There’s a feeling when you step foot into a hotel room for the first time. It’s like a reveal on one of those shows on HGTV; who knows what’s behind the door? Is it an amazingly nice room or is it a dingy space with a garbage bin from the hotel down the block? (we actually had this happen to us in London).
What’s even worse is when you walk into a hotel room and the climate control just isn’t right. Sure, there are some hotels that set the thermostat too high when no one’s in the room but that’ll eventually be resolved. The absolute worst is when you walk into a room that’s cool but just feels damp…
Or should I say, MOIST
Personally, I have no problems with the word although I know there are a whole bunch of people who hate it with a passion. While I don’t hate the word, I do hate a moist room. (Ewwwwww)
Honestly, I never gave much thought about why some rooms feel like that. Upon looking back at rooms I’ve had with this problem, they usually have an air conditioning unit built into the wall instead of a central air system.
When a friend of ours was shopping for a new A/C system for her house, another friend who works at a home improvement store cracked the code. He was explaining why you should buy a properly sized unit for your home and why a larger unit than necessary isn’t a good thing:
Essentially it will get you cold quick, but will not run long enough to dehumidify. So you will be cold and wet – like in an old motel room with the AC toggle button on LOW.
So that’s the key! The A/C unit isn’t too weak, it’s actually too strong or running inefficiently. It’s cooling the room down too quickly and turns off before it gets a chance to remove the humidity from the air. An optimal cycle is around 20 minutes. Less than that and you have cold, humid air. Cold air can’t hold water well so you end up with a moist room.
You may not be able to do anything to prevent this. If the room thermostat is poorly placed, possibly in the line of air blowing from the air conditioner, it will tell the unit the room is cooler than it actually is and the unit will keep cycling on and off, otherwise known as short cycling.
There are other reasons the air conditioner may be running at a less than optimal level. Common reasons are if the cooling coils are dirty or the air filter is clogged. How often do you think a Quality Inn cleans the air conditioner units in the rooms?
Personally, I’ve had fewer problems in very hot climates than moderate ones. The Comfort Inn in Sonora, TX and the Holiday Inn Express in Carlsbad, NM had in-room units that worked great even when it was over 100 degrees outside. But a Radisson hotel in Williamsburg, VA felt like a cold sauna once the temperature hit 90.
I wish I could give you a solution to this problem. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do as a guest if your room is too damp. However, if your room is just too warm, it might be your thermostat and there are ways to hack that sucker!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary