It’s becoming clear how hot Spain gets during summer and for many pulling down the shutters down or using a fan doesn’t cut it. So what should consider before thinking of installing an air-conditioner?

So you’ve probably realised that the only way you are going to survive the next month or so is by installing an air conditioning unit. And quick.

But what are the rules?  Is there anything stopping you and why on earth didn’t the previous occupants install one?

Well, for starters, they may have done and then decided to take it with them to their next residence. So don’t jump to the conclusion that just because there isn’t one, air-conditioning is banned.

However, there are rules and regulations in every building so you need to check.

You will have to check what rules apply to air conditioning units in your building and seek permission from the comunidad – residents community.
Unfortunately, these differ from building to building depending on the whim of the homeowner’s association.
Sometimes, air conditioning units are banned from the façade of the building for reasons of aesthetics. Other times there are rules in place as to where exactly the units can be place in order to limit noise.
 If there are no particular ‘statutes’ laid down by the homeowners’ association then you will still need permission and this can be sought with a request put to an “owners’ meeting”. Usually, a majority vote is all that is needed for consent.
Some local councils lay down laws about air conditioning units, the type that can be installed and their location.
There could be rules about the distance they should be from a neighbours window and also about how noisy they are and what hours they can be used.
So always check with your ayuntamiento to avoid sanctions.
Once you have the consent you need and have checked the rules in your local area then find the air conditioning unit you want.
Air-conditioning units cost from around €600 (plus installation) for a 2,000 BTU (frigorías) unit, which is sufficient to cool an average size room.
Air-conditioners can be noisy, so check the noise level before choosing one.
If you discover it’s just too complicated to install an air conditioning unit, then you may want to opt for a pingüino – or a penguin as portable air conditioning units are dubbed in Spain. Basically the bigger they are, the more effective but some require an outlet hose that can go through a window.
Bear in mind too that they can be expensive to run.
If all else fails, just do what the Spanish do. Roll down the shutters, turn off the lights and siesta through the hottest part of the day.
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