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Power Consumption in Tiny Houses (Electricity Efficiency)

In Tiny Houses (on wheels) by Kate Holmes

There are checkmarks that people look for before purchasing a new home.  These days, one important thing to consider is power consumption.

When it comes to tiny houses, you are sure that no matter how you power your home, you are saving energy. 

This is because tiny houses are already built with the notion that saving energy is important.

But, how much energy do you actually save in a tiny house?
More importantly, what are some ways to save even more energy?

Here is everything you need to know about power consumption in tiny houses as well as how to do more.

Power consumption is everything from how much fuel you use to your monthly electricity bills.

What is the Average Power Consumption in a Tiny House?

Tiny house from denmark from the outside

Tiny houses on average use 7% of energy compared to traditional homes.  This has little to do with the power of the house, and more to do with the size of the home itself.  More specifically, the amount of light that is used.

Larger homes use anywhere from 20 to 40 lightbulbs in the home.

This number only gets higher when you factor in features like track and pocket lighting.  Tiny homes on average use 6 to 10 light bulbs which greatly reduce the power that is used overall.

When you consider the lighting in tiny homes, there is one greater source that is often forgotten about.  ‘

This is the sun.

The sun is the biggest ally of tiny houses.  The reason why you see so many tiny homes that feature a single-walled window is not a mistake.  This is done so natural light can become a part of the overall lighting of the home.

Not only this, but the use of the sun also works perfectly to help keep the house warm.  Most owners of tiny houses specifically designed their homes to take advantage of this natural light and heat.  This, along with the size of the home, is why there is a need for only a few lightbulbs throughout the home.

What Types of Energy are used in Tiny Houses?

One major thing to consider when moving into a tiny house is how you plan on powering your home.  The way you choose to power your home will directly impact your overall power consumption.

Knowing how to use power in your tiny house will also help you to keep energy costs low.  Here are some of the main ways to power your tiny house:

1) Fuel Power:

Using fuel to power up appliances and hot water tanks in a tiny house is the way to go.  While most people prefer to use some variation of propane, there are other options.  The green fuel movement picked up momentum in the early 2000s and are still alive and well.

Cleaner fuel energy like reused oils certainly have their benefits but can be harder to come by.

If you are looking to use clean oils to power your tiny house, you will need to make sure that you have a supplier on the hook. Finding someone who can safely and legally supply clean oils is the biggest obstacle to overcome.

2) Solar Power:

We already talked about the power of the sun when it comes to taking advantage of natural light, but what about power?  Solar energy doesn’t have to be as big of a commitment like fitting your roof with panels.  It can start out small but finding appliances that run on solar energy.

However, in order to use solar energy you have to first consider the placement of your tiny house. 

If you have a tiny house that is already in place, this could be more of a challenge.  If you are planning on purchasing a tiny house on a trailer or building your home, pay attention to the sky.

Your tiny home should have a clear view of the sun for most of the day in order to take the most advantage of the sun.

3) External Generators:

One appeal of tiny houses is that you have options when it comes to living off the grid.  If you are looking to have control over your power, you need to first make sure you are able.

Some cities require households to be hooked up to their power grid.  However, there are some loopholes to help you get around thing.

While using an external power generator to keep your home running is appealing, the cost can sometimes be higher.  This is because you will rely solely on fuels to power your home.  Depending on the amount of time you plan on being in your home, the cost can add up quickly.

If you want to know more about powering your house with fuel, like propane, check out this article about propane consumption for tips! 

What Are Some Ways to Keep Power Consumption Low?

While most people are power conscious these days, there are always ways to do more.

The journey to freedom from fuels and power-overuse is a long one.  We are never done learning about ways to save energy.  This is important not only for your monthly power consumption statement but for the planet as a whole.

With a world that is so reliant on outdated fossil fuels, it is nice to know there are ways to move in the right direction.  Here are some ways to keep your power consumption, and carbon footprint, low:

1) Lightbulbs:

Lightbulbs have come a long way from power sucking glass domes that need to be constantly changed.

Now you can find energy saving bulbs that can last years before needing to be changed.  It isn’t only the lifespan of the lightbulb that has changed either.

These type of bulbs are specially designed to use low wattage which means that they won’t be costing you as much to power.  Not only this but now you can find energy saving bulbs in all different styles.

From softer LED lights to even flood lights, there are energy saving lightbulbs out there for every socket.

2) Renewable Energy Sources:

Making the switch to renewable energy is the smart move in the right direction.

Renewable energy is much more than just solar powered energy.

One natural occurrence that is often forgotten about is the wind.  Harnessing the wind’s energy has been used to power plants and factories for decades.

This not only helps to cut down energy costs but are also much friendlier on the planet.  However, making the switch to wind-powered energy will not be an easy one.

However, doing so can save you up to 85% on your energy cost bills.  You will also get peace of mind knowing that you don’t need to rely on outdated energy like coal.

4) Properly Sealed Windows and Appliances:

One quick way to see your money fly away, literally, is with your windows.

Windows that were installed before five years ago are not as energy efficient as newer ones.  This has everything to do with the way your windows are sealed and attached.

If your tiny house has older windows, you may be losing a great deal of energy.  When windows are not sealed up well, heat and air and fly out of the house which can raise your energy consumption.

This is especially true during the colder months.  So make sure that your windows are up-to-date as well as are backed by the energy star seal.

Winter tiny house

You may also be losing energy through appliances like refrigerators.

The rubber seal on your fridge is there to keep the cold air inside.  However, this seal breaks down easily over time.

One trick to test your fridge for any leaks is to place a dollar bill in the door and close it. If the bill falls out, you may need to replace your fridge sealing. 

Replacing your sealing can be a total DIY job, or you could consider upgrading your fridge to one that is more efficient in storing cold air.

5) Bathroom Ventilation:

One surprising area of your tiny home which may be doing you harm when it comes to power consumption is your bathroom.

While you should make sure your bathroom is fitted with water and energy saving fixtures, there is more you can be doing.

Proper bathroom ventilation, like shower fans, can save you money when it comes to energy consumption.  When hot air rises it causes a great deal of humidity to build up which can make it hard to breathe.

The easy solution to this problem is to open a window.

While opening a window can solve this issue, you have to consider the heat or air you are losing by doing so.  An open window can trigger either your heat or central AC to kick on.  This uses precious power to bring your home’s temperature back up to a comfortable level.

Using a good dehumidifier or a fan is the perfect solution to this problem.

Dehumidifier in window of RV

The fan will help to clear out the steam in your bathroom which will make it easier to breathe.  The dehumidifier will also help to reduce humidity in the air so there will be no reason to open a window.  Best of all, installing a bathroom ventilation fan is easier than you think!

These two dehumidifiers are the ones we recommend for tiny spaces and RVs.

6) Reach Power Consumption Freedom

One major perk to owning a tiny house is the freedom it offers you.

You have the freedom to make your own rules when it comes to powering your house.  You no longer have to bend to the will of a power grid.  With freedom, comes options.

Choosing the best energy efficient options for your tiny house will allow you to have more control. 

More control over what you spend on energy as well as how clean your energy will be is a great thing to have.  So, don’t feel like you are held down to just one standard.  Gethe tiny house of your dreams without energy compromise.  Good luck.

References: constellation.com, edf.org, energy.gov