63ºF

Are hotels rigging thermostats?


Does it ever feel like the temperature in your hotel room is never cold or hot enough, even after you set it? An investigation by the Wall Street Journal confirms what many hotel guests have suspected. Some hotel thermostats are rigged. Sometimes, no matter how hard you push the button, the temperature in your hotel room doesn't feel like it's getting cold enough. That's probably because it isn't.

Some hotel thermostats have been upgraded from a simple mechanical sensor to a wireless motion detector. Many are triggered to shut off when you leave the room or open the balcony door. Some even shut off in the middle of the night while you're sleeping because they don't sense any movement.

Most guests still prefer to have control over their own temperature, which is why a Tumblr blog called "Thermostat-bypass" walks you through how to override some hotel thermostats.

A search of YouTube has numerous videos on how to hack different models and even disable the motion sensors. One that says hold down the display button then press "off" then "up."

The Wall Street Journal reports new room control systems have become much more affordable for hotels and comply with tougher energy-conservation building codes around the country and sometimes qualify for tax rebates, which is another reason many hotels are switching over.