One of the most popular posts I’ve ever written for Your Mileage May Vary has been How To Override Hotel Thermostat Settings. Briefly, hotels with digital thermostats are sometimes able to set them so they don’t go above or below a certain temperature. So you may want your room to be 68 degrees at night, and you may set it to that, but the temperature of the room won’t actually go below 73 (or whatever the hotel has set it to). This saves the hotel money via a lower electric bill, but makes for a whole lot of sweaty (or freezing, in the cold months) guests. The post I mentioned above tells you how to override the settings for a dozen or so popular brands of thermostats.
Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of thermostat makes/models that are missing from the post above. It’s not my fault – the hacks just aren’t out there (or at least weren’t attainable when I was originally researching for that post). Or some hotels may purposely set their thermostats up so they can’t be accessed so easily.
Here are some ways, albeit some unconventional ones, to get around all that.
I remember the first time I ever saw that white vapor coming down from the vents above me – you know the one I’m talking about, right? – I had no idea of what it was and it scared the crap out of me – I figured the plane was on fire and why wasn’t anyone doing anything about it?
(Note: yes, I know the video is upside down. My phone is doing weird stuff and capturing photos and video backwards. I uploaded it to YouTube without editing it because I thought YT had a video editor onboard. But it turns out they ended that about a year ago. Go figure. But really…it’s 6 seconds and it’s vapor. You get the gist, even if it is upside down. It’s just not worth pulling out the iMovie software for…)
Have you ever wondered what it is? Why it is? I did. So I went and found out…
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: