Keeping warm in the mountains this winter
It always seems churlish to complain about the weather when you live in Andalucia, especially when talking to friends and family in colder climates. But from what I can gather, I’m not the only person to have found that keeping warm in winter is one of the greatest challenges I have faced since moving here four years ago. We all know the story – it’s not that it’s actually very cold here, it’s just that the indoor environment is so different to what we Northern Europeans are used to. Many of us are trying to live in houses that were only built for summer living, there is usually no insulation and we have to deal with damp caused by porous walls and condensation. We are used to central heating and the cosy feel of fitted carpets and curtains and find it hard to adapt. It’ sometimes feels to me like life has been turned upside down when I find myself shedding layers when I’m outside on a sunny winter’s day and then putting them all on again to come indoors!
I’ve tried all kinds of different heating solutions from gas heaters to various types of electric fires and have run up sizeable electricity bills attempting but failing to keep comfortable in the winter months. Earlier this year I was about to start investigating central heating systems when I saw the advert in the Grapevine for Redwell infra-red panels. I checked out the website first of all and was very interested by the technology. The advantages claimed for this type of heating seemed to be particularly relevant to my situation so I gave Svend and Marlene a call. I was impressed by their prompt response, and their friendly, no pressure approach. They calculated the cubic capacity of all the rooms in my house, told me how many panels I’d need and gave me a written quote. We looked at the sizes I’d need and where they could be fitted for maximum efficiency – you can even put them on the ceiling if you’re short of wall space. You can see the panels working at their office in Torrox Pueblo or in their campo house near Competa.
I won’t go into any details about how infra red heating works or why it’s supposed to be a good thing since this information is all on the website wwwredwell.com. However, the key features that sold it for me are as follows:
• cheap to run (though not cheap to buy)
• easy installation with no mess or disruption
• stops dampness and development of mould
• healthy, dust free environment
• the heat doesn’t disappear every time you open a door or window to let the winter sunshine in
I was convinced but decided to try two panels at first. These were installed in the spring and I’m so impressed that I have ordered four more and am currently waiting for them to arrive. Delivery takes about 3-4 weeks at the moment so they should be fitted by the time this article goes to print. Maybe I’ll write an update once the panels have been tested through the coldest months after Christmas.
By the way, Svend comes and fits the panels – a quick and easy process with just two brackets on the wall and a thermostat for each one. Plug in to the nearest power socket and you’re done. They really do provide a comprehensive package and excellent service. I for one am glad I came across their advertisement. And I’m sure the cats would say the same!