Saw this apparently ridiculous statement from Airbnb on social media today,

A fan legally constitutes an air conditioner

It's unclear by what law that might be the case - the situation took place in Mexico, and Airbnb is a US company. What I managed to find is Definitions concerning commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, which doesn't concern fans, and that "The [air conditioning] term excludes window units" (which suggests that a fan is in no way an A/C unit).

However, my experience at large companies suggests that support agents are trained to not make risky statements involving legal matters, so is there some legal ground for a fan to be considered an air conditioning unit?

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    Different courts may have answered this question differently. One thing that is certain, however, is that Department of Energy regulations have little to no bearing on the question. It's entirely possible for something to count as an air conditioner for one area of law while counting as not an air conditioner for another area of law. Window units would be a good example of that. – phoog Sep 9 '19 at 13:14
  • A court would probably go with the dictionary definition. – Paul Johnson Mar 1 at 19:59

Probably not

“Air conditioning” is the process of changing the temperature and/or humidity of air. A “fan” is a device for moving air around. It’s almost certain the arbitrator would agree.

However, the customer is unlikely to be entitled to a refund because there hasn’t been a “complete failure of consideration” - they contracted for an apartment with air conditioning, they got an apartment ergo Airbnb has provided some part of the consideration. They would be entitled to damages - perhaps the cost of hiring an air conditioner or if that’s not possible, a hotel room (which I realise may be more than the value of the letting but that’s how damages can work).

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