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It’s Not You: Hotel Thermostats Really Are Rigged

Erin Holohan Haskell
Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,756
This article made me laugh. And I thought you'd get a kick out of it too.

It reminds me of this article we shared in our newsletter about elevator and crosswalk buttons.

They call it the illusion of being in control. Some food for thought for those headed to AHR soon.


  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    edited January 2017
    I hate that. For the fortune we are paying for the room, we should have it the temp we want. The most common stat is the Inncom. That's an easy one to bypass. Just Google Inncom VIP mode. I think Honeywell just bought them.

    Ironically they can cost the hotel money instead of saving it. I was in a new Hampton with an Inncom. 10° out. Heat would stop, residual heat would raise the room over the setpoint and since it has no mode switch, cooling turns on. So for 2 days, the poor PTAC switched back & forth between heat & cool to keep it at the set temp. That little rotary compressor won't put up with starting in bitter cold weather.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,289
    Yeah. Every time we have to go to Anchorage and stay overnight the first thing we have to do is open up the windows. You would think that when it is 10 degrees out that they would not want all the windows open and fix it.
    Seems like they need good technicians there to get with these guys and set up some outdoor reset, or at least fix the zone valves.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,351
    I install DDC systems in institutional buildings as one of my services. Most have just a "room setpoint" type of stat. A programmable pushbutton and an LED to indicate "something".

    Auto Changeover thermostats with little deadband are a constant fight against ambient in the building, my wife and I like a cool room and find most places to be way overheated. A hotel is a good place for a VRF heat pump (has the ability to move heat from one room to another or outdoors, or from outdoors to inside. Couple this with some type of fin tube/radiant in common areas.

    There would be a system which would actually utilize heat/cooling to full potential within a micro-zoned area, and not just waste it.

    I've also worked on a heat/chilled loop system, where each room has a small fan coil and a diverter valve that uses between Heating and Cooling Loops within the building.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Steve Minnich
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 931
    I knew that. I could not believe every thermostat was broken. Thanks for confirming my paranoia LOL
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • GregWeiss
    GregWeiss Member Posts: 22
    Where can I get some of these rigged thermostats for my apartments?
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    In some cases it doesn't matter if the thermostats work or not, the system's rigged....

    We stayed at a four star hotel on the ocean in Greece a few years back.. it was in the summer... it was still 90f at night. Two nights in a row I woke up at 4am sweating because the room was too warm, the t-stat was still set... just no cool air from the AC.
    I finally complained after the second night... the manager at the front desk stated in a very matter of fact tone "sir... all four star hotels in Greece turn the air conditioning off after 3am, if you want air condition all night long... you must go to a five star hotel!"
    We checked out that morning!
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,351
    Most digital thermostats have settings that are only accessed in a service mode. Settings such as cycles per hour, min/max Temps, deadband etc. The problem is that a smart Tennant can Google how to get into these settings, just as in the article Erin posted.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • GregWeiss
    GregWeiss Member Posts: 22
    @Solid_Fuel_Man can you give me an example of a fairly inexpensive t stat that has range stops?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,535
    By range stops, I presume you mean upper and lower limits on temperature settings.
    One of the Honeywell VisionPro thermostats (maybe someone can help out with the model number?), has a password protected installer's setup which will provide that feature.
    It will also enable the use of a remote sensor in the apartment, while the main control is in a secure area, away rom prying fingers!--NBC
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,034
    The 6000 series & up provide an upper heating stop & a lower cooling stop. I set 'em at 80 & 68 respectively.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,351
    Honeywell focusPro 5000 is my simple non-programmable thermostat of choice. But, the service mode is easily accessible by pushing two buttons simultaneously for a few seconds....
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Braeburn 1000NC
  • GregWeiss
    GregWeiss Member Posts: 22
    Thank you. Going to try out the braeburn
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    There's a new Drury Hotel in town that has a s-load of VRF units on the roof. Some copper salesman made a killing in commission. Hopefully heat recovery. I like WSHPs though they can get pretty noisy in a room.