Hotel air conditioning

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  • Montysaurus

    I often find great difficulty in setting the air conditioning in hotel rooms because –
    I’m getting on a bit;
    They rarely come with instructions;
    They rarely work as the pictograms, if provided, suggest;
    They have varying fan speeds which seem to bear little relation to what is either desired or occurs;
    They sometimes have other symbols that have no explanation;
    Some, but not many, allow me to set the temperature I want but many more show the number of degrees increase that I may want but still show the current temperature.
    I am tempted to discount the first reason as I can manage technology reasonably well given that I am a Chartered Engineer. In my car I set the climate control to the temperature I want and it gets there all by itself, even automatically decreasing fan speed as it approaches the desired temperature. Why can’t hotel systems do something similar?
    Do others have this problem or does the first reason actually apply?


    I am delighted to read this and to know that I’m not alone in failing to manage hotel air conditioning.

    I’ve been able to manage complex computer systems for revenue and inventory management for airlines so I don’t think I’m particularly stupid. I often find that when things that dumbed down to the level of pictograms they are more difficult to understand than old-fashioned controls.

    I would also add that I detest air conditioning with a passion and do my best to stay in places where you can switch it off and open the windows, even in hot places.


    …..and aircon that sounds like a Spitfire taking off, even on the lowest fan setting…….


    as long as I can turn the a/c on and off and set the desired temperature, all is good….

    cant stand hotels that have a centralised system where one temperature suits all rooms – such as the Sheraton DUS flug… (or is did have)….

    Main issues I find with controls:

    1. they are hidden and you need to send a search party to find them..

    2. They are on an ipad and you need a degree to understand how they work

    3. In the case of the Westin in BKK and other Westins (am I about to find fault in my favourite hotel?)… I have this fabulous ability to knock the wired control behind the bed side table during the night..

    4. The controls have been dewired…


    I love Hotel Rooms with big open windows, like the Dusseldorf´s Radisson.

    There is nothing better, for my sleeping quality than being able to open a big window before bedtime. This nice clean fresh air…

    What worries me is, not knowing the Maintenance and Cleaning Quality of the Air Conditioning filters and ducts.


    was in Hong Kong last week. Hotel A/C was set to fridge mode and no amount of tinkering would change it.


    Tom Otley

    It’s a problem in most Hong Kong hotels.

    Whenever I visit over the winter months I take a thick jumper to wear in the evenings when I’m working in the room, because no matter what the temperature gauge says, it only chills the room and won’t warm it up.

    I’ve often had to take a shower to warm up.


    I am with you on this, i also tend to find that whilst it may be set at a comfortable 20c when i go to bed i am convinced many have a central control that turns it up to around 28 during the night! i often wake up boiling hotr and have to get up and change it to 18…assuming i can figure it out, or even find it!


    Do others have this problem or does the first reason actually apply?

    I have this problem too, like many others I think. My solution is – insist the hotel engineer or someone else fixes it / or shows me how to use it. As I am paying (often in hotels in the Far East) I never hesitate to ask for help in a hotel, whether they can/will provide it or not. They can usually help….


    It is not too difficult to manage air conditioning.
    Setting the temperature of choice and keeping the fan to auto shall solve most of the problems.
    Sometimes the Cleaners keep the fan on manual high position so when one come back it feels very cold. Changing the fan to auto will do the trick.
    If someone feels that room temperature is not really as set, it could be the vent/grill mechanical position. For that you need to call service and they will adjust the vent openings.
    Keeping the fan in auto may disturb the sleep for some people as the fan start stop many times. What I do is that I keep the fan in auto when not sleeping and adjust required temperature. When I go to sleep, I changed the temperature to 20 degree C and change the fan to manual and low. In that way I get a constant flow/noise/ambience.


    I agree with Tom Otley.
    I havefound that airconditioning in the tropkcs is not reverse cycle and therefore does not warm the room.I have often found myself sitting in the full blast of a cold breeze with the temprature set at 26 celsius and freezing. The only solution for me is to turn the air conditioning off because the option of redirecting the breeze is not available. I don’t have a problem using the temperature control providing it is well lit.


    Agree with everybody so far……..although Inquisitive , I salute your aptitude.

    It’s the “I’ve got a mind of my own” devices that freak me out !

    In the middle of the night you’re woken by a whiney hum, that with surety turns into a cacophony the more you ears become tuned in to it.

    At the other extreme are units that replicate the pit lane at an F1 race,

    And that brings me to an anecdote , involving a friend in a Toronto hotel .
    Seemed like half of our village was over for my pals June wedding. The weather snapped the perception that Canada was a bleak winter wilderness populated by wandering moose and polar bears. It was roasting , much , much hotter than the WC final happening a continent away at Ellis Park on the same day.
    We were all staying in a very good Mississauga motel, and after really pushing the boat out at the stag night, we staggered back to the Motel and dispersed to our own rooms , making arrangements to meet in Davie and Stevie’s room the next morning to watch the Rugby.

    We arrived into a Sauna , Davie went to switch on the unit and then he roars…….
    “ What the hells happened here, it’s fallen to bits”
    He then heads to pick up the phone to complain to the management……….
    “ Whoa” shouts my other pal…..” Can’t you remember?”
    A hangdog hungover look, that only a middle aged man good contort blankly stares back.

    “You couldn’t work out how to switch it off, so you Bruce Lee’d it, “
    My pal then went on to say, that Davie and not the oppressive heat kept him awake, with his snoring serenade of the sounds of a Serengeti waterhole.

    Our party must have made a good impression with the owner as accepted the flimsy excuse and the dollars we collectively scrambled together to appease him.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    With some a/c, sealing off the vents on the sensor unit with insulation tape will disable the system.


    Although many air con units get on my nerves, I am technically minded so I am usually ok, what gets on my nerves even more are non working bathroom fans. Heated mirrors are fine but when there aren’t any, you then have a shower and everywhere is steamed up for ages that really gets to me.

    Any other bugbears?


    Talking of bathrooms, something that irritates me is when there isn’t enough shelf space even to put the few items that a man normally has when travelling.

    As for when my wife is with me I won’t even go into that!

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