Heating, cooling, and hot water in Portugal and Lisbon: 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 Portugal and Lisbon, 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 Portugal and Lisbon 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 in different areas of the country.

Do they have heating in Portugal and Lisbon?

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

Luckily most houses in Portugal and Lisbon have heating. 

 Most modern homes in Portugal and Lisbon 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 Portugal and Lisbon?

Air conditioning is a must in Portugal and Lisbon’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.

 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 Portugal and Lisbon?

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

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.

Water heaters are pretty advanced and they can often indicate what is going wrong as they have special sensors. 

There are different types of water heaters. It is important that you have one that exhausts the dirty air outside. The water heater should also be quite far away from the bath as they use electricity.

In most Spanish 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.

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.

Spanish 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. 

Do they have a garbage disposal in Portugal and Lisbon?

No, they don’t use garbage disposals in Portugal and Lisbon. 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.

 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 Portugal and Lisbon?

Yes, they do have washers and dryers and Portugal and Lisbon. 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 Portugal and Lisbon 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. 

Portugal is a beautiful country that can very hot during the summer. While they have AC systems in most places, this might not be the case in more remote areas. It is best to check in advance if your hotel has it.

Most houses have heating but once again this might not be the case in more remote areas. You might have to use a sweater or a bigger blanket during the winter in these places.

Portugal is a modern country so they have all the appliances that you could need. This makes it easier to get your clothes washed.

At the moment Portugal is very popular amongst tourist and for good reasons. It has a great climate and a wonderful coastline.