As he swung the front door open, a blast of blistering heat hit him full force.
Expecting cool relief from the sweltering late summer heat in Missouri, instead he was greeted with an intense heat that was hotter than the outdoors.
Bubbling out of the dispensers, the liquid hand soap was slowly creeping across the bathroom counters.
Pillar candles were gradually melting into a droopy pile of wax.
And the “old-time” tin finish was beginning to peel off the oversized wall clock in the family room.
Guests were not scheduled to arrive for several more days, but my housekeeper Paul* (not his real name) decided to stop by the house for a moment to drop off some cleaning supplies.
Paul usually times these types of things to when he comes to clean, so it was by chance that he decided to go into the house after it was cleaned and prepped for the next guests.
Otherwise, it would have been our guests who walked into a vacation rental that felt as hot as hell.
When Paul called me to say that the house was an oppressive 112 degrees, I immediately pulled up my Nexia dashboard to check the temperature in the house.
No way could this be correct.
But he was correct. The temperature inside the house was well over 100 degrees and felt even hotter. On top of that, the temperature would continue to go up…the furnace was running!
How could this be possible? The air conditioning should be running, not the furnace.
Paul shut off the furnace and the thermostat, opened all of the windows, and turned on all of the ceiling fans.
I called the HVAC guy.
The issue: when our handyman had installed the new Trane thermostat a few days earlier, he did not follow the instructions exactly and mixed up two wires, putting the furnace wire in the air conditioning spot.
So when the thermostat thought it was telling the air conditioner to run and cool the hot house down, it was the furnace that ran…and ran…and ran…
The lesson: follow instructions very, very carefully…or hire a professional.
Some things are Do-It-Yourself. Installing a high tech wireless Z-Wave thermostat without following every detail of the instructions is not a DIY. Don’t make this mistake yourself.
Do I still use the Trane Z-Wave thermostat at our vacation rental? Yes, I do. And I love it.
I have the thermostat connected to our Nexia system so that I can view and change the temperature remotely on my iPhone, iPad, or computer (they support Android OS, too). I also have the ability to monitor energy usage and receive alerts when the temperature inside the house reaches a set minimum or maximum, as well as several other features.
The thermostat itself is easy to use with large up and down buttons for guests to adjust the temperature inside the house. It doesn’t look like anything super fancy, but it does some amazing things remotely on the backend.
The newest version of the Trane Remote Energy Management Thermostat is available on Amazon here for around $100.
Would I recommend the Trane thermostat to other vacation rental owners? Yes, I would…but only if you promise to have it installed correctly.
You can’t do everything yourself, and there is no possible way to be an expert in everything.
It’s okay, perfectly acceptable, and a wise decision to ask for help from an expert or a professional.
You may be just getting started as a vacation rental owner, or maybe you have been doing what you can but are still floundering.
Find an expert and ask for help.
I just happen to know a few…see the 7 Vacation Rental Experts to Follow in 2014.
And if you have a question about photography for your vacation rental, feel free to contact me. I’ll help you out.
Create Killer Vacation Rental Property Photos – eBook now available
P.S. I send out a vacation rental marketing tips email a few times each month. You should sign up for it right here: