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While searching for hotels on Expedia, I noticed that some say Climate Control, while others say Air Conditioning. I actually thought they meant the same thing until I saw that if you use the filters on the left hand side of search results to select Air Conditioning, then those with Climate Control disappear from results.

Even more surprising, there are various combinations:

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Based on the way they organize the filters:

  • Air Conditioning Only
  • Climate Control Only
  • Air Conditioning and Climate Control
  • Climate Control and Ceiling Fan

I would say that "climate control" refers to heating. So you have:

  • rooms that have only AC
  • rooms that have only heat
  • rooms that offer heat and AC
  • rooms with heat and ceiling fans for "cooling"

Addendum - - -

Since everyone was getting off these computer controlled thermostats type answers, I emailed the source, Expedia customer service. Their reply ...

'Climate control is the proper heating and ventilation. It has a capacity to blow warm air or ventilate by letting in air at ambient temperature.'

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In theory, if the information is reliable:

  • air conditioning means the air can be cooled down

  • climate control means you have a user-controllable thermostat which you can use to set the desired temperature (or at the very least, some form of power control).

Air conditioning without climate control would mean the temperature or power of the AC is preset, and you have no influence on it. Though I would think that in many cases they list air conditioning and not climate control even though you actually can control it.

Climate control without air conditioning may refer to places where you have heating only, or fans only, and some form of control over it, but not the actual "cooling" part.

I would take all of this with a grain of salt, and a lot may have been lost in translation, and the accuracy of such features is far from guaranteed.

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+1 As this would have been my guess too but it seems like Tom got the official answer from Expedia. – Itai Feb 11 at 5:06

This tripadvisor thread suggests

climate control is an individually controlled temperature thermostat on the wall in your room.

vs

many hotels in Italy, you do not have the option of changing the room temperature at all...it is set by the hotel

Just Googling the words Climate Control hotel paints a similar picture, look at how many times 'climate control' has 'individual' tackled on:

enter image description here

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So what are we controlling if there is Climate Control but not Air Conditioning? – Itai Feb 1 at 0:28
    
Well, it's not like there's a set definition of these terms, for one. Two, mass booking engines are, in general, not 100% reliable, for two. And finally: climate control always includes air conditioning to my understanding but perhaps some/many hotels list air conditioning because that's something people would search for even if not accurate. – chx Feb 1 at 0:30
    
@Itai climate control allows you to program the air conditioning. Think of climate control as being a better version of AC – Gusdor Feb 1 at 8:59

Climate control means you have control over:

  • The temperature via a thermostat, which is then maintained by the air conditioning system.

  • The option to turn off the air conditioning system, and just run the fan/ventilation.

AC only means:

There is either a split or a wall air conditioner, which you can set to simply cool the room. There are no other options available. In these rooms, you generally have a separate fan as well if you just need ventilation and not cooling.

It is rare (although not uncommon) to have rooms where the temperature is centrally controlled by the management.

In all cases heating is a separate issue. It is extremely rare to find central air conditioning systems where here is also provided (unless you are staying in a private villa or a suite/penthouse). In the vast majority of hotel rooms, heating is provided separately via either a space heater, a fan heater, or a radiator.

A ceiling fan is more common in tropical climates (in my visits to Europe I have yet to see a hotel room with a ceiling fan). I these tropical climates the temperature (and air humidity) can vary greatly between day and night. AC system's efficiency drops as the air humidity rises.

So in summary:

  • Air Conditioning Only = you can control how cold the room gets manually.

  • Climate Control Only = you can set the temperature (generally, there is a limit on how cold you can set it), and the system regulates the temperature. These systems are more automated and slow to startup and cool the room.

  • Climate Control and Fan = this means, that the central system has no ventilation (fan) option. This may mean that the AC system is not centralized, but provides a thermostat and automatically turns off/on as required. Either way, ventilation is a separate function.

  • AC Only = a traditional setup, with only cooling that is manually adjusted. The good point of these rooms is that they can be cooled very quickly, as you have your own dedicated AC unit.

  • AC and Climate Control = I have no idea why they have this, because I have yet to see anywhere a climate control system that didn't have air conditioning.

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