As we wrote a while back, modern hotel thermostats are, in a word, a pain. Well over a decade ago, we noticed the kind of thermostat where you were supposed to put your room key into a slot to keep the air conditioning (and sometimes the electricity!) running, which meant when you were out of the room, your A/C wouldn’t run and when you got back, the room would be uncomfortable. That one was easy to override because just about ANY card worked in the slot ;).
As modern technology got more advanced, they started building motion sensors into hotel thermostats, which meant that not only did you have to be in the room for the A/C to work, you had to be moving around…so if you were sleeping and woke up in the middle of the night, the room could be uncomfortable because unless they were sleepwalking, no one had moved around in several hours.
And then there are the thermostats that have upper or lower limits that you can’t bypass so the room won’t get warmer or colder than the hotel wants. Oh great, that way we can be uncomfortable in our room while we’re wide awake, too!
Fortunately, electronic-savvy travelers have made it their business to figure out how to override these nuisance thermostats so we can be in our hotel rooms more comfortably. Here are some hacks for some of the most popular brands at some of the more popular hotels:
NOTE #1: Of course, the hotels don’t want you to mess with their thermostats. Besides potentially using up more energy than the hotel intended, you run the risk of breaking their thermostat – and frankly, they may or may not hold you responsible for the repair bill. Your Mileage May Vary as to whether it’s a good idea or not to try to bypass the controls set by the hotel – but if you think it’s OK, here are some ways to do it.
NOTE #2: Some of these suggestions are older than others and some controls may have been updated since. We make no guarantees they still work, but hey, it’s worth a try, right?
These are “below the window” units you see in some motel and hotel rooms, where the settings are in the unit.
Alternate AMANA PTAC
The older Amana PTAC units don’t need as much work to override the thermostat, as I discovered during a recent trip to a Candlewood Suites that had such a unit. Click here to see how easy it is.
These are frequently found in Holiday Inn Express – they’re specifically wall units without a motion sensor
These thermostats can be found at some Hilton hotels.
GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) THERMOSTAT
This video specifies Holiday Inn window units
This video specifies Motel 6 window units
This is for the FocusPro 5000 & 6000 brand of thermostat, which can be found in many hotels
This is for the Honeywell brand used in Premier Inn brand of hotels
Frequently appearing in Hyatt and Starwood hotels around the world, Honeywell’s Incomm thermostats have an easily-activated ‘DON mode’ or ‘VIP mode’ that overrides the usual temperature limits.
Lonix thermostats are used globally. They look like this:
You’ll get to the secret menu by simultaneously depressing the up and down keys…
… then tapping either directional key until you see ‘CH-C’:
Press ‘M’ (second from the left), and you can again tweak the lowest available temperature:
These are the thermostats used at many Disney hotels as well as some Wyndham hotels. There are 3 possible methods of overriding, depending on how old/what kind of thermostat your room has. The first video is older; if that doesn’t work, try the 2nd video. If the 2nd video doesn’t work, try the 3rd.
Often found in Accor hotels, the digital Trane thermostat is more complex than some other brands, but can still be tweaked. Start by holding down the central button labelled ‘override’…
… then once you see ‘PswrdSet 0’, keep pressing the ‘override’ key until you see ‘cool min’ – or ‘heat max’ as the conditions warrant…
… and use the arrow keys to adjust the temperature downward or upward:
Once you’re happy, leave the buttons alone for a moment and the system exits back to the main screen where you can select your newly-unlocked temperature Note that the thermostat won’t automatically change back to the original setting, so you might want to revert this before you check out of your hotel.
ANY “TAMPER PROOF” THERMOSTAT (TO MAKE THE ROOM WARMER)
This one is kind of funny 🙂
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