Air Conditioning in Europe

Don’t lose your cool when traveling.

Many people traveling to Europe think that they will experience similar amenities while traveling abroad such as air conditioned accommodations. This, however, may not always be the case.

For our travelers visiting Ireland, the UK and Italy it is important to note that their climate rarely warrants air conditioning. During the summer months of June, July, and August, you can probably count on one hand the amount of days that reach above 70 degrees throughout the British Isles, while in Italy it will get a bit closer to 80 degrees. Europe has had more heat waves in the past decade, however it’s just not the norm and uncomfortable temperatures are usually very few and far between. In fact, you might find yourself looking for heat instead during the summer months!

On warm days, you can avoid overheating through window solar gain in your accommodations simply by drawing the curtains. Many properties also offer small fans for guests to use when requested, based on availability. However, opening windows at night is usually enough to cool things down comfortably on those rare occasions that the temperature seems too much to bear.

While travelers don’t necessarily need air conditioning, many people from the US expect it as this has become a luxury they are accustomed to back home.

Europeans tend to have a different mindset about air conditioning, considering the expense and potential damage to the environment. While you can generally find it in large public spaces such as museums, restaurants, pubs, and shopping centers, the majority of accommodations – especially small family-owned B&Bs, and older, historic properties – will not have it. Many buildings are on historic registries and cannot be retrofitted easily to allow air conditioning. For example, it took $75 million to bring air conditioning to 5* Ashford Castle in Ireland, as part of a general refurbishment in 2015!

Some accommodations will have air conditioning and/or heating units that you can control manually in your room. The temperatures in some hotels are controlled automatically. If you do have control over your air temperature, please keep in mind that most other countries do not use Fahrenheit. Here are the temperature conversions from Celsius to Fahrenheit and vise versa:

C = (F – 32) x .55
F = (C x 1.8) + 32

If air conditioning is a priority for your comfort, please let your travel consultant know that – just like you would mention other factors important for your trip such as food allergies or preferring an automatic car. There are more recently built hotels that do have air conditioning as a standard feature.

All in all, before you lose your cool when taking a trip, just remember to chill.

It could be worse… The weather could change and it could start raining pennies…


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