Heating, cooling, and hot water in Italy and Rome: Everything You NEED to Know

In hot summers and cold winters, having a reliable source of heat and hot water is crucial to comfortable living. For the majority of tourists and expats moving to Italy and Rome, this means renting an apartment that has central air conditioning and a gas-powered heater for colder months. 

Fortunately, almost all new buildings in the main cities of Italy and Rome have these amenities standard. However, if you are moving into a pre-existing residence or purchasing a home to renovate, there are a few things you should know about the available utilities (heating, cooling and hot water- in different areas of the country.

Do they have heating in Italy and Rome?

Winters can get quite chilly in Italy and Rome, often dropping to freezing or below.  Even during spring, the nights can be quite cold.

Luckily most houses in Italy and Rome have heating. 

 Most modern homes in Italy and Rome have natural gas as the primary source of heat and hot water. While there is a move towards heat pumps, these have only been installed in new homes.

 The majority of older homes lack central heating, which means that you have to adjust the heat in each room individually.

Wood burning stoves are not that common but can be found in more remote areas.

If your house doesn’t have heating, you can get an electric heater. These are quite cheap but are expensive to run. For this reason, it is best to double-check if they have a central heating system in your building.

Do they have air conditioning in Italy and Rome?

Air conditioning is a must in Italy and Rome’s warm, humid summers. In coastal regions, humidity often tops 80 percent, making it feel closer to 100 degrees. In the hotter south, temperatures can reach above 100 degrees.

 Most hotels, malls and restaurants have AC. Some places don’t as Italians are not that fond of AC in general. You can call a restaurant in advance to check if they have one. In general, Italians prefer natural ways of cooling down instead of relying on their air conditioning.

Italians tend to go to parks or outside the city during hot summers. They also make sure to wear clothes that keep them cool. This includes special fabrics and clothes that are not too tight.

Some taxi’s don’t turn on the AC and you have to ask them to turn it on.

During the hot and humid summer, you will most likely have an air conditioner installed in your home. If you are buying a new home or renting an apartment, you will most likely have a central air conditioning unit.

These are easy to control with a remote. It also often allows you to use an app to control it. This makes it easy as you can change the temperature before you arrive home.

 If you are moving into an older home, you will either have a portable air conditioner or central air conditioning, depending on the size of the building. These are quite cheap but can be expensive to run. They also don’t provide the same comfort.

If you really need something to cool down, you can get curtains to make sure that the hot sun doesn’t get inside. You can also get a dehumidifier to spread a cool mist in the house. 

Do they have hot water in Italy and Rome?

Yes, most houses in Italy and Rome have hot water. They often use natural gas to warm this water.

Water heaters are pretty advanced and they can often indicate what is going wrong as they have special sensors. Check the display on the water heater to see if there is an error code if you don’t have hot water. You can check the manual to see what the error code means.

There is often a button to reset the water heater or to turn it on. You might have to open up a shutter to get access to this.

Make sure that the device has electricity and that the natural gas valve is open. The water valve should also be open so that the water can flow through the water heater.

Older water heaters might be harder to turn on as you might have to ignite the flame by pressing two buttons at the same time.

Check the video below for more troubleshooting steps.

It is important to check that the water heater has been maintained well. It should be checked at least every 2 years by a plumber to make sure that it works properly.

If they have a tankless system, it is possible that the hot water runs out before your shower ends. This can limit the amount of time that you can spend in the shower. The system will be able to heat the water again after a while.

It is important that you have one that exhausts the dirty air outside. The water heater should be installed quite far away from the bath as they use electricity.

In most Italian cities, the water is supplied from a centralized water supply, often from a nearby river. In more remote areas the water can come from a well. Check if the pump is working properly.

The water can be quite hard and leave stains on the shower walls if they don’t have a descaler. This is generally not a problem if you are taking a shower.

Italian water heaters work the same way as water boilers in the U.S., heating water as it is used.  

If you have a water heater that uses electricity, you will need to make sure you have a separate electrical circuit for it. Check the error display as well. Sometimes resetting the water heater can fix the problem. See the video below for more information:

Warm water can make your life comfier. Before turning on the water heater, we will have to know what type it is: electric or gas-based heater.

-An electric water heater just has to be plugged in. The water supply should be turned open as well. Check if the valves on the pipes near that water heater are open so that the water can flow. It can take some time before the water is heated. Check if you see error codes on the display. These can be fixed by looking in the manual of your water heater or entering the error code in Google. 

-A Gas based water heater takes more work. To start it, make sure that the device is plugged in. The water valves near the water heater should be open. Once this is done, we can check the gas pipe. This pipe is generally yellow. Inspect it to see if it is in good condition. The gas will smell so it should be quite easy to detect a leak. Don’t start the water heater if there is a gas leak! If you are sure that there is no leak, you can open the valve on the gas pipe as well.

The water heater should start once you press the button to turn it on. Check if the device provides an error code or not. Sometimes water heaters and heating systems are combined in one device. Make sure that you activate the water heating option on the display. It can take some time before the water heater starts. 

Do they have a garbage disposal in Italy and Rome?

No, they don’t use garbage disposals in Italy and Rome. It is not allowed to push food scraps into the drains. It will clog things up and a plumber might have to come out to fix this. The drains are not able to handle this.

Just place these items in the designated bin. In some instances, you will have to buy plastic bags for this in the grocery store. These are then collected on a regular schedule. Just place the bag outside when they come over. They had some problems with the garbage collection before but these seem to have been resolved.

 Some houses have a composting bin to get rid of this. 

If you are lucky, they might have some chickens in your building. This makes it easy to get rid of food scraps. 

Do they have a washer (washing machine) and dryer in Italy and Rome?

Yes, they do have washers and dryers and Italy and Rome. These work quite similarly as in the USA. Just pick the right program and add soap to start the washing machine.  

Most rural houses don’t have a dryer as it is possible to hang the laundry outside and let it dry in the sun.

If you are renting an apartment, it is likely that you will have a washer and dryer in the building.

You can also get one yourself if there is a water supply and drain in your apartment or house. They will deliver this to your house if you buy it online or in a store. 

Most cities also have washing shops. Just head over there and insert a coin into the machine. You might have to wait a while until your laundry is done but it is a great way to get cleaned up. Most hotels offer this as a service. 

To conclude, we can state that Italy is a modern country and they have a lot of items that increase your comfort. These include water heater, AC and heating. They also use washing machines and dryers in most cities. 

Having AC in this country is really important as it can get very hot during the summer. Especially in coastal cities, you will have a hard time if you don’t have air conditioning during certain parts of the year. Most Italians prefer other ways of cooling down though. This is why air conditioning systems are less prevalent in Italy than you would see in other countries.

If you stay in a big hotel or go to restaurants in bigger cities, you should have all the amenities that you are used to.

Italy is a wonderful country. From the Gardelake to the beautiful mountains, it has everything that you would desire.