I recently made a error at my stand alone Airbnb house. Living in a cold Northern climate where the failure of the heating system can have grave consequences , I installed a wireless thermometer to monitor the interior temperature remotely. It was cheap and works great. It’s been a stress reliever when the house is empty. Unfortunately it also has given me the opportunity to monitor the temperature of the house when guests are there. I’ve been unpleasantly surprised at how cavalier people are with temperature settings. Guests crank the heat WAY up (75 degrees) and then leave for the day. I understand it’s their prerogative and right to do this but it’s environmentally unsound and very pricey when the outside temperature hovers around zero. I feel dictating details like this are not proper in a high end rental like mine but it’s a bit irritating to watch them squandering heat. I’m sure our Southern hosts experience the same thing with AC. I’ve learned NOT to look at thermometer when guests are there.
High end or not you can use your remote thermostat to set more reasonable temps. I stayed in a high end property in the US and the owner set such limits. It was summer when I was there but the rules applied year round.
Each large room in my house has an individually controlled heat pump unit making remote master control of heat impossible. Each room has its own thermostat. I’m surprised how warm people choose to set heat.
that has a solution:
Envision pie shaped screen porch, each side of pie is a sliding glass entry door, crust side is screening. It isn’t common but I’ve had guests sit on the porch with the doors open so can feel a/c.
So far not often & no big power bill spike so not worth taking action.
You need to analyze how much it is really costing you. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a solution that saves you tens of dollars per year might make you feel better, but might never pay for itself. There’s also the possibility of reducing guest comfort enough that it shows up on your reviews.
Like @Annet3176, I had guests that left the patio door open when the A/C was on and it was 100F outside, and it was common for guests from Northern states to set the A/C down to 68F even while they were not home. However, monthly electricity usage was not significantly higher.
Ouch. Unfortunately, heat pumps are inefficient at low temperatures. Isn’t it unusual to use them for Northern climates without some other supplemental heat source?
Newer heat pumps work down to -17F, and are fairly efficient down to +15 or so. It rarely gets down to ZeroF here. We were 30 degrees warmer than Houston last week.
Folks here are switching to heat pumps because all of our power here is hydro from high alpine lakes with turbines at sea level, as green as you can get, and it’s very cheap for off-peak usage, about 1/3 the cost of oil heat once you’ve paid for the pumps and mini-splits.
Most of the folks I know with heat pumps have a wood stove or fireplace insert to use for backup heat during outages.
So people who pay to stay in a high end rental are excused from wasting resources and living in an environmentally sound manner?
No one is excused from that, IMO. Nothing wrong with asking in the house manual to please turn AC or heat down if they are going out. Some won’t bother, but hopefully some will.
We have a fairly high-end rental but have rainwater as our water supply (in the Caribbean) and electricity in excess of our solar panels is generated by imported diesel. I have NO problem asking guests to use the water and electricity they need, but to please avoid wasting it as both are precious resources. We have staff, and our house rules include that the staff can turn off the A/C, fans, lights, etc., if the guests are not inside the house.
No complaints from anyone so far.
Unless you find a high tech solution some tasteful communication or signage is your best bet. If guests know that you can tell how high the temperature is set at any time, they might think twice before leaving it on. Signage needs to be minimal, especially in a high end place. However, I have a little sign on each exit door saying don’t forget your key and please turn the heat or AC down when you leave. It’s become more important when many hosts don’t enter property for 24-48 hours due to COVID and the heat or AC blasts all that time for nothing.
My new heat pump systems work well down to 10 below zero. We rarely get that cold . In the event that it gets colder, I have a backup gas hot air furnace that can also be run by generator if power fails. Heat pump running costs ( including hot water ) are relative as my entire house is powered by solar panels. Energy wasting guests are using my solar credits earned during our sunny long summer days. I like the suggestion to leave a note by the door politely asking guests to turn down thermostat when leaving ( the mini splits reheat a room quickly ).
The twist is this is a heat pump.
Most manufacturer instructions for heat pumps are to keep the temperature constant. It takes less energy to maintain a temp while out than heat/cool it back to the desired temp. I’m talking about a substantial temperature difference like from 60F to 70F.
I admit I have no experience with heat pumps, but the host could still ask guests to turn it down to xx temp if going out, couldn’t they? Would it be bad to turn it down to 65 when they go out, instead of leaving it at 70?
As far as guests turning heating up to a temp the host considers unnecessarily warm, obviously guests aren’t going to have the temp set at what they find uncomfortable. Most people are comfortable at temperatures I find too cold for my liking.
When I stay with my daughter, who has a low tolerance for high temperatures, I have to close the AC vent in her guest room and keep the bedroom door closed or I’m freezing.
Depends on how long & the heat pump
On a lesser scale, this is how I feel about lights. We rent out our basement apartment and I just cringe looking at every single light on down there…some guests I swear leave the lights on the entirety of their stay. I’m the kind of person who by default turns off lights when I leave a room so I just don’t get it!!!
On the topic of lights, our house has dozens of them. Ceiling cans, chandeliers, lamps, under cabinet lights, accents inside cabinets, etc. Dozens. Maybe hundreds.
One by one, we’ve replaced them all with LEDs. Expensive, but long-term. They cost very little to run, even if they’re left on.
well the thing is if someone comes in and feels cold they think setting it at 80 will warm them up faster. I set limits on the thermostat, it will not heat higher than 73 which is way too hot IMO
I use a thermostat set with specific time zones, so the occupiers would have to manually turn the heating back up if they’re staying in for the day - if they’re out the heating automatically turns off
I have a setting on my main AC/Heater control unit that turns it off if it doesn’t detect motion for 20 minutes. Good for when people go out and also when they are in their bedrooms at night with adequate electric blankets and room heaters already on. When they come inside or out in the morning it turns back on so they are unaware it has been off. It doesn’t stop people leaving the AC on and door to terrace open but when I was in a 5 star hotel in Mykonos once if you opened the terrace door or windows the AC went off and it was clearly signed it was one or t’other. You also had to put your used loo paper in a semi transparent bin rather than flush it, but that’s another story.
Have missed you! How are the chooks?