Written by: Darija Brstilo, Mare Šaškor
Students of the Tourism and Hospitality School, 1b
Dalmatia is known for its beautiful nature, beautiful beaches, and long summers. But how do Dalmatians keep themselves warm or cool during the colder months or hot summer days?
Throughout history, various means of heating have been used, but are they still needed in modern homes? In this article, we explore the history of heating in Dalmatia, as well as the use of electricity as the main source of heating and cooling. We will also consider how much it all costs us and whether electricity is an environmentally friendly choice. To save the environment and save money, it is important that we understand the different options and opportunities available to us. So, let’s start researching how Dalmatians keep warm and cool!
History of heating
The early man already discovered the importance and benefit of fire. The use of fire is one of the most important events in the evolution of primitive man. Cooking food enabled the development of the human brain and made us who we are today. Gathering around the fire favored communication so that people socialized, thus exchanging experiences, and learning from each other.
Also, the use of fire was the beginning of the heating of the human species. Fire influenced the development of the human species in several ways.
Do you know the lowest temperature measured in Split?
Split is known for its mild climate and high temperatures throughout most of the year. However, cold waves may affect the region. We found data from the State Hydrometeorological Institute at the Split-Marjan measuring station for the period 1948-2021:
• average temperature from November to April = 10.5 °C
• average temperature from May to October = 22.2 °C
• the lowest measured temperature = – 9.0 °C
• highest measured temperature = 38.6 °C.
Does Dalmatia even need heating and cooling?
The Mediterranean climate prevails in Dalmatia. Its characteristics are extremely long and dry summers and mild winters with plenty of rain. Although it seems that in such conditions it is not necessary to heat much and often, from the previously mentioned data, we see that the temperatures are sometimes extremely low, which is why heating is necessary.
Long, dry summers mean high temperatures that require cooling.
Electricity – the main source of heating and cooling
One of the questions in the 2011 census was: “How do you keep warm?”
Unfortunately, the list did not include the option of “air conditioning”, so according to the results of that list, it seems that Dalmatians do not heat their homes at all. From the frequent lack of this information, it is obvious that Dalmatians are often heated and cooled with electricity, which is also confirmed by other sources.
With the development of cities and the strengthening of tourism, the main source of heat in winter and cooling in summer is electricity.
Although various types of stoves are used for heating (radiators, thermo-stoves, clay stoves), Dalmatians are increasingly heated with air conditioners. Air conditioners are also used for cooling.
Is electricity an environmentally sound choice?
According to data from HEP, the main Croatian distributor of electricity, in the Republic of Croatia in 2022, 2,515,554 tons of CO2 were released into the atmosphere from HEP’s thermal power plants, thermal power plants, and bioenergy plants in the process of producing electricity.
The conclusion is that Croatia as a whole, including Dalmatia, should strive for more environmentally friendly ways of producing electricity. Dalmatia is particularly suitable for this due to the large number of sunny days per year (solar energy). Thus, for heating, it would be best to use natural solar energy and get electricity for heating from solar panels and rely as little as possible on already outdated fossil fuels, as well as electricity obtained in other ways.
How much does heating and cooling cost us?
The story of the price of electricity would not be complete without the story of the price Ukraine is paying for its future freedom. In that beautiful European country, the war caused by Russia, one of the leading energy exporters, is raging.
Due to the war and the sanctions imposed on Russia, the price of all energy sources at the world level has skyrocketed, so heating has also become more expensive in Croatia.
This year, the Government of the Republic of Croatia introduced an additional increase in the price of electricity: a higher price class for consumption above 2,500 kilowatts. Considering the two tariffs, regarding consumption (59 euros/MWh up to 2500 kWh; 88 euros/MWh above 2500 kWh), the annual consumption of electricity for heating rises to more than €3,000.
What can we do?
The only solution that is both ecologically and financially acceptable is saving electricity. We need to reduce the heating and cooling temperatures and take care not to heat empty rooms.
If we can all come together, we will make a big difference!
Sources: MHZ, DZS, HEP, Wikipedia, Meteo, Dalmacija Danas, Jutarnji list