It comes as a surprise to some but there IS a winter in Portugal! Here are five ways to keep warm in the country.
Portugal is a hot country, although in summer it is kept lovely by those Atlantic breezes. But remember two things: firstly, there’s more to Portugal than the Algarve, and central and northern regions don’t have the same climate. Secondly, while winter may be short in the south, the nights get cold – and properties are often built to keep the heat out in summer – not to keep it in in the winter.
All that said, Portugal is a great place to spend the winter, with more than twice as much sun in winter than the UK (average five hours per day in January, compared to two hours in southern England) and frequent runs of warm weather.
Portugal is a great place to spend the winter, with more than twice as many hours of sun each than England.
When looking at property though, take winter heating into consideration, and if the mercury does decide to drop you’ll be well prepared.
1. Learn about your air conditioning
Central heating is rare in Portugal, but air conditioning is in almost all modern properties. Usually it will come with a reverse cycle feature for heating. Take the time to experiment with how best to make this work for you, because it’s very different to central heating. Air conditioning units seem to excel at making one room (or even one end of a room) toasty warm whilst the rest of the house feels chilled. Experiment with different vent angles and settings.
Often, air conditioning remotes have a host of buttons on them but people only use a few of the basic ones – some time learning the intricacies could help you warm your property more effectively and economically.
2. Clean and service your air conditioning
It’s vital to clean out your air conditioning filter regularly and stick to a set service schedule. Units can very quickly become clogged up, and then use a huge amount of electricity as they struggle to remain effective.
If, like most of us, cleaning the air conditioning isn’t top of your list of exciting adventures, remember that a clean system will cut your fuel bill overnight.
If, like most of us, cleaning the air conditioning isn’t top of your list of exciting adventures, remember that a clean system will cut your fuel bill overnight. That means more money for spending at the restaurant!.
3. Rugs, rugs, rugs!
The Portuguese for rug is “tapete”. Remember to get a couple! A lack of central heating coupled with a local fondness for marble, tiled or laminate floors means that homes in Portugal can feel cold on your feet despite your heating efforts – especially as you step out of bed in the morning.
You can solve this problem very simply with one or more of the many fluffy rugs that fill the home stores in the run up to winter.
4. Consider standalone appliances
Even if you have air conditioning, it can sometimes make sense to buy separate heating appliances for the winter months. For example, plug in oil-filled radiators are often more effective and end up costing less to run. You can also move them from room to room.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you going to whole hog and fitting central heating, but in a country with a long summer, a couple of plug-ins you can store away for much of the year may fit the bill.
5. Shop for blankets and throws
Homeware stores in Portugal are stacked with blankets, throws and other cosy items as soon as summer ends. You can reduce your heating bills and make your home more inviting by investing in a selection. With winter being short in much of Portugal, wrapping up like this for a couple of months is quite an enjoyable novelty!
The Portugal Buying Guide is designed to support you through each stage of buying property in Portugal, providing relevant, up-to-date information and tips from Portugal property experts and expats who have been through the process themselves. It helps you to: