How to create comfort advice for your guests.

Being comfortable is key to being a satisfied guest. Remember when you have been too hot or too cold in your accommodation at night – your bad night’s sleep would have made you less inclined to write a good review. Comfort is essential for good accommodation. Comfort also involves using lots of energy; as much as 40% of your energy bill will most likely be spent on heating and cooling systems. So this is the perfect place to start to save costs and make guests happy.

Most guests are likely to be unfamiliar with your accommodation’s heating/cooling systems and your local climate. So they may not appreciate the best way to use facilities efficiently and may not have come prepared. My Green Butler provides comfort advice which guides guests to use alternative methods (as their first choice) to keep comfortable that use little or no energy. It makes guests feel they have options and are in control of their comfort, which in turn means they don’t just rush to turn on expensive energy-hungry systems.

You will learn how to set up your own comfort advice by reading our easy-to-follow method. You will create advice that’s a perfect fit with the unique characteristics of your accommodation and location, and is delivered at the appropriate time by the My Green Butler system.

Comfort methods that save energy

Read through these suggestions below and add your own. You can download or print this table. Take it to your guest rooms and make notes to help you think about what comfort descriptors make sense for your accommodation.

Download the table

Reveal comfort methods that save energy...
TypeUsingTemperatureAdviceTips
Building which use natural ventilation have been shown to use much less energy than those which rely of a/c or heatingWindowsColdIf the temperature is dropping outside guests should be advised to close windows at the right timeIn summer the coolest part of the days can be dawn. In winter the warmest part of the day can be around mid day
WindowsMildIf the temperature is
WindowsWarmIn the winter if the temperature is warming up outside guests can open the windows instead of using heating
WindowsHotIn the summer if the temperature is cooling down outside then guests should be encouraged to open their windows rather than using the a/c
DoorsColdOpening doors can help promote cross breeze to cool accommodation
DoorsMildOpening doors can provide extra fresh air
DoorsWarmOpening doors can help help heat up accommodation
DoorsHotClosing doors early can prevent hot air from outside entering the accommodation
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Drafts cause significant heat lossDraft excluderColdStop drafts by offering a draft excluder to guestsAdd a thermal backing to your curtains
Draft excluderHotStop hot air coming into the accommodation with a draft excluder
Curtains/BlindsColdClosing curtains early to avoid room heat loss
Curtains/BlindsHotClosing curtains to keep rooms cooler in hot weather
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Help guests adapt by giving them alternative ways of keeping warm or coolBed rugColdOffer attractive bed rugs so guests don’t have to use electric bed blanketWhen people become active their body temperature rises. Recommend healthy fun things to do. When they have a cool/warm shower they percieve the air temperature to be lower/higher
Sofa RugColdProvide attractive natural fibre sofa rug so guests use heating later
Thicker ClothingColdRecommend weather warmer natural fibre cloths – you can also recommend this in ‘What to Pack’
Lighter ClothingHotRecommend weather cooler natural fibre cloths – you can also recommend this in ‘What to Pack’
Walking/JoggingColdInvite guest to take some activity (naturally will warm them up)
Short showerColdA quick 2 minute shower can warm a guest up rather than leaving heating on
Short showerHotA quick 2 minute shower can help cool a guest down rather than putting the a/c on
VerandaHotIf the veranda offers shade and there is a shower this can help guests feel cooler
Ice from FreezerHotKeep ice lollies in freezer and offer to guests in time of high temperatures
BicyclesColdSuggest guest go for a fun bike ride which will have the benefit of warming them up
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Recommend a range of collective actionsWarm RetreatExtreme ColdFor larger accommodation encourage guests for focus on one room to make a warmer and cosy. Focusing resources on one area will be more efficientCombine actions offer free ice lollies/hot chocolate
Cool RetreatExtreme HotFor larger accommodation encourage guests for focus on one room to make it cooler and healthier. Focussing resources in one room will be more efficient
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Provide technical advice when to use facilities linked to time of day and season encourage more efficient useCeiling fansColdUsing fans at lowest level with heating circulates warm air more effectivelyRemember guests will be unfamiliar with the controls, it is helpful to guide them, they will thank you for it
Ceiling fansWarmUsing fans at low/medium level can give guests the impression of a 2C cooler temperature
Ceiling fansHotOffering guests use fans at medium/high level can give them the feeling of control, so preferring this lower energy method to cool down
Wood FireColdAdvising guests to start fires early avoids late use and over feeding fire
Wood FireMildAdvising guests to wisely use wood avoids over heating which is unhealthy
Central HeatingColdRecommend suitable temperature setting and time of day to start/turn off
Central HeatingMildRecommend natural ventilation and other behaviour tips above
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Using ceiling fans with a/c saves energy, circulating air effectivelyAir ConditioningColdRecommend to set at 21-22C medium fan rate and use with ceiling fansYou can limit a/c use by offering healthy alterantives
Air ConditioningMildRecommend natural ventilation and other behaviour tips above
Air ConditioningWarmRecommend natural ventilation and other behaviour tips above
Air ConditioningHotRecommend to set at +23C medium fan rate and use with ceiling fans
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
Interior design helps guests make more eco-friendly choicesColoursCold/MildWarm colours give guests a sense of warmthAdd seasonal colours/fabrics to warm/cool rooms
ColoursWarm/HotCool colours give guests a sense of coolness
FabricsAllSynthetic fabrics and materials often do no offer same flexibility for human comfort
FloorsCold/MildProvide rugs in cooler temperatures
Floor coveringsWarm HotOffer titles for warmer climates
insert your ideas
insert your ideas
insert your ideas

Download this table

11 ways to offer guests a variety of comfort methods

  1. DC ceiling fans using 1/3 the energy of a regular fan
  2. thermal backed curtains dramatically reduce heat loss and solar radiation
  3. pelmets further reduce heat loss and cut solar radiation
  4. partly shaded verandas let guests sit outside in warmer weather and when it rains
  5. removable floor coverings warm up floors surfaces for cooler seasons
  6. wicker furniture permit more airflow for comfort in summer, more cushion make them just as comfortable in winter
  7. displayed natural fiber rugs let guests stay warm easily
  8. thick glass windows have higher insulation values
  9. if required fly screens permit natural fresh air without insects
  10. natural fiber bed sheets and covers aid sleep comfort
  11. dimmable soft white lights can add cozy feel to a room.

Photo courtesy of Crystal Creek Meadows, Kangaroo Valley, Australia.

Writing Descriptions

Below we explain our method to advise guests to be comfortable, which also happens to use less energy. Comfort Advice is a message you write which guides guests to take the best course of action based on weather, time of day and season. Your advice is stored by My Green Butler and delivered on our daily sheet and/or mobile app to suit the current conditions.

You will find on your My Green Butler site we have included some ‘Comfort’ suggestions as a guide. You can adjust these to suit your own accommodation. You can duplicate these to make easy temperature or seasonal modifications, add your own ideas or delete ours.

Keep the advice succinct.

Why you can persuade guests to take your advice and save

Most guests are prepared to find other ways to be comfortable rather than just turn on energy-hungry systems.  Scientists have found people have three ways they adapt; by changing their behaviour, by acclimatising, and by mentally adjusting. Here’s what the science says….

Behaviour

People are much more flexible about coping with temperature change than we might expect. For example, a guest sitting in a chair by the window can move their chair to get out of the hot sun’s rays, or change chairs or close the blinds. Provided there are options, we don’t mind adapting.

You can use the My Green Butler system to think of additional ways in which guests can adapt. Some of these ideas can be low cost and fun, for example providing an attractive rug on the sofa, big enough for two.

 Acclimatisation

Guests are likely to come from different climate zones, so we need to help them get used to temperatures. For example, imagine a guest arriving from London’s winter to Sydney’s summer, it could be a whopping 40C difference. My Green Butler provides advanced advice on What to Pack before they arrive. By giving guests the My Green Butler Welcome Sheet when they arrive they will feel you are empathising with them. This makes them more likely to listen to your advice, acclimatise better, and enjoy their stay more.

Mentally Adjusting

People feel happier with the inside temperature of a room when they feel they can control it themselves by making it cooler or warmer. Our scientific research found that guests tolerated cooler winter, and warmer summer, inside temperatures, just because we gave them advice which made it easier for them to control the fixtures and systems. This saved lots of energy (38% firewood and 33% electricity).

Remember, guests will have the knowledge of how to be comfortable in their own home, but may not understand your accommodation’s comfort options. If you write the My Green Butler advice as polite suggestions guests still feel in control but appreciate the options and are therefore more likely to accept a wider range of temperatures.

When (time of day)

Using the natural cycle of the day/night is a good way to understand how to maximise natural ventilation opportunities. As the sun goes down the air temperature drops, with the coolest part of the day just before dawn. Then the rising sun raises air temperatures to a peak around lunchtime. So encourage guests to capture the right airflows at the right time of day. For example in summer advise them to benefit from cooler air by having windows open at night, then closing them in the morning and shading the windows with curtains through the day.

Encouraging guests to use natural ventilation methods means they will better adapt their behaviour, and so save energy. In fact, our research shows that guests enjoy learning these new techniques and will consider applying them to their own home.

Use the ‘When’ fields in conjunctions with ‘Seasons’

Season

If you live outside a tropical zone then there is a big difference between winter and summer climates. So what makes sense in summer (having windows open in the night) is the reverse for winter. Likewise for Spring and Autumn there will be distinct climate characteristics for your location. Use these seasonal options to fine-tune your advice and benefit from natural ventilation or clothing/activity recommendations.

If you are in a sub-tropical zone then the rainy season will increase humidity which will make guests want to select air conditioning more. High humidity makes it harder for people to perspire and naturally cool their body. So recommending short cool showers, fans, shade and light bed covering will be helpful.

Remember when you have written a ‘Comfort’ description you can duplicate it and switch the seasons and easily modify your advice. Use the Outside Temperature to create further refinements.

Outside Temperature

So if you have selected the time of day and season, now select the outside air temperature and create variations which encourage guests to use natural ventilation. For example in summer recommend guests open the windows at night when the air temperature is going to be below 19-23C, and close the windows in the day when temperatures are above 24-27C. Using outside temperature also enables you to recommend activities which keep guests naturally warm in winter (going for a jog or walk), guests may not know what the outside temperature is, so these nudges can help them choose an activity rather than using an energy intensive system.

You can modify this advice by making duplicates and changing the temperatures. For example, ‘opening the windows’ when the afternoon air temperature will be 24-27C in autumn. Be sure to select a full range of variations for each of your descriptions so you cover all the temperature options which occur in your location.

Inside Temperature

This option can only be used if you have installed the My Green Butler inside temperature sensor. If you have not done this leave Inside Temperature settings blank.

If you have installed the My Green Butler inside temperature sensor then use this section to help you refine natural ventilation and adaptive behaviour advice. For example, in warmer months when the inside temperature is 26C and the air temperature outside is cooler (i.e. 15-18C) recommend opening windows and doors for fresh air. The My Green Butler system updates every hour so you will be offering guests preventative advice that is highly tuned to local conditions.

Remember you can duplicate Comfort suggestions to make it easy to offer multiple variations and benefit from the changing inside-outside and seasonal weather conditions.

Precipitation

If the weather has been hot tell your guests to enjoy the refreshing benefits of rain! Encourage them to relax and enjoy sitting on their verandas or places other areas where guests can sit and enjoy outdoor activities in the dry.

Use the precipitation options to help you recommend outdoor activities when it isn’t raining.