TRAVEL TIP | Ever tried to make your hotel room warmer or cooler, only to find that the air conditioner will scroll up or down by only a few degrees – or, worse, is locked in place?
Blame the hotel, not the aircon. Many hotels, especially larger chains, deliberately restrict the range of the thermostat so that it's easier to manage air conditioning for the entire building and in turn lower their electricity bill.
But you don't need to sit there shivering or sweating.
Most hotel air conditioning control units have a secret program mode which with a few deft keystrokes lets you over-ride such limits and make your room as cool or as warm as you like.
Honeywell Incomm thermostat
Frequently appearing in Hyatt and Starwood hotels across the globe, Honeywell’s simplistic Incomm thermostats have an easily-activated ‘VIP mode’ which overrides the usual temperature limits.
Press and hold the ‘display’ key, then tap ‘off/auto’, ‘up’ and then release the ‘display’ key. Your room will now be in VIP mode for the next 72 hours…
… which not only unlocks a broader range of temperatures but also deactivates the system’s motion sensor: keeping your room at your chosen temperature while sleeping or ducking out for a brief moment, allowing you to wake up or return to a perfectly chilled or heated room.
Often found in Accor hotels, the digital Trane thermostat is more complex but almost begs to 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 – but note that it won’t automatically change back to the original setting, so you might consider reverting this before check-out.
Also used globally is the Lonix thermostat, which looks just like this:
You’ll get to the secret menu by simultaneously depressing the up and down keys…
… then tap either directional key until you see ‘CH-C’:
Press ‘M’ (second from the left), and you can again tweak the lowest available temperature:
In this instance, the hotel was either generous or we’d been beaten to the punch by a previous guest, as setting changes on this type of thermostat are also retained until manually adjusted again.
It should go without saying, but all other settings on hotel thermostats should be left untouched: tinkering with options you’re unfamiliar with has the potential to damage or disable the system, which you’ll have a hard time explaining to hotel management or your travel/liability insurer.
More travel tips from the AusBT team:
- How to save emergency medical information in your iPhone
- Using the iPhone’s 'do not disturb' feature on your next business trip
- Five survival tips for when an airline loses your bag
- Making it easier to find and return your lost Windows laptop
- Flying business class? Don’t just hang your jacket, hang your outfit!
- From A to B with plenty of Zzzz: Top tips for sleeping on planes
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