And the reasons why...
I'm not an expert in energy ratings but I can talk about my own personal experience. I, too worried about mold and chill inside Portuguese dwellings before we moved here. That's why we decided to stick to a newer apartment building instead of an older one. We also wanted to rent a place that had heat as a lot of places do not have heat. As far as energy ratings, our apartment didn't have one - we had to pay for an energy rating inspection and certificate (normal here for renters - I think it was 60.00). I believe the energy rating here is a C but I think that's mostly because the appliances are original to the apartment (it's a 20-year old apartment that the owners never rented out before - it was only used for family visits and visiting business associates). So, we don't have a mold issue here. The building is made from concrete blocks so it keeps the apartment cool in the summer but it is chilly in the winter even with the heat. It's not horrible - it reminds me of winter cold spells in Arizona. We just wear socks in the house and heavier sweats when it's cool and we turn on the heat just to take the chill off. As far as noise, double-paned windows will help with that (as well as chills and mold). Our windows here are double-paned so we don't hear much noise (although we're in what would be considered a suburban area and not in the city). I wouldn't worry so much about the energy rating as much as the construction of the dwelling and how upgraded it is. I've been getting some inquiries about housing in Portugal so I'll be writing more about this topic in the next couple of months. I'm working with someone who is an expert and I'm in the process of scheduling some interview time. I hope this helps a little! - Carol.
Hi Carol: what's your opinion re the energy rating of housing in Portugal? I have read quite a bit about the chill inside and mold problem. Is the energy rating a good number to use to determine the interior comfort of a residence? Would a rating of B and above help avoid the damp/mold/noise issues? Please share your experience and insights. Thank you so much!