ArgTemperature/houseguest Vent

Updated on August 04, 2012
A.R. asks from Keller, TX
32 answers

My MIL and her husband stayed with us last week (T-M) and watched the kids for 4 days while hubby and I were out of town. While we were gone she reprogrammed my upstairs thermostat - between 70 - 72 degrees 24 hours a day, but didn't tell me. They left last Tuesday morning, didn't change the thermostat back, and didn't tell me! I get that it's hot here (108+), and I have no issues with her changing the temp while she's here to be more comfortable - the thermostat has a 'temporary' setting. But.....she didn't use the 'temporary' setting, she reprogrammed the whole thing and didn't tell me. So all week the AC has been running 24 hours a day while there was no one upstairs. I'm home during the day but I'm locked in my downstairs office so I didn't notice it - I only go upstairs in the morning and evening when we normally have the AC on up there so nothing seemed out of whack to me. Who does that? Goes into someone elses house, changes the permanent settings on the AC without asking, and leaves without telling anyone?! Dreading my AC bill next month, it's going to be huge. Arghhh!

Obligatory question: What temp do you keep your house in the summer? ours is set at 80 during the day, I turn it down to 78 if it gets too hot.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I would just be thankful that she watched my kids for 4 days . . .

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Your inlaws took care of your kids for 4 days and you're mad they forgot to tell you about reprogramming the air conditioning? Really? She's suppose to know your schedule and that you wouldn't go upstairs to check on it? I bet the AC bill is far less than you would have had to pay someone to sit with your kids while you were out of town. Count your blessings ;)

We keep our room AC at 78, one in our bedroom and one in the living room, but we don't have them on all the time, only when it goes above 85/90 outside or it's really humid (we can get up to 90% humidity here). I'd rather have 6 months of snow than deal with >100 degrees of heat in the summer every day. Ugh!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It may have been something she did thinking she'd reset it before they left. It may have been easier for them to program once than every day adjusting it. Or maybe they didn't know how to temporarily adjust it.

We keep our house in the 76-78 range a lot of the time. If it's nice, we turn it off and open the house first.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She should have told you but it honestly probably slipped her mind. We keep ours about 73 year round.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I wouldn't do it but I know other people do. Temp override is annoying because you have to go back every so often and keep overriding it. Most people do hold which would have had the same effect but without you having to program it back.

I don't know, perhaps if I knew someone would be up there and I keep it programmed high I would have checked to see what changes were made if any.

Guess I am saying I would be mad at myself, not the guests.

So what do we keep it on, 78 when we are not home, 76 when we are but we have ceiling fans in every room. If we didn't it would be a couple degrees lower.

Oh if you want a house sitter horror story my ex's cousin watched our house and dogs for a week. He kept the house at 68 all week, this was july, was never home, when he was home he threw three parties, cleaned out our fridge, deep freeze and alcohol supply (around 1,000 dollars). Here is where it gets fun, ex mother in law yelled at us for not paying him! The punk cost us around 1,300 including utilities and we are supposed to pay him another five hundred!!?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Probably she just forgot...

And 76

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm only 50 and am pretty tech savy - but I guarantee I would forget the difference between temporary change and permanent change on a thermostat that I only use a few times a year, even if I used it once a month. I also guarantee that the very instant that I change it, it is out of my mind. it would never occur to me to tell anyone that I'd changed it. This falls in the catagory of not worth the emotional energy to be upset about to me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ouch. that's gonna suck.

I would LIKE to think it slipped her mind as you guys got home and she was getting ready to leave.

We keep our thermostat between 75 and 78.

I WISH we had a unit for upstairs...our home wasn't built right!!! :) So the upstairs is warm in the summer.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I wouldn't be too upset with your MIL if she was good enough to come and take care of your children for 4 days. It would snow in July if my MIL had done so. If that's all she did wrong, consider yourself blessed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

We used to keep it around 74/75 during the day, but this year decided to bump it up. Now we keep it at 78 degrees 24 hrs a day. It made a big impact in our electric bill.
Yeah it gets pretty hot here, too. :(

As for MIL, I do know people like that. Annoying isnt' it? Yes, it is rude. I completely understand. You are FINE with the fact she adjusted it (that's why you showed her how to set it, right?)... but the fact that she went around behind what you showed her to do (adjust temporary settings) and reprogrammed YOUR settings and then didn't mention it...
yeah.. that's rude.
Maybe she couldn't remember how to do the temporary hold, and then stumbled upon the method to reset it (the permanent memory settings) and didn't realize. But if she did "get" that she didn't know what she was doing, that is where the rudeness comes in again---she should have SAID to you "Hey, I was trying to set the temporary hold thingee on the thermostat, and I am not sure, but I think I might have adjusted YOUR settings... you might want to look at it and make sure it is ok." or SOMETHING. You acknowledge when you have done something (or think you have) to alter somebody's settings on something.
Kindle. Ipod. Phone. etc.

I have a BIL who resets everything he touches, without asking. Ticks me AND my husband off. Driving down the road, he'll just reach over and start adjusting everything on your dashboard--without saying a thing. He'll reset the stereo settings and presets if you don't stop him. It's rude.
Sorry, you're a/c bill next time probably will be huge. But at least your kids had fun with Grammy and Gramps while you were away. ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

We keep ours on about 78 in the summer and about 68 in the winter...just so we aren't too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. I still tend to cover w/ a light blanket in the evenings but hubby would like it cooler year round.

I would just remember that next time, it is at the top of my list to fix the change she surely made..or you could set it a little cooler before you leave and lock it so no further changes can be made.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We keep ours at 80 during the day and 78 at night... I have no idea how to program our AC so I just use the manual to turn it up or down. In the winter our temp is set at 68. You sound like me - you wouldn't be an ex-Yankee would you???

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well, I live in Keller like you. We keep ours at 78 during the day and 80 at night. I know that sounds really warm, but we have a one story house and our ceiling fans do a great job of cooling things off. And if it gets to be too much, we turn it down a few degrees using the temporary setting.

We have had to pay a ton for air conditioning repairs at our rental house. Mostly because the tenants try to keep the house at 72. We have been told countless times that air conditioners can really only cool a house about 20 degrees cooler than outside and trying to get it colder causes all kinds of ac problems. Our tech has said that today's temperatures are way above the design temp of air conditioners.

BTW...maybe your MIL just didn't know how to use the digital thermostat???

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I don't turn the air on unless it is at least 85 outside. I ususally only have it on two weeks of the summer. This year and last year have been really hot and we've been running it a lot more than usual. It is set at 75 right now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

as you say, it's not so much rude of her to adjust it to suit herself, but pretty rude to reprogram it without telling you. my first thought is that she just forgot (i was working at my parents' house yesterday and remembered when i read your post that i had to turn it down from their preferred 85 to 78 so i wouldn't die, and forgot to turn it back!) but you say she's done it before.
in which case i'm not sure why you're shocked.
but yeah, you certainly have venting rights.
i'd be very comfortable at your temps. my men love it really cold, like 70 or below, which i think is ridiculous and wasteful. we've compromised at 72 but i'd much rather have it at 76 or so.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have the oposite problem. I turn down my mom's ac and forget to turn it up. She puts it over 80 while she's gone and when I come in I knock it down to about 73 and sometimes forget to turn it up. Her's in not one you can program. She get's mad though. She used to turn ours up if she would come over while we were gone. I was afraid she would do it when we were on vacation but I told her not to cause we kept it cool for our pets. My advise would have your husband talk to her about it. She does not need to be told it's you that's upset. Then before she comes again I would try to see if you can lock it to where it can not be changed without maybe a password.
Since my guys are at home all day in the summer we don't make ours fluctuate it stays around 72 but if my husband is doing much work around the house he turns it down. He would be happy to have it 68 all day. Not me. 72 is a good temp for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm in AZ so its HELL here too, so I get this. I would LOVE to have it set at 72, but when we do, our bill is almost $500 per month. So I set it at 78, which is tollerable but we still have the ceiling fans on to help.

She probably didn't understand how to work the controls and after 4 days, didn't think to tell you she did it. She probably is used to it being that way at her home. I know its frustrating but a small price to pay for babysitters for 4 days. =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Our electric bill is usually over $500 each summer month and I live in a 1280 sq ft home.

I WISH it was below 90 inside my house too. It stays over 85 for at least 18 hours of the day with the AC unit going full time.

You need to set a reminder on your phone to go check the thermostat after they leave. You can put it in any time from the time you know they are coming. That way it's on the calendar and will go off sometime the day after they are expected to leave.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ours is pretty much set to the outside temperature. We do not have central air but we do have a two window units. The window unit in the frontroom is set for 80 degrees. The one in the bedroom is set for a little above heatstroke. It is extremely old and does not work well but it is still better then no air at night.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

That is frustrating, maybe next time put a post it note on the thermostat.

I keep ours at 74 or 75, which during the day the unit runs all the time. Our development is less than 10 years old and the trees are still small and do not provide any shade. My hubby would like it colder but I shouldn’t need a winter coat here in Florida.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

That would annoy me too.

We're usually between 72-74. It seems that the hotter it gets outside, the warmer I can program the thermostat and still be comfortable.

ETA: I guess it is much easier to program it once than having to keep going to the thermostat to adjust it throughout the day. Considering they were there for 4 days and watched the kids, I think it is just a small annoyance to endure.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Usually 76 during the day 74 at night. But my last bill was high so that sucker is being cranked to 78 during the day. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

OOh, frustrating, but I bet, like others said, it was that it slipped her mind.

No one is home at our house during the day - so, during the summer I set a program that keeps the house at 78 from 7am-5pm, then it goes down to 74.



answers from Dallas on

I understand your irritation, if we forget and do something stupid like leave the AC running or put too much water in the pool then it makes us mad. To have someone else do it is really irritating.

We keep upstairs and downstaird at 80 in the summer, even if we are home. I wil lower it to 78 if I'm running around doing stuff but if we aren't too hot then we just turn on the ceiling fans. At night it's 75.


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't be mad, she probably just forgot about it, that's all. I know about electric bills though! We're here in Arlington, so I know how friggin' hot it is! We keep ours at 74 but we only have one vent to cool the whole front of the house (playroom and living room) with vaulted ceilings! So, no matter what it's set at, it never stays cool in those rooms. We have all ceiling fans going at all times, plus a box fan in the hallway to circulate the house air, plus a fan on the coffee table to keep us "cool" while we watch tv.


answers from Washington DC on

we have a 4 story town home, so we have ours set at 72. On the 4th floor (master bedroom) even with the ac on, it will get to be in the 90's up there. We do not have an attic either, so it gets VERY hot in our bedroom. My husband works grave shift so someone is always sleeping in there (him day time, me night time), so we have a seperate ac unit in the bedroom that we set to 70.
It's way too hot and humid around here to not have it on all day. Our electric bill is usually around $130 a month in the summer. Our heat is also electric (stove, water)



answers from Dallas on

I think that is a small price to pay for someone who loves your children to come watch them for four days. Shrug it off. Just because you've shown her doesn't mean she remembers how or understands your AC system, esp if there has been time between when you showed her. If you know she needs the upstairs cooler, and you know she is coming, why don't you fix the problem before she gets there?



answers from Detroit on

Ours is at 72 right now most of the time during the summer, but sometimes when I am getting a lot of housework and cleaning done and working up a bit of sweat, I'll turn it down to 70 to help cool off. But then it's back at 72.


answers from Milwaukee on

Well I bet next time you will remember to go set it back to your settings. LOL We keep ours at 72 - 74 depending on what I am doing. We don't have settings so I have to adjust it all day.



answers from Washington DC on

69 - 70 if hubby is home
72 if I am home.



answers from Boston on

Next time they come. Leave typed out directions taped next to the A/C Thermostat. Mine is on 74, I like it cold.....but because of menopause. I turn it off, then on, then off. LOL!



answers from Dallas on

Maybe she didnt realize she did the reprogramming and not the temp.
If ours was set on 80 dsegrees in this summer heat I would melt.
We keep it on 71 !!
I would be grateful you got to get away and had someone stay with your children!

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