With temperatures in the mid to high thirties during the day and the mercury not dropping below 25C at night in some parts of the country, summers in Spain can be insufferably hot for many people.
Obviously there are many ways to cool down at home, whether it’s by having a shower, taking a dip in the swimming pool if you’re lucky enough to have one or using a traditional or electrical fan to waft some air your way.
Unfortunately, none are quite as effective or long-lasting as air conditioning, but the perceived high cost of having a device installed and the electricity it uses puts many people off getting it.
So how much does air conditioning cost in Spain and what are the factors that can influence pricing and monthly bills?
There are several types of air conditioners available in Spain, some of which are not technically air con machines but are sold as such, with the primary purpose being to take hot air from a room and turn it into cold air.
The Split system, which has an external device that goes outside the home (balcony, façade, garden etc) and an internal unit, is the most common one in Spain and has medium electricity consumption. The Split system can also include several internal units in different rooms, at a higher cost of course.
The average price of a Split 1×1 in Spain can vary greatly depending on the brand and its capabilities, with prices ranging between €400 and €1,400. Keep in mind that installation costs for Split systems are around €375.
There are also the more compact air con devices that go on the wall and don’t require an external unit as well as the portable devices on wheels, both of which cost less than Split devices (€350 to €600) but have higher electricity consumption.
What to keep in mind when buying
– The power of an air conditioner is determined by “frigorías” (freezeries). Although the more freezeries per hour determines in principle how fast the device can cool, other factors such as the size of a room, the number of people in it, its geographical positioning, the temperature outside and the home’s building materials can all play a role in how effectively an air conditioner can cool. It’s important to bring all these factors up when talking to the seller.
– Buying a device with an energy performance certificate can influence your monthly bill. The highest rating (A+++) can save up to 125 percent of energy when compared to the lowest performing air conditioners (G).
– Make sure your air conditioner uses Inverter technology, a system that regulates the speed of the compressor so that it works constantly but more efficiently instead of how older air conditioners operate, working at maximum speed at all times. This will make your device quieter, it will result in it lasting longer and will lower energy bills.
What will an air conditioner cost me in terms of monthly electricity bills?
As mentioned above there are any number of factors ranging from the air conditioner’s capabilities and efficiency to the room’s features which can all influence how much you pay.
But if we take as a reference the average price of kWh in Spain over the last 12 months, which is €0.097, and an average consumption of 2 kW per hour for air conditioners, we can come up with an approximate calculation for a single device.
For one hour it costs approximately €0.19, which would add €5.82 to your monthly electricity bill if the air conditioner was switched on for one hour a day for 30 days.
If you had it on for 10 hours a day, the 20kW daily consumption would cost €1.94 per day, €58.20 per month.
And if you have it on constantly or 24 hours a day, the 48kW of daily consumption would be €4.65, adding €139.68 to the monthly bill.
Keep in mind that these costs are only for the air conditioner’s energy consumption and that your monthly electricity bill will also include “término de potencia”(contracted power), “alquiler del contador” (electricity meter rental) and “impuesto sobre la electricidad” (electricity tax) and IVA (VAT).
One of the best ways to keep costs down is to keep the temperature on the air conditioner at a more moderate 23 C for a longer time than to blast cool air at 16C for a shorter period.