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Are you cold and miserable

Are you cold and miserable

Its raining cats and dogs today, grey skies, cold and miserable. One of those days when you have to motivate yourself to go out.

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Are you cold and miserable

Although it is late November it is not cold enough to have the wood stove or central heating on until around 4 pm. (I live in a properly insulated and heated home)

I recently met a couple who have lived here in central Portugal just under three years the other day they both said they had never been so cold in their lives as their first year in Portugal this is something we hear often from people that we meet socially. So why is it so common?.

I believe that there is often a blindness or mental block (I don’t know what to call it) when it comes to home buyers thinking about, heating, cooling and ventilation.

It could be because most people have only visited Portugal in summer when it’s hot and sunny all day especially July and August up until the first half of September. Cold and Portugal just doesn’t seem to equate.

Take the Coimbra area where I live as an example. Coimbra, situated in central Portugal, enjoys a climate cooler than Lisbon and, is normally warmer than Porto. Temperatures here are mild with warm summers. The area within 10Km of the coast is mildest and as you head further east to locations like Arganil, Castanheira de Pera and Serta you get a little more rain than Coimbra.

One thing that is worth knowing if you are house hunting. Those villages strung out in lines along hillsides are built there for a reason. They are usually at low cloud level because the rely on the early morning fog/mist/rain to help water their crops. Old villages in Portugal are always located next to a natural water supply because that’s house people lived. Growing things on their land that the family could eat and sell.

Enough about the weather let’s take a look at why your home is so cold.

The average Portuguese home is as well protected from drafts as your home in the UK if you left the back door wide open all winter. Coupled with the fact that very few homes are insulated at all, have draughty single glazed windows and doors and a heating system that is totally inadequate.
The lack of insulation, dramatic daily temperature changes during the day, high humidity drafts poor heating systems it’s a recipe for months of misery.
We understand how to make an old house warm and a new house as warm as you would expect. Contact Kelvin by email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and tell us about your problem.

This site has very detailed information on Portuguese weather.
https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/portugal

In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga, and 1,100 millimetres (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January goes from 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, to 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, to 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.

In winter, there are periods of good weather, because the Azores Anticyclone can move over the country even in this season, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which in fact are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).

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smart electricity meter

Smart electricity meter

Letters are arriving at homes all over Portugal asking homeowners to contact EDP so that they can set up an appointment to come and connect a smart electricity meter.

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smart electricity meter

You may be aware that this is also happening in your home country too because it is an EEC funded project which will eventually be linked to all the utilities enabling utility suppliers to “help us make savings” while charging us more for what we use.

I must admit that I have a very poor opinion of the EDP ( Portuguese Electricity Supplier) and their humorously named customer services.

I will try to put this sentiment to one side during this blog post so that I can point out potential issues for the none resident homeowner.

Meter location,
There has been a big push by the EDP in recent years to force people to move their electricity meters outside of the house to the perimeter of their properties and mount them in a purpose made cabinet. At your significant cost!

The way that they do this is to make you move the usually, wall mounted meter that you see in the entrance hall of many older homes here. You buy the property, the existing electricity account is terminated and when you go to reconnect/change names on the account.

They insist that you move the meter before they will connect. They may even insist on an electrical survey being done.

With the arrival of the new smart meter, I don’t know for certain if they will still force you to move the meter or not.

I would assume that they will as it is logical if they want to control all the utilities entering a home then they would all be together in a “utility wall”

If you do not respond they will still install a smart meter which necessitates cutting you electricity supply for a short time. This may impacy freazers fridges and items that you have on timers.

In the blog post below you can see an example of a “utility wall”
Link – http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2016/02/27/electricity/

Siemens is one of the suppliers of the new smart meters that EDP Distribuição is already installing at the clients’ homes, in a phased strategy. But in addition to the smart meters the company also developed the system that will allow to manage and control all data of the electrical network.

More precision in consumption measurements but also more detailed information, and more regular data communications with the power service provider – no need for manual counts – are some of the advantages that the new smart meters (also known as smart meters or Energy Boxes ) allow. The immediate benefits are transferred to customers and to EDP Distribuição, but they also prepare the system for future challenges, such as the possibility for each user to be a producer and store of energy.

In addition to the provision of smart meters, Siemens Portugal is also implementing a network information management system at EDP Distribuição that bridges the new meters and analog models, and also allow the collection and management of network data.

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Having a pool

Have you thought about having a pool it’s a dream that many people aspire too

Especially when they think of moving to Portugal and renovating a stone house or building new.

The first concerns when thinking about having a pool are usually and understandably what will it cost, how big will the pool be, how deep and where will we locate it.

Then there is will it have a liner or glass mosaic tiles, ladders or steps, lighting, electric pool cover(costs permitting) and what about the patio, pool surround, and planting.

Oh yes and a shaded area for dining alfresco!

You have to admit there is a lot to think about when you have decided that you are having a pool.

From a practical point of view, we would have to say that you have missed a major point or three from your pool decision list.

Is the ground suitable for installing a swimming pool of the type and depth that you want?

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Castelo Construction Having a pool

Is there enough access to excavate the pool foundations and where do you want all of the earth to go.

Do I need planning permission or a license?

The final question of who is going to build the pool is possibly the easiest to answer. Castelo Construction can visit your home or building project. Tell you if the conditions to build a pool are in your chosen location.

They can advise on all aspects of pool design from depth, interior finish and even the type of patio or pool cover that will be most suitable.

Call Kelvin on 00351 927168247

Or email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com
Check out some of our projects on www.casteloconstruction.com