or 70, so I am aware that there are people who like it chilly. I personally like it up at 76. I have a big issue with people overusing the utilities. It’s always something!
My advice is to charge enough that it’s covered. That way people can blow the air as much as they need and it doesn’t end up being a loss. You can also lock the thermostat, I often lock mine between 75 and 80. Regardless, no one has ever broken the HVAC system thankfully. I track a lot of this and if I saw someone coming in at ridiculous kwh per day, I would definitely charge them for the amount over “normal”. You can probably look at your electric usage to see the actual difference over standard - taking into account the outdoor temp. If it’s 115 outside, of course it’s higher usage than normal.