It is cold here. The houses are all constructed to stay cool. At night the temperature gets down to the mid 20s (Fahrenheit). During the day it gets up into the 70s, but the houses are made so they don’t warm up. For example, our friends’ house has several windows all around it, but they are all set up so they don’t get any direct sun. They let in light, but it doesn’t hit the windows directly. This is great for the summer when you want to retain the coolness all day, but it is a real problem in the winter when it is cold.
Since the houses are made out of concrete and most of the floors are tile, everything seems even colder than it really is. Our friends have a small propane heater that they use to keep things warm at night. For us the night time isn’t too big of a problem because we brought some thick blankets from the U.S. that work well. It is in the day time that it feels uncomfortable. We usually run the heater for about 30 minutes around 10 am to help warm things up a little.
When we get our own place, it will be interesting to see if we can come up with a way to get the sunlight into the house without ruining the cooling design for when it is warmer in the summer. Maybe a bunch of mirrors aimed at the windows during the winter would do the trick.