We adore Spain for being warmer than the UK. But that doesn’t mean that those of us from the land of rainy days necessarily know what the best practice is for keeping a property in Spain cool. Here are our tips.
Longer summers, shorter winters is probably in your top ten reasons to purchase a property in Spain (it would be on mine). Sadly, due to climate change, Spain has been enduring a more heat than usual. Last month, driven by a hot mass of air from Africa, Cordoba airport in southern Spain hit 38.8°C – a record-breaking temperature for April. Fortunately, at the time of writing, the temperature is more settled now in Cordoba at 28°C. But even so, that’s much warmer than here – it’s 18°C in London. And as lovely as the warmer weather may be, it can take a bit of getting used to. When you holiday in Spain, you are probably well-versed in lathering on the sun cream and remembering your shades and sun hat. But keeping your property in Spain cool is about more than switching on a fan or air conditioner…
1. Pick the right moment to open the window.
Your first impulse when it’s hot may be to fling your windows open, but if it’s hotter outside than inside, you’re letting all that hot air in. And more hot air is probably not what you want to be welcoming in when you’re already sweltering.
If your windows have opening vents, you can keep the shutters closed and the windows open to let a breeze through.
Similarly, it can also help to close your blinds and curtains, to prevent the sunlight from turning into heat inside your home. Blackout curtains might do the trick during the hottest times of the day.
To manage the temperature across the property better, it is wise to shut all the doors to the rooms that you are not using.
Evening is a different story: once the temperature has dropped, you can open up the windows and doors to let in that cool breeze.
2. Choose cotton sheets.
You will want to kit out your bed in Spain differently to your bed in the UK. Think more minimalism than cosiness. Save the heaps of cushions, extra blankets, and silk or satin sheets – light-coloured cotton sheets are the most breathable, and your best bet in Spain.
3. Consider when the best time is to use your appliances.
Your murmuring dishwasher and washing machine (mine tends to rumble and shake too) is making a lot of energy and heat as it does its job. So, try using them just at night, so that they aren’t adding heat to an already hot room during the day.
Even smaller appliances like a toaster or a kettle are creating heat when they are on, try turning them off too.
Not only is this tip going to keep your property in Spain cool, but it is also money-saving. Plus, it’s beneficial to the environment. Win win win!
4. A steady water supply.
As well as warmer weather than anticipated, Spain has also experienced less rainfall than usual. There are even warnings of possible restrictions on water supply in Malaga in the coming months. When looking at properties to purchase, you may want to consult with the estate agent on the rainfall levels in the area and what access the home itself has to water. This is especially important if you are looking at an old home or one in a remote location.
5. A pool.
There is probably no quicker way to cope with feeling too hot than jumping into the pool. Indeed, owning a home with a swimming pool might be high on your reasons for purchasing a property in Spain. Due to the heat, you will definitely get more use out of it than you would in the UK!
Pools can be a lot to maintain, especially if you are not planning to live in Spain full time. The solution could be to have a small pool. Alternatively, you could look for a home that has access to a communal pool, as part of an apartment complex or shared between a row of houses. This could take some of the responsibility of maintaining a pool off your shoulders and you would still get to make a splash!
6. Make sure you’ve got lots of shady spaces.
If you are hunting for your property now, look for homes with terraces with a roof and green gardens. The more options for shade, the better. If you do end up with an exposed balcony, carefully consider the times of day that you use it and see if you can add an umbrella or two.
7. Solar panels.
Spain is taking advantage of their abundance of rays and turning it into energy. They have increasingly been encouraging the use of solar panels as an alternative energy source, especially following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Solar panels are a great way to keep down energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. You could either look for a property that already has them or install them.
8. Live like a local.
Copy your neighbours. Sometimes it is the best time to go inside, windows and blinds closed, fan breathing you into a state of bliss. The brazen Brit standing around in the midday sun is just going to get sunburnt. Retreat into your home and take advantage of the fact you have more control of the temperature inside than outside. Spain isn’t known for siestas for no reason!