By Chris King •
Published: 13 Aug 2023 • 18:35
Image of a young woman holding the air conditioner remote control.
AS temperatures in Spain increase during summer, householders face the dilemma of incurring higher electricity bills as a result of running cold air conditioning.
This essential domestic appliance is probably the main protagonist during the periods of extreme heat that the country has been experiencing this year. Establishing energy efficiency can be key to controlling and lowering electricity consumption at this time.
Many consumers hesitate when it comes to deciding which temperature the air should be set at in order to save on energy bills.
According to the Idealista website: ‘It is advisable to resort to an intermediate temperature, between 22 and 25 degrees, rather than choosing lower temperatures’. They also recommend to: ‘cool the room gradually’ as this will help to avoid excessive consumption and will also be better for a person’s health.
Because it makes less effort to reach the temperature at which the thermostat is set in the room, the air conditioning unit subsequently consumes less while used in this range of intermediate temperatures.
As opposed to leaving the aircon running all night, Idealista suggests turning it off and programming it to run only during the day. Use the unit in Eco mode: ‘at the appropriate hours to keep it fresh longer, as well as saving on the price of electricity at all times’, they added.
It is very important to install aircon units in a position where they are not affected by the sun’s rays. They should always be located in the shade and cleaned frequently, at least once a year, including the filters.
Badly maintained units leave people open to the risk of being exposed to a host of microbes that can trigger allergies or possible asthma attacks in sufferers.
Electric fans are another alternative. Although their blades produce a movement of air, and they do not provide colder air, they can still help to reduce the ambient temperature in a room.
It is always a good idea to lower awnings and blinds when possible, and also close the curtains. This allows a room to be shaded from the sun’s rays and can gradually lower the temperature without the use of any electrical appliance.
Dressing in light and loose clothing can help to keep the body at a more tolerable temperature, either indoors or outdoors. It is also a good idea to open doors and windows once the heat dies down externally, in order to help cool the floors and walls inside a home.
Obviously, the most economical method of not running up a large bill is to not use the air conditioning. It is far cheaper, where possible, to open doors and windows to create a through-draught.
Of course, depending on the external temperature, the air entering from outside can be warm and not sufficient to cool you down.
Air conditioning also has its know side effects which means that not everybody is a lover of this method of staying cool. Dehydration can occur when a unit sucks too much humidity out of a room. Having the temperature set too low can cause a feeling of actually being too cold to want to drink any water.
A horrible result of dehydration can be headaches or migraines. Medical experts will confirm that dehydration is an often overlooked trigger for migraines.
Although dry eyes are not a problem initially caused by exposure to air conditioning, it certainly does not help. The dry air can cause itchy and irritated eyes, which may also burn or sting.
People who spend time in air-conditioned spaces are known to be more likely to suffer from upper respiratory symptoms in the eyes, nose, and throat, compared to those who prefer non-air-conditioned places. These can include nasal blockages, a dry throat, or even rhinitis.
If any of our readers have suggestions or tips on staying cool in the hot weather, as well as ideas on how to save money on electricity bills, we are always eager to hear from you.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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Yes I have a suggestion which works for me here in Mallorca and I use every night. Put an ordinary electric fan next to a window so it blows air into the house from outside. Use after dark as the outside temperature cools down. In your bedroom switch it on an hour before you go to bed and you will find a pleasantly cooler room when you retire. When it is a noche tropical I leave it on low all night. Works a treat.
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