Beat the Heat: Everything You Need to Know About Installing Air Conditioning in Spain

The weather is heating up, and as the temperature in your Spanish apartment starts to rise, you’re no doubt starting to think about all the things you can do to cool down. There are a wide array of options when it comes to keeping cool when the temperature soars in Spain, from ensuring you keep your blinds closed to drinking plenty of water. But nothing works quite as well as air conditioning. If you’re already starting to suffer in the heat and the thought of spending about three months struggling to sleep at night due to the temperatures then it might be time to start thinking about installing air conditioning, and embracing the cool that it brings. Here’s everything you need to know about installing air conditioning in an apartment in Spain:

What to Do if Your Apartment is Rented

Your first step, if you're living in a rented apartment, should be to ensure that you are not legally prohibited from installing air conditioning: check your contract for any clauses about the use (or prohibition) or air conditioning units. Any clause that mentions altering your property may also be relevant. Just because your apartment doesn’t currently have one doesn’t mean you should assume you won’t be allowed one.

Because Article 23 of the Spanish Urban Leasing Law (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos or LAU) expresses states that tenants can’t carry out works that modify the property without the written consent of the landlord, it is worth consulting with your landlord before you purchase your air conditioning unit. Even if your unit would not class as modification of the property, it is worth checking that this wouldn’t cause any problems with this clause: you should also inform your landlord that you will remove the unit, return the property to its original state, and leave it as it was before the unit was installed when your tenancy ends. Confirm all of this in writing so that you have an official proof that your unit was installed with permission.

What to Do if You Own Your Apartment

If you own your apartment then the good news is that you won’t have to seek the permission of a landlord to install an air conditioning unit, but you still might face additional barriers to installing the air conditioning you want. This is because the comunidad, or the residents community, will have their own rules about whether or not air conditioning units can be installed in the property, and what kinds of units these can be. These regulations will differ from building to building, so there is no hard and fast rule about where or how air conditioning units are allowed that we can refer to. Some residents associations will rule that units are banned from the façade of the building because they have a negative impact on the way it looks; others may allow any air conditioning unit provided the noise levels it produces are limited to a certain volume.

Reach out to your homeowners’ association to gain permission and find out what the restrictions, if any, will be before you purchase and install your unit. Often you will need to request permission, but provided you meet the parameters laid out this is unlikely to be rejected.

Check with Your Town Hall

Local councils in Spain have much more involvement with community and household issues than in many other countries. Some local councils will have area-wide rules about the use of air conditioning units, including the types that can be installed in certain properties, how far they should be spaced apart from neighbours windows, and even what hoours they can be used. It is worth approaching your local town hall before you buy or install an air conditioning unit to avoid failing foul of any regulations and having sanctions or fines inflicted upon you.

You Understand the Rules and You’re Ready to Install Your Unit. What Next?

Once you’ve checked with your landlord or homeowner's association, as well as your local town hall, you’re ready to find the right air conditioning unit for you.  These can be very expensive, so it’s worth doing your research before you make the purchase; the starting prices for air-conditioning units is around 600 euros, and then you have to add the cost of installation too. Think about the size of the unit you choose, the noise it produces, and how complicated it would be to use and install. Bear in mind that almost all air conditioning units can be very expensive to run, and will rack up your electricity bill.

If you’re looking for the cheapest and easiest option then you might want to consider a penguino (penguin) which is the Spanish term of endearment a portable air conditioning unit that you can install yourself. You just need an outlet hose to go through the window, and you’re ready to cool down.

Embracing the hot weather is an integral part of living in Spain, but with the right air conditioning system, the summer heat doesn’t have to dominate your life. Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Looking to escape the cold and rainy weather in the UK and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you find the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move!