You set the thermostat in your hotel room for a perfect room temp — just the way you like it — and then doze off for sweet slumber in your posh bed.... only to wake up covered in sweat at 3 a.m. You check your thermostat, and notice it's much warmer than the temp you so carefully selected. What gives?
Well, you might be bummed to learn that that thing on the wall may partially just be for show — to give you a sense of full control over your climate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, many hotels have installed motion sensors that turn the air conditioner off when no one is in the room. It's an admirable effort to go green — but it doesn't work so well if the sensor thinks the room is vacant just because you're sound asleep.
According to hospitality management professor Frederick Becker, cited in the Times report, "The cost of energy, electricity in particular, is one of the most significant expenses hotels have to deal with. Hotels can both save money on energy costs and be energy efficient and environmentally friendly."
The internet is full of people looking for tips on how to circumvent this uncomfortable setup — and one possible solution is pretty far fetched indeed. You can bring a helium balloon to the hotel room and let it float around all night, triggering the air conditioner to remain on. (The Internet has all answers!) Or if you're really tech-inclined, you could override the thermostat controls and deactivate this sensor, tampering with hotel property isn't a great idea in general.
People are so bothered by this issue that there's a whole blog dedicated to overriding various hotel thermostats.
Other than the motion sensors, the Wall Street Journal also explained that there are limits on thermostats so you don't really have as much control as you think you do. And beyond even that, the thermostat often lies to make you think it's colder than it is. According to the WSJ, Tim Fountain who spend most of his nights in hotel rooms, uses his own device to check temps. And he's noted that 30 percent of the rooms he has been in have thermostats that misreport room temperature. In one case, a thermostat read 65 when it was really 72.
So no, you haven't been just imaging things — and it wasn't just a nightmare that caused your night sweat.
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