What is a Reasonable Policy Regarding AC Temperature?

  1. What is a reasonable policy on setting the air conditioning temperature?
  2. I assume that this policy should be stated in the listing, right? But given that I did not state any such policy in the listing, is it too late to state the policy in a welcome letter ?
  3. You’ll see below that DOE guidance is 78F. I am thinking of saying that the AC temperature should not be lower than 75F. What do you think?

The Department of Energy recommends 78F. What is the Best Temperature to Set My Thermostat in the Summer? | Direct Energy
If you Google “what is a reasonable temperature for a house in summer” every site I saw mentioned 78F.

78F seems reasonable to me, and it is what I set the temperature at for myself. But I recognize that people are different. I recall times when I liked 75F.

Our last guest set it at 71; the current guest set it at 67F! These temperatures strike me as unreasonably low and expensive to operate.

Right now guests have the ability to control the thermostat. But I can change that.

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78 is almost 80… I would not be comfortable sleeping that hot. My intention with guests is they do not freeze up the ac. When I had a smart window AC I could monitor the temp I would see that guests would arrive and put the temp down to 60!

I have since upgraded my system and have heat pumps/ac and use ecobee smart thermostats. If it is hot outside on check in day I set the ac to 74 so it’s cool inside and the guests do not feel the need to set it at 60.

I limit the AC to a low of 68 and the heat a high of 73 and this is disclosed in my listing.

RR

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Thanks for your response.

Would your advice for me, or for anyone with a whole-house AC system, be different than for you running a window AC unit?

Of course, you might still find 78F too warm. But running a whole-house AC system at 68 would, I think, be very expensive (especially if it is very hot outside, like in the 90’s).

My sense is that the comfortable temperature depends on what it is outside. For example, if it is 92F outside, somehow 80F inside ‘feels’ cool (to me). However, in my brief Google search I didn’t see any site suggesting that there is an ideal ‘differential’ rather than an absolute temperature.

Given that 78F is so frequently cited I was thinking that 75F was more than reasonable, though I’m open to 73-74. Anything lower seems to me unreasonable but that is why I am asking here because one person’s ‘unreasonable’ is another person’s comfort zone.

I have upgraded from a window ac. I do have whole house systems now.

I would rather not have guests turn AC down to 68 but they will be gone in two days and it will be off for the next five days usually

Some guests turn it off and open windows

It evens out I think.

RR

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This is SUCH a loaded question, and one my husband and I have daily this time of year for our own home.

For my duplex, I don’t mind 78 at all, so I keep the smart thermostat at 78 (whole house AC) & tell guests they can adjust to their liking. It’s been hot here, so for the second weekend in a row, people have checked in and complained that it’s SO HOT upstairs (in the big stucco building that holds heat so nicely). When they then set the thermostat down to 67 to try to cool it down when it’s say, 93 outside, it just won’t cool down past 78 until the outside temp drops. I’m afraid they’ll freeze up the outside unit, as it’s going to be 98 today.

So I’m going to try to start setting it to 75 the day people check in and see what that does. When i don’t have guests and am not in there cleaning, I usually set the AC to 90, so the bills even out. I guess the question is, is it worth risking a bad review to try to keep your bills down?

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The temperature you feel comfortable at is similar to what is good for me, but IME, most people find that too hot.

I read that 70/71F is the average temp that is comfortable to the average person. So RR’s numbers seem right on.

When I go to Canada in the summer, I find the AC in most places way too frigid, but everyone else seems to be quite comfortable. When I visit my daughter’s home, I have to keep my bedroom door closed, close the AC vent in my room, and just open the window, as the outside temp is fine.

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This has been discussed here a .lot and, if I’m right, there has never been a ‘right’ answer.

My guests can choose their desired temperature but I can say that in my own home, we go for 78 during the day and 75 overnight. I think that’s normal, others think it’s too hot or too cold.

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This topic has been discussed almost a many times as service animals and washing everything on the bed.

https://airhostsforum.com/search?q=temperature

This is a difficult topic because every guest and every airbnb is different. Even different cooling systems work differently in different spaces. A thermostat set to 72 can result in 80 degrees in an upper floor or loft. Women going through menopause can guarantee that sleepless and perhaps sweaty nights will be the result of having no control over room temps. From a guest point of view, ability to have some control is optimal. But most hosts are going to want to limit excesses like 65 in summer and 80 in winter.

In my 230 sq ft space there are space heaters in the winter and a window AC in the summer. I can turn the window AC off from my part of the house if the guest leaves and leaves it on. Since it’s a small space I feel that it will cool off quickly. In our heat extremes I’ll turn in on before a guest checks in because first impressions matter. If they go out to eat and I can keep an eye out for their return I’ll turn it off while they are out.

Ideally I’d like them to have a mini split unit but I’m not renting much right now and it’s hard to justify the cost for it. The window AC isn’t elegant or quiet but it’s doing what it needs to for now.

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I find all AC units aesthetically unpleasing, including the mini-splits. I’m surprised some designer hasn’t thought of coming up with ones that are more interesting- looking than those white rectangles. They could come in colors and styles to match various decors.

Maybe there are such things and I’m just not aware.

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I agree with RiverRock. I ask my guests to keep the AC to no lower than 68 degrees F. I state that anything lower will freeze up the AC. (Not true but…)

I also ask that my guests shut off the AC when leaving the suite. I let them know that if they leave the AC on, I will shut it off using our circuit breakers in the basement. (I really won’t do this but so far folks have mostly been good about keeping the temp at 68 or above and turning it off when they leave.

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I found this one the other day but it’s expensive. It’s still not elegant but the motor sits outside the window so it’s super quiet.
Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 12.52.05 PM

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Yeah, see, that’s still really ugly to me. I was thinking along the lines of those reproductions of vintage fridges, that come in a range of colors. Of course, something like that wouldn’t go with a lot of decors, but there could be a range of styles and colors to suit. No reason why something serviceable can’t also be a design feature.

I agree. Living in New England, many of the houses (including mine) can have central Air conditioning due to the way homes were built 100 years ago. But then again, we usually only have them in our windows 2-3 months.

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I saw that one recently too, or at least one like it. Is it the Midea? One in a tenant’s apt died so I considered getting that one for us and giving her one of ours. What I like about it is that you can still open the window!

I drag my feet every year about putting in the ACs in our apartment and only end up using them for a couple of weeks because it really bothers me to not be able to open the window. Maybe next year.

I also came across this one:

It’s not elegant either but you can choose a color for the front I guess. I suppose a piece of poster board on a regular one would be the same though.

The best improvement so far is a mini split unit that recesses into a ceiling, or if you have space, a wall. I think I could install those in my airbnb and in my bedroom with the space the unit needs being primarily in my closet and the front of the unit facing into the room.

Given that they are more expensive and the installation quotes I’ve gotten here are astronomical, I’ll be sticking with window units for the forseeable future.

At least in the my airbnb room the window unit is behind the shutters now and can be completely hidden in the winter.

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I have a very old, drafty house with window AC (some units quite old) in most rooms except a roll around unit in my own main living room that vents to the window. Many rooms also have ceiling fans. I get chilly at 68 and uncomfortably warm at about 76. Everyone is different. A lot depends on if your AC units are adequately sized to the room and how extreme the outside air is. I find that our heating thermostat is accurate on temperature where it is located, but heat is very uneven so we offer space heaters as well so that we can keep the heat fairly low. For cooling the window units seem pretty accurate. If they are not turned on before it gets really hot outside, they have a hard time catching up requiring me to set them lower than I like. My roll around unit is too small and on a 90 degree day I have to set the unit at 66 to get the temp down to 75. It’s like a constant whack a mole game keeping everyone comfortable while trying to conserve energy. I suggest that you measure temperatures independently from the cooling units or thermostat to see how closely they agree and adjust accordingly.

Less obtrusive, for sure, but still ugly to me, although it might look fine in most homes. Unfortunately, there’s no way something like that could even be retrofitted in my concrete house construction. My guest room ceiling is boveda brick. I live fine, even in the hot humid summers here with just fans, and I don’t really get bookings in the summer, but there’s a powerful ceiling fan in the guest room. Even the guest I had who left 2 days early because she found the climate here unbearable (another guest who didn’t do her research) said she was comfortable in that room with the fan, it was just the outside temps she couldn’t abide.

I have considered getting one of those portable units you vent out a window for my sewing workshop building, though. It has a low roof and gets really hot in there.

It’s just a vent. I have vents for the cooler and heat and vents in the bathrooms. Most people probably wouldn’t even notice these vents. There are a lot of things in my home that are ugly, prime among them, the toilets. Toilets are ugly.

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That’s quite true, toilets aren’t a thing of beauty. Although I once had a book full of photos of decorated toilets. I remember one where someone had crazy glued it solid with copper pennies. Then there’s these talavera toilets, although even in Mexico, I find them over-the-top for something you are just going to poop in. :

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We certainly are off on a tangent, lol:
image

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