Outwit Your Hotel Room's Thermostat With These Hacks

Comfort and convenience are two pillars of a quality hotel stay. When you pay for a hotel room, you expect the freedom to adjust your surroundings to create a personalized space. Sleep with two pillows? No problem. Hot shower? Check. Temperature controls? Not so fast. In the past, adjusting the temperature in your hotel room involved an "on" and "off" button and turning a knob to "cooler" or "warmer." Simple yet effective.

However, modern hotel thermostats are much more sophisticated, with motion sensors and automated temperature controls designed to prevent guests from adjusting the temperature too low or too warm. If you're a particularly hot or cold sleeper or you're traveling in the peak of winter or summer, the thermostat parameters may miss your atmospheric sweet spot. 

Fortunately, you don't have to shiver or swelter during your hotel stay. By following a few simple steps, you can override automated temperature controls on most wall-mounted thermostats. 

Find your VIP mode

Most modern, wall-mounted thermostats in hotels operate the same. You can adjust higher or lower within a certain range, and many of these thermostats are equipped with motion detectors, allowing the thermostat to turn off when you're not around (or sleeping). If you want to override these functions, you'll need to be in "VIP" mode to access VIP-level temp controls.

First, hold down the "display" button. While holding the "display" button, press the "on/off" button. Release the "on/off" button but continue to press the "display" button. Finally, press the "up" arrow (or increase temperature) button before releasing all the buttons. Once you release the buttons, the display should read "VIP".

If you've done this correctly, you now have full control of your temperature setting and probably disabled the motion sensor, meaning you won't need to wait for your room to get cool or warm when you're not around. This simple hack tends to work across many popular thermostat brands regularly found at hotels, including Honeywell and Inncom systems.

Be a VIP, but not a diva

There are good reasons to override your temperature controls. As mentioned, you may sleep particularly hot or cold. Or, let's say your room warms up quickly due to afternoon sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows. In this case, you may want to keep your A/C flowing while you hit the gym or grab a bite.

However, we should mention that setting parameters on temperatures helps hotels to conserve energy. According to Technology 4 Hotels, guestrooms account for roughly 90% of wasted electricity, and the HVAC system is by far the largest source of energy consumption. Yes, controlling the temperature saves the hotel lots of money, but it also makes it greener. 

Depending on your specific situation, requesting an extra blanket or cracking a window may reduce your traveling carbon footprint. That said, you're also paying to experience a comfortable stay and have the right to control your own temperature. There's nothing wrong with the VIP treatment, but let's stay cool about it.