Welcome everyone Sandra in Spain - FlamencoI’m Sandra Piddock, and I’m a freelance writer, dividing my time between Spain and the UK. I’ll write about anything that interests and/or challenges me, and I like to focus on the lighter side of life whenever possible.. Read more
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Saving on heating in winter in Spain

Bottled gas heaters - a portable and pay as you go heating solution

Bottled gas heaters – a portable and pay as you go heating solution

Depending on where you live, Spain in the winter is generally warmer than England, although obviously you’re not going to experience summer temperatures. The days are generally sunny, although the early mornings and  evenings can be cold. If you have a north or east facing home, you’ll probably need some form of heating between November and March.

South facing properties are cosy in the winter, but can be unbearably hot in the summer, even with air conditioning. As it’s easier to warm a house than cool it, I prefer to heat the place in the winter and enjoy the coolness for the rest of the year.

If your property comes with air conditioning, this can also be used as a heater. However, it’s not all that efficient in a large room, and it can be expensive to run. And if you have breathing problems or suffer from asthma, air conditioning can exacerbate your difficulties. For us, that’s a no-no, as Tony has Asbestosis, and I have Lupus, which affects my lungs and therefore my breathing.

You can buy slim, panel radiators which are fairly economical to run, but they are mainly for background heat. Oil filled radiators are more efficient, and again are economical to run, but they are rather bulky and unattractive.

Although electricity in Spain is cheaper than in England, if you have a large property, you could find yourself with a hefty bill when March comes around. It might make more sense – particularly if you are on a fixed income – to look at ‘pay as you heat’ options.

One solution is bottled gas heaters. These are on castors, so they can be moved from room to room. There are some attractive models available,  ranging from around €70, although you’ll have to pay more if you want a heater with variable temperature controls. At the time of writing (December 2014) Aki in the Haberneras Centre in Torrevieja are offering a basic bottled gas heater for just €49.

Calor gas in England is expensive at around £29 for a 12 or 13kg bottle, but here in Spain it’s only around €17. A bottle should last between 10 days and 3 weeks, so it’s an economical option. The main advantage though, is that you’re paying for your heat as you go, so there will be no nasty surprises when the bills come in. Buy your first bottle from your local ferreteria. You’ll have to pay around €40 deposit on your first bottle, and you’ll also need to show your passport or some other form of identity. (No, I don’t know why, so don’t ask!)

Many Spanish homes – even new builds – have open fireplaces, so you might fancy having a log fire. Wood burning stoves in Spain are very reasonable, starting from around €600, but I would recommend trying a log basket and open fire first, as a wood burner may make your room too hot. Depending on your taste, you can pay anything from €30 for something basic to €300 or more for a custom made cast iron log basket.

Ask your neighbours where you can buy logs; maybe several of you can club together to share a bulk delivery and save some money. We buy our logs at Ballaster’s, off the CV951 between San Miguel de Salinas and Torremendo. It’s self service, so you can pick the logs you want. And a nice bonus is that we can also pick up some orange blossom honey. The system is simple – just drive onto their weighbridge before and after loading your logs, then pay around 1 Euro per 10 kilos for the difference. If we take out the parcel shelf, our Ford Fiesta holds around €15 – €20 of logs, which lasts up to two weeks, depending on if we light the fire every day, and what time we light it.

Better still, collect your logs from a forest near you and dry them out ready for burning. And in many areas, people tend to dump wooden pallets and other waste wood on waste ground and near rubbish skips, so there’s another source of free firewood.

Just remember the buzz words ‘pay as you heat’ and you should be able to keep your home warm and cosy in winter. And you won’t be facing electricity bills in spring that will make you hot under the collar.

Photo credit: © Deniskelly | Dreamstime.comWinter Fuel On Sale Photo

6 Responses to Saving on heating in winter in Spain

    • Welcome, Russ, and thanks. Yes, that article pairs up nicely with mine. Our neighbour got us an extra gas bottle by banging his returned bottle down twice and asking for 2 bottles! He was well away by the time the guy came out to check.

  • Chris Gamble says:

    More conjecture than fact? I wonder how much time was invested to study your topic, if at all? You could have added some scientific facts about different types of heat and benefits, safety and actual running costs. For example, an electric panel heater and an oil filled radiator are as efficient as each other! A push-around gas heater gives you a mix of radiant and convected but, depending on room size, the room may need additional ventilation. Radiant heat and convected heat provide different benefits….etc. Is electric really cheaper in Spain than UK? By how much per kilowatt hour? Professional writers clearly put hours and hours of study into their articles and it shows in the quality they produce. Anyway.good luck with your blog. Clearly you are trying to help people and good on you for that.

    • Chris this is just a personal experience post – I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert on heating, I’m just passing on what works for me in the hope that it will help others to stay warm and save money.

      • Chris Gamble says:

        you do pretend to be some sort of expert on heating and your article title says so as you are clearly advising on money savings but your you are just making assumptions based on your own window on the world and have neglected facts. Ow can you comprehend statements like, “…oil filled radiators are more efficient”. In terms of what efficiency scale? What conditions? What location? Where sited? Etc Etc. Not only is your information ambiguous its plain wrong. Let me tell you about cars. i once had a red on that was made in Japan but it was efficient because the one I had in Spain was a left hand drive. I do not believe you. I see that you are clearly trying to be an authority but you are not prepared to do the research that authority requires ir have experience. I wanted to read your article gecause it was imprortant to know how to save money on heating but now I am supposed to believe its ok because its just a personal perception you have and want to share with me so I go out and not save any money but waste it. Come on Sandra if you going to offer advice then do the work or just don’t give any as trust is a key component of any relationship with your followers…isn’t it? Anyway, have a fantastic Warm Christmas.

        • I repeat, Chris, I do not pretend, or try, to be any sort of authority on heating or anything else, all I do is pass on what works for me so others can find out of it works for them. My feedback suggests that it does, because I’ve had a lot of people email or message me to say they find my stuff useful. It’s not advice, more observations which I offer without saying ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do that.’ All I can say is, I’m sorry if you don’t find it helpful.