Hi airbnbers! I've been a host for many years. I originally hosted in a house with an extra room and shared bathroom. I've graduated to having a separate space available and I'm working out the kinks. There is one thermostat for the entire house. The house is divided into a duplex. The available space is several degrees cooler than my section. I've noted in my house rules/house info that I keep the temperature at a moderate level (for obvious reasons that are not stated : cost of running AC almost year round, ability to offer affordable bnb lodging and not 5 star hotel accomodations, AND its texas where we use ceiling fans and spend a ton of time outside in the heat). I recommend that guests should please let me know if they would like temp adjusted. I've checked in with all of my guests about temperature repeatedly and noone has needed any adustments. I've been planning on having the thermostat moved so that guests can access it for convenience, but my current guest has made me rethink this.
In all my years of hosting, I have never had anyone request that the house be soooo cold! This particular guest is from NYC and she has not left the house once-- in almost 4 days! I was starting to wonder if she was ok but I heard some movement. So, this could be a one off, but I really don't want to run into this again. I'm freezing and wearing jackets in the house and using comforters to sleep and staying outside as much as possible.
Some possible fixes: Would love your suggestions-- I can take constructive criticism very well !!!
1) I purchase a free standing cooling unit and offer that as a "rental" for people who need to be cooler. Then, I keep the thermostat stable. So, just like renting a bike or a kayak from a host, rent the unit and hot people from cold places (they know who they are) could reserve it when they booked the space. I was thinking $15-20/day additional because my rates and the cleaning fee are really reasonable and utilities are not cheap here.
2) State clearly on my listing that this is texas and if you can't stand the heat...! but that might not go over so well, so I don't know if I should put up a disclaimer or not. People will think my house is hot :\
3) Get a smart thermostat. I've heard mixed things about using the NEST or similar for this purpose. It ends up being battle of the thermostat. Maybe people have had different experiences?
4) Separate the Heating/cooling. This would be ideal, but it will cost about $5K and I can't afford it.
Thanks for your help! I want to enjoy my guests and coexist better so that everyone is happy and has a great experience :)
Do you have a thermostat and if you do what temperature is it saying, a commentary is not like hard facts for me to make a suggest on?
"What gets measured gets managed"
The recommeded temperature for comfortable living is 20degree C.
I for example record the temperature in my apartment when the guests arrive and when they depart, this information I correlate with my gas usage for each set of guests. and one thing I’ve noticed is that eastern Europeans are frugal and western Europeans are profligate with my utilities, gas electricty and water.
Your might have a north south thing going on.
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Hi @Laurie, I would look into the nest thermostat. I have smart lights with motion sensors in all my halls, and it works great. I can also turn them on via voice (either Siri or Alexa). While I don't have the Nest thermostat, I understand it works well and integrates well. You can be the master, even if the thermostat is not in your area. Good luck!
I have a similar setup in that I live in the upper part of the house and have the lower level apartment listed on Airbnb. My part of the house get a lot warmer in the summer, because there are a lot more windows that get afternoon sun, and the termostat is located in my living room. I keep it set on 67 degrees in winter and summerand provide portable space heaters, lots of extra blankets and oscilating fans for my guests. My most recent guest said the bedroom was chilly at night, so I suggested the blankets, the heaters and told him he could close the 2 A/C vents located directly over the bed. He chose to leave the front door open (no screen door). My place is out in a rural area and besides the bugs that will come in, so could skunks, possums, snakes, mice, coyotes and bears! We have a real problem with coyotes and bears in the area. I too cannot afford to install 2 separate systems and I don't think it's necessary since the lower level stays cooler and it's easier to warm the lower level, if it's too chilly.
Thanks for sharing your story. I've only been hosting about a year in an older farmhouse. It's an old log house with very thick walls that stays warm in the winter and mostly cool in the summer. However, I have guests asking about airconditioning. The rooms are pretty separate so I didn't want to be putting separate window aircondiction units in each window. I'm very interested in the free-standing cooling units you mentioned. Is there a model you'd recommended? Are you using this option? If so, how is it working?
There are also "keen vents". These vents are battery operated and they open and close on set times. When heating, open the downstairs vents and when cooling, open the upstairs vents. The Ecobee4 thermostat uses a remote sensor that you can put into the downstairs unit. The Ecobee will then adjust the downstairs temps by monitoring the temperature and thermal image of anyone in the room. It will regulate the temperature downstairs to levels you set. Then upstairs you can mitigate with blankets, heaters and fans. The Ecobee with thermal sensor would be exactly what you need. My power company offers $125 bill credit for upgrading and they only cost about $175. Well worth the headache. @Laurie @George
update on the thermostat issue: ecobee hack for bnb!
So, I purchased an ecobee 4. I wanted to have the alexa capability though I haven't used it yet. It came with one sensor which I placed in the living area of the bnb. I've asked some guests to help me by letting me know how the temp is and so far its working out well so I wanted to share the results. I've only had it going for a couple of weeks and its spring so the weather has been all over the place.
Its getting warm in Texas, so my goal is to limit the use of a/c to save money and not freeze to death!
-I enabled 'follow me' and linked it with only the bnb sensor and not the thermostat sensor (in my space). This means that when I'm home, I can have the windows open with ceiling fans and the a/c only turns on when the guests occupy their space. I have settings for home, away, and sleep. I went conservative to start while I'm figuring it out and found that I need a lower temp when its humid out. I plan to graduate to the local energy efficiency recommendations through Austin Energy. I also signed up for a rebate program where the city can actually adjust your ecobee during high use times to save the power grid from going down.
I enabled smart home/away and linked it with only bnb sensor. This will sense when someone is home during a scheduled away time and the home settings will kick in.
I've also decided to install a solar attic fan that will automatically turn on when the attic temp is 85F. This will make a huge difference in the humidity and keep the HVAC from recirculating 150F attic air. (I have leaks that I need to fix next)
I'm definitely going to look into the keen vents too. Hope this helps others and please chime in if you've figured out a better way to use the ecobee to save with airbnb. There is virtually NO information out there, uncharted territory. Ecobee has no clue when I ask them about it because using it this way is not exactly ecobee friendly.
@Laurie We took our electric bill from about $650 a month down to $130 a month with the Ecobee after a AC system melt down last Labor Day weekend. The compressor went out and it cost me $3600 for a new system.
The best part about ecobee is the WiFi remote control feature that lets you turn the system on or off from anywhere in the world. The free graphs and charts tracking all the data is very helpful too.
It’s also pretty neat if a guest texts you it’s too warm and wooosh! You turn the AC and they are very impressed.
Glad to hear it worked out for you using the Ecobee.
‘You know it’s hard out here for a Host”