Shanghai’s winters are long, damp and bone chilling cold. Even the folk from up north where it snows complain how cold the city gets. Most Shanghai Apartments here are concrete shells which can turn into ice boxes when the heating is off. Whilst floor heating and wall mounted radiators are on the rise they are installed in only a small number of properties. To survive winter we and keep toasty and warm we often have to create our own heat. Properties are generally equipped with reverse cycle hot/cold air conditioning units in each room. They are effective in the higher end properties that are well built and insulated but for a standard Shanghai apartment or villa they may not be sufficient. You will need to purchase (or ask our landlord to buy) a few more heaters to be used in the rooms that have high usage. One popular style of heaters are the oil filled electric radiators that have varying number of fins and heat capacity. A popular locally made international brand is De Longhi and a good local brand is Midea.
Other choices are radiators like these
There are also the new stylish panel radiators
You can buy these at supermarkets like Carrefour, Metro, Tesco and Walmart. There are also large electrical stores these as well and you can bargain the price down. The largest chains are Yolo, Sunning and Gome. Often these stores are nearby each other so you can compare the models and prices. Here are some maps of where you will find Gome outlets in different neighbourhoods around the city. You are sure to find other electrical stores closeby.
Apart from adding more heaters you can keep the warmth in and cold out by buying thick rugs if you have wooden floors, putting draft sausages at the bottom of your door and making sure your windows have thick curtains and quality lining.
If you are in an old property that has gaps in the window or door frames you can get plastic film and rubber foam tape to plug up the spaces where drafts get in.
Electric blankets and woolen mattress covers to go under your sheets will keep you warm at night and in the daytime to keep your hands and feet extra toasty use hot water bottles or heat pads.
Have a look at these articles written by fellow expats who have braved a few winters and gained some very helpful tips. I hope they help you get through the season.
Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at +86 13122 810 421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties